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Dem legislator files bill allowing Floridians to recall state officials

Rep. Rick Kriseman, a St. Petersburg Democrat, believes it's time to let Florida voters recall their state officials.

While local governments now permit recall elections to oust their elected officials, as Miami Dade County plans with Mayor Carlos Alverez, Kriseman wants the long-shot practice to be allowed for legislators, members of the Florida Cabinet, the governor and lieutenant governor.

He's filed two constitutional amendments, House Joint Resolution 785 and House Bill 787, to ask voters to change the constitution to allow it -- like an estimated 18 other states -- either through petition or through statute.

“Engaged citizens deserve the tools to hold their public servants accountable without having to wait for the next election,” Kriseman said in a statement. “Honest and dedicated elected officials will have nothing to fear from the implementation of this important proposal, and I am confident that my colleagues will support its passage.”

HJR 785 allows for a petition to recall a statewide official, requiring signatures be collected from each of the 67 counties, and the signatures equal 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office. A petition to recall a member of the Florida Legislature would require signatures from 20 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office.