Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Amendments

The process to amend the state constitution is quite quirky in Florida, as there are multiple avenues to change our state’s overarching governing document. The three main ways to revise the state constitution is through a citizen petition, the Florida Legislature and the once-every-20-year process known as the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), the only one of its kind in the country. Because of the CRC, there are more amendments than usual on the November ballot, and also because of the CRC, there is more confusion than ever before.

There may or may not be a total of thirteen amendment proposals when you receive your ballot. Judges have had a field day over the last several weeks kicking proposals off of the ballot, citing reasons such as “confusing language” and “misleading to voters.”

Florida Farm Bureau takes a close look at all of the constitutional proposals on the ballot and has always been wary of initiatives that change the state’s foundational document. Generally speaking, FFBF believes that a high standard must be met in both the merits of the issue addresses as well as the support needed for the amendment to pass.  Generally, the FFBF Board opposes measures that could be addressed through the regular legislative process. 

Amendment 1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Sponsor: The Florida Legislature
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose

This amendment would increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homesteaded property greater than $100,000 and up to $150,000.

Amendment 2: Limitation on Property Tax Assessments

Sponsor: The Florida Legislature
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Support

This amendment would preserve the existing 10% cap on certain annual property tax increases.

Amendment 3: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

Sponsor: Voters in Charge (“No Casinos”)
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose (Could be addressed in the regular Legislative process)

This amendment would force changes to gaming laws to be done by voter referendum rather than in the legislative process.

Amendment 4: Voting Restoration Amendment

Sponsor: Floridians for a Fair Democracy
Florida Farm Bureau Position: No Position

This amendment would restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions except for murder or sexual offenses) after they have completed the terms of their sentence and probation.

Amendment 5: Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Sponsor: The Florida Legislature
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Support

This amendment would require tax increases proposed by the legislature to be passed by a 2/3 vote rather than by a simple majority.

*Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims; Judges

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: No Position

This amendment would create constitutional rights for victims of crimes as well as raise the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 to 75.

*Amendment 7: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose (Could be addressed in regular Legislative process)

 

This amendment would grant mandatory payment of death benefits to qualifying survivors of first responders who die performing official duties.  Also makes changes to Florida’s public college and university system.

Amendment 8: Public Schools

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
FLORIDA SUPREME COURT REMOVED FROM BALLOT

*Amendment 9: Oil Drilling and Vaping Ban

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose (Could be addressed in regular Legislative process)

This amendment would ban offshore oil drilling as well as adds vaping to the current ban of smoking in the workplace.

Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: No Position

This amendment would require the retention of the department of veterans’ affairs, and ensures the election of certain county offices, as well as makes changes to other local government operations.

*Amendment 11: Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Support

This amendment would remove obsolete and unenforceable provisions such as discriminatory language related to property rights.

Amendment 12: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose (Could be addressed in regular Legislative process)

This amendment would expand current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers as well as make other restrictions.

*Amendment 13: Greyhound Racing Ban

Sponsor: Constitution Revision Commission
Florida Farm Bureau Position: Oppose (Could be addressed in regular Legislative process)

This amendment would end greyhound racing in Florida

*At the time of this printing, these constitutional amendments were subject to litigation and the Florida Supreme Court had yet to rule on their constitutionality.

By |2018-10-24T11:34:00-05:00October 3rd, 2018|Florida Farm Bureau|0 Comments

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