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Constitution of the State of Florida as Revised in 1968 and Subsequently Amended: Article II

ARTICLE II

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 1. State boundaries.

SECTION 2. Seat of government.

SECTION 3. Branches of government.

SECTION 4. State seal and flag.

SECTION 5. Public officers.

SECTION 6. Enemy attack.

SECTION 7. Natural resources and scenic beauty.

SECTION 8. Ethics in government.

SECTION 9. English is the official language of Florida.

SECTION 1. State boundaries.--

(a) The state boundaries are: Begin at the mouth of the Perdido River, which for the purposes of this description is defined as the point where latitude 30°16'53" north and longitude 87°31'06" west intersect; thence to the point where latitude 30°17'02" north and longitude 87°31'06" west intersect; thence to the point where latitude 30°18'00" north and longitude 87°27'08" west intersect; thence to the point where the center line of the Intracoastal Canal (as the same existed on June 12, 1953) and longitude 87°27'00" west intersect; the same being in the middle of the Perdido River; thence up the middle of the Perdido River to the point where it intersects the south boundary of the State of Alabama, being also the point of intersection of the middle of the Perdido River with latitude 3100'00" north; thence east, along the south boundary line of the State of Alabama, the same being latitude 31°00'00" north to the middle of the Chattahoochee River; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint River; thence in a straight line to the head of the St. Marys River; thence down the middle of said river to the Atlantic Ocean; thence due east to the edge of the Gulf Stream or a distance of three geographic miles whichever is the greater distance; thence in a southerly direction along the edge of the Gulf Stream or along a line three geographic miles from the Atlantic coastline and three leagues distant from the Gulf of Mexico coastline, whichever is greater, to and through the Straits of Florida and westerly, including the Florida reefs, to a point due south of and three leagues from the southernmost point of the Marquesas Keys; thence westerly along a straight line to a point due south of and three leagues from Loggerhead Key, the westernmost of the Dry Tortugas Islands; thence westerly, northerly and easterly along the arc of a curve three leagues distant from Loggerhead Key to a point due north of Loggerhead Key; thence northeast along a straight line to a point three leagues from the coastline of Florida; thence northerly and westerly three leagues distant from the coastline to a point west of the mouth of the Perdido River three leagues from the coastline as measured on a line bearing south 001'00" west from the point of beginning; thence northerly along said line to the point of beginning. The State of Florida shall also include any additional territory within the United States adjacent to the Peninsula of Florida lying south of the St. Marys River, east of the Perdido River, and south of the States of Alabama and Georgia.

(b) The coastal boundaries may be extended by statute to the limits permitted by the laws of the United States or international law.

SECTION 2. Seat of government.–The seat of government shall be the City of Tallahassee, in Leon County, where the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet members and the supreme court shall be maintained and the sessions of the legislature shall be held; provided that, in time of invasion or grave emergency, the governor by proclamation may for the period of the emergency transfer the seat of government to another place.

SECTION 3. Branches of government.–The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches unless expressly provided herein.

SECTION 4. State seal and flag.–The design of the great seal and flag of the state shall be prescribed by law.

SECTION 5. Public officers.–

(a) No person holding any office of emolument under any foreign government, or civil office of emolument under the United States or any other state, shall hold any office of honor or of emolument under the government of this state. No person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein, except that a notary public or military officer may hold another office, and any officer may be a member of a constitution revision commission, taxation and budget reform commission, constitutional convention, or statutory body having only advisory powers.

(b) Each state and county officer, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall give bond as required by law, and shall swear or affirm:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of

(title of office) on which I am now about to enter. So help me God.",

and thereafter shall devote personal attention to the duties of the office, and continue in office until a successor qualifies.

(c) The powers, duties, compensation and method of payment of state and county officers shall be fixed by law.

History.–Am. H.J.R. 1616, 1988; adopted 1988; Am. proposed by Constitution Revision Commission, Revision No. 13, 1998, filed with the Secretary of State May 5, 1998; adopted 1998.

SECTION 6. Enemy attack.–In periods of emergency resulting from enemy attack the legislature shall have power to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of all public offices the incumbents of which may become unavailable to execute the functions of their offices, and to adopt such other measures as may be necessary and appropriate to insure the continuity of governmental operations during the emergency. In exercising these powers, the legislature may depart from other requirements of this constitution, but only to the extent necessary to meet the emergency.

