FAC Data Point:

Analysis of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment

“Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers on Investor-Owned Utilities; Allowing Energy Choice”

 

On Monday, economists from the House, Senate, and Governor’s Office held a Financial Impact Estimating Conference meeting on a proposed amendment to Florida’s constitution. The proposed amendment would grant customers of investor-owned utilities “the right to choose their electricity provider and to generate and sell electricity.” As the proposed amendment’s language is not self-executing, its passage at the ballot box in November 2020 would require the Legislature to adopt laws providing for competitive wholesale and retail markets for electricity in Florida by June 1, 2025. Additionally, the proposed amendment would limit investor-owned utilities to construction, operation, and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems, while municipal and cooperative utilities would have the option to opt into the competitive markets for electricity.

 

Citizens for Energy Choices, a political committee based in Alachua, Florida, is the sponsor of the initiative petition to place the amendment on the November 2020 ballot. The petition must receive a statewide total number of valid signatures equal to no less than 8 percent of the total number of statewide votes in the last presidential election. The petition must also report valid signatures for at least 14 of Florida’s 27 Congressional Districts. If Florida’s Secretary of State determines that neither of these criteria are met by February 1, 2020, then the initiative will fail to qualify for placement on the November 2020 ballot.

The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold future meetings on the proposed amendment, and is required to complete an analysis and financial impact statement on any anticipated increases or decreases in revenues to state or local governments in the event of the proposed amendment achieving voter approval in November 2020.

 

FAC staff have partnered with the Florida League of Cities to analyze the proposed amendment’s potential impact to local government revenues. At risk are revenues collected from franchise fees and public service taxes relating to electricity—the totals for each of which are below. Analysis is also in progress on the proposed amendment’s potential impact to revenues relating to sales and ad valorem taxation, which affect every county in Florida.