Constitution of 1885

Delegates convened in June 1885 to revise Florida’s state constitution. The existing constitution had been in effect since 1868, when it was adopted as part of Florida’s reentry into the United States following the Civil War. The 1885 constitution legitimized poll taxes as a prerequisite for voting, which ultimately disproportionately disenfranchised African Americans and many poor whites.

Constitution of 1885




Section 1. The Legislature shall establish a State Board of Health and also County Boards of Health in all counties where it may be necessary.

Section 2. The State Board of Health shall have supervision of all matters relating to public health, with such duties, powers and responsibilities as may be prescribed by law.

Section 3. The County Boards of Health shall have such powers and be under the supervision of the State Board to such extent as the Legislature may prescribe.