SECTION 7. Natural resources and scenic beauty.–

(a) It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. Adequate provision shall be made by law for the abatement of air and water pollution and of excessive and unnecessary noise and for the conservation and protection of natural resources.

(b) Those in the Everglades Agricultural Area who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection Area or the Everglades Agricultural Area shall be primarily responsible for paying the costs of the abatement of that pollution. For the purposes of this subsection, the terms "Everglades Protection Area" and "Everglades Agricultural Area" shall have the meanings as defined in statutes in effect on January 1, 1996.

History.–Am. by Initiative Petition filed with the Secretary of State March 26, 1996; adopted 1996; Am. proposed by Constitution Revision Commission, Revision No. 5, 1998, filed with the Secretary of State May 5, 1998; adopted 1998.

SECTION 8. Ethics in government.–A public office is a public trust. The people shall have the right to secure and sustain that trust against abuse. To assure this right:

(a) All elected constitutional officers and candidates for such offices and, as may be determined by law, other public officers, candidates, and employees shall file full and public disclosure of their financial interests.

(b) All elected public officers and candidates for such offices shall file full and public disclosure of their campaign finances.

(c) Any public officer or employee who breaches the public trust for private gain and any person or entity inducing such breach shall be liable to the state for all financial benefits obtained by such actions. The manner of recovery and additional damages may be provided by law. (d) Any public officer or employee who is convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be subject to forfeiture of rights and privileges under a public retirement system or pension plan in such manner as may be provided by law.

(e) No member of the legislature or statewide elected officer shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the government body or agency of which the individual was an officer or member for a period of two years following vacation of office. No member of the legislature shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation during term of office before any state agency other than judicial tribunals. Similar restrictions on other public officers and employees may be established by law.

(f) There shall be an independent commission to conduct investigations and make public reports on all complaints concerning breach of public trust by public officers or employees not within the jurisdiction of the judicial qualifications commission.

(g) A code of ethics for all state employees and nonjudicial officers prohibiting conflict between public duty and private interests shall be prescribed by law.

(h) This section shall not be construed to limit disclosures and prohibitions which may be established by law to preserve the public trust and avoid conflicts between public duties and private interests.

(i) Schedule–On the effective date of this amendment and until changed by law:

1(1) Full and public disclosure of financial interests shall mean filing with the secretary of state by July 1 of each year a sworn statement showing net worth and identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 and its value together with one of the following:

a. A copy of the person's most recent federal income tax return; or

b. A sworn statement which identifies each separate source and amount of income which exceeds $1,000. The forms for such source disclosure and the rules under which they are to be filed shall be prescribed by the independent commission established in subsection (f), and such rules shall include disclosure of secondary sources of income.

(2) Persons holding statewide elective offices shall also file disclosure of their financial interests pursuant to subsection (i)(1).

(3) The independent commission provided for in subsection (f) shall mean the Florida Commission on Ethics.

History.–Proposed by Initiative Petition filed with the Secretary of State July 29, 1976; adopted 1976; Ams. proposed by Constitution Revision Commission, Revision Nos. 8 and 13, 1998, filed with the Secretary of State May 5, 1998; adopted 1998.

1Note.–Section 24(a), Art. XII, State Constitution, provides for the amendment to s. 8(h)(1), Art. II, State Constitution, by Revision No. 8 (1998) to take effect January 7, 2003. Section 8(h)(1), Art. II, State Constitution, was redesignated as s. 8(i)(1) by Revision No. 13 (1998). As amended by Revision No. 8 (1998), effective January 7, 2003, s. 8(i)(1), Art. II, State Constitution, will read:

(1) Full and public disclosure of financial interests shall mean filing with the custodian of state records by July 1 of each year a sworn statement showing net worth and identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 and its value together with one of the following:

a. A copy of the person's most recent federal income tax return; or

b. A sworn statement which identifies each separate source and amount of income which exceeds $1,000. The forms for such source disclosure and the rules under which they are to be filed shall be prescribed by the independent commission established in subsection (f), and such rules shall include disclosure of secondary sources of income.

SECTION 9. English is the official language of Florida.

(a) English is the official language of the State of Florida.

(b) The legislature shall have the power to enforce this section by appropriate legislation.

History.–Proposed by Initiative Petition filed with the Secretary of State August 8, 1988; adopted 1988.

Source:
The Florida Senate
http://flsenate.gov

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