Women's March Florida

2018 Constitutional Amendments Recommendations

This November the Florida Ballot will be stacked with 12 Constitutional Amendments that will shape our State for years to come.  We have based our recommendations on the research, work, and insight of established groups such as League of Women Voters Florida, ACLU Florida, and the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

 
 
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Amendment 1 - increased homestead property tax exemption

Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption - Increases homestead exemption by $25k (home values $100k - $125k); less money for local governments means less public programs and increased local taxes

 
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Amendment 2 - Limitations on Property Tax Assessments

Makes permanent an existing 10% cap on non-homestead property assessments; Limits tax revenue for local governments from increased property values

 
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amendment 3 - voter control of gambling in florida

Gives voters the exclusive right to decide to authorize expansions of casino gambling (not including casinos owned/operated by Native-American tribes)

 
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amendