Florida Constitutional Amendments on Nov. 6 Ballot

FLORIDA CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON NOVEMBER 6 BALLOT -- RECOMMENDATIONS

No. 1 - Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption - would raise the portion of a home’s value that can be exempted from non-school property taxes. The proposed changes would apply to the assessed value of a homestead property between $100,000 and $125,000, raising the maximum exemption to $75,000.  The shift could save homeowners a couple hundred dollars, but a legislative staff analysis estimated local governments — which rely on property taxes for revenue — would lose about $645 million in the first year if the exemption, effective Jan. 1, is approved.     VOTE NO

No. 2 -  Limitations on Property Tax Exemptions - another property tax proposal referred by the Legislature, would cement an existing cap on non-homestead property assessments. Such property tax assessment increases have been limited to 10 percent of the previous year’s assessed value since 2008, when another constitutional amendment that capped the increases passed.     VOTE NO

No. 3 -  Voter Control of Gambling in Florida - a citizen-initiated amendment, would give voters the exclusive right to decide to authorize expansions of casino gambling in Florida. That authority currently rests with both the Legislature and voters, through constitutional amendment.     VOTE YES

No. 4 -  Voting Restoration Amendment - would restore voting rights to former felons if they have served their time, with the exception of those who have committed crimes like murder or sex offenses.      VOTE YES

No. 5 -  Super Majority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees - would require a two-thirds super-majority vote in the Legislature to impose, approve or raise state taxes and fees. The higher threshold means it would take only a third of members in either the state House or Senate to block any future tax increases or repeal existing exemptions.    VOTE NO

No. 6 -  Rights of Crime Victims; Judges - is a bundled amendment that a) defines a set of crime victim rights known as Marsy’s Law in the constitution, b) increases the judicial retirement age from 70 to 75, and c) prohibits judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutes.      VOTE NO

No. 7 - First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colletes and Universities - is a bundled amendment that a) mandates First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits, b) requires supermajority board votes for college fees, and c) places the state college system into the constitution.  Many of the death benefits being proposed are already provided to first responders through state statutes. The amendment would convert these benefits into constitutional mandates and expand the eligible recipients to include a broader range of first responders and to survivors of U.S. Armed Services members killed in the line of duty. The proposed changes to board votes for college fees would make it easier for a small group of trustees to block tuition and fee increases.     VOTE NO

No. 8 - is a bundled amendment that a) mandates School Board term limits, b) allows the state to operate non-Board established schools, and c) introduces a Civic Literacy Amendment.   Judge Removed from Ballot

No. 9 -  Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces - is a bundled amendment that a) bans offshore oil drilling in state submerged lands (state waters) and b) bans vaping in enclosed indoor work places.   VOTE YES

No. 10 -  State and Local Government Structure and Operation - a) prohibits counties from abolishing certain local offices, b) requires that all locally mandated constitutional offices be elected offices rather than appointed, c) changes start date of legislative sessions, and d) mandates that the state maintain a Department of Veterans Affairs and counterterrorism office within the Department of Law  Enforcement.  The most significant implication of these changes would be to convert the Miami sheriff from an appointed official to one that was elected by a county-wide vote.   VOTE NO

No. 11 -  Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes - a) would repeal a 92-year-old provision in the constitution barring immigrants who aren’t eligible for citizenship from owning property, b) allow lawmakers to make some changes to criminal laws retroactive and c) erase a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a high-speed train that voters had already voted to repeal.     NO POSITION

No. 12 -  Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers - would expand current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by currently serving public officers; provides exceptions; prohibits certain abuses of public office for personal benefit.  This issue can be addressed and achieved through the legislative process, and, therefore, does not need to be permanently incorporated into Florida’s Constitution.    VOTE NO

No. 13 -  Ends Dog Racing - would outlaw greyhound racing in Florida after December 31, 2020.  It is supported by animal rights activists and resisted by the Greyhound Racing Association.     VOTE YES

 


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