State economists find it difficult to put a price on the proposed constitutional amendment on abortion

State economists seem skeptical that they will be able to put a price on a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion access before the November deadline if the measure makes it onto the ballot this year. 2024.

A quartet of state economists, participating in the Fiscal Impact Estimation Conference (FIEC), said it is unlikely the Supreme Court will rule on the state’s 15-week abortion ban. passed in 2022 before the November deadline. And If the court upholds the 15-week ban ahead of schedule, the new 2023 law banning abortion after six weeks would take effect 30 days later. That would also likely trigger legal challenges.

As a result, economists are leaning toward developing a financial statement explaining why they were unable to reach the revised proposal, a position they are allowed to take but which the group tries avoid, the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and its chief economist said. Amy Baker.

We try not to default there. We try to do everything we can to get a number. But this one seems like there are so many permutations that will make it a challenge, Baker said.

The FIEC is scheduled to meet two more times before the November 22 deadline. During those meetings, the FIEC will work on the so-called long form, which is a review of all the information that investors economists examined in their financial assessment of the proposed amendment.

However, legal obstacles are not the only challenge.

Assessing the fiscal impact of the proposed constitutional amendment is also challenging because economists do not have a clear economic understanding of how a 15-week abortion ban would work for women. states’ economies.

Senate Economist Azhar Khan said even if they can agree on a price, the biggest driver of that is what’s happening outside of Florida. And that’s not static either.

According to state data, there were 74,868 abortions in Florida in 2020. More than 74% of abortions performed in Florida that year were before six weeks. Nearly another 16% were performed between weeks 7 and 9 of pregnancy.

Nearly 4,000 abortions were performed on women living outside Florida. The majority (65.7%) of those women were from Georgia and Alabama, where abortion laws are stricter.

The number of abortions in 2022 increased to 82,581, as did the number of women (6,726) from out of state seeking abortions.

Meanwhile, FIEC heard public testimony Thursday from proponents and opponents, as well as presentations from economists who study the state’s education, health and human services as well. such as criminal justice programs.

Floridians defend freedom (FPF) is a committee working to put abortion access on the 2024 ballot. Kara GeneralLegislative Director and Senior Policy Advisor for the Florida branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, testify on behalf of the proposed amendment. FIEC has also heard from Katie Glenn DanielPolicy Director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, who opposed the proposed amendment.

This is not the first time FIEC has been unable to achieve a proposed amendment. Economists in 2019 cannot agree on the impact of Medicaid expansion for low-income childless adults under federal health insurance laws. But the proposed constitutional amendment was never voted on. FIEC was also unable to give numbers a proposed utility modification that also doesn’t make voting possible.

The Florida Supreme Court will consider a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion to ensure it passes legally. Minister of Justice Ashley Moody To be ask the court to reject the motion.

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