A referendum backed by utilities to make solar power in Florida a constitutional right while also allowing the state’s power suppliers to maintain control over the industry is being challenged in the state’s Supreme Court.
This week, Earthjustice filed a brief with the court complaining that language in the referendum is misleading and inaccurately summarizes the amendment. The referendum also tries to “log roll” voters by including language to promote solar use while increasing costs to solar users, said staff attorney Bradley Marshall.
“It combines a pro solar constitutional right to have solar panels with an anti-solar provision,” he said.
The referendum was filed to counter a grassroots-led amendment effort that would have eliminated a state law that now allows the sale of electricity only from the state’s four major utilities, keeping solar providers from setting up shop in Florida. That measure failed after organizers and the company they hired to collect signatures got into a contract dispute.
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A response from the the amendment’s supporters is due Feb. 1 with oral arguments likely scheduled for March, Marshall said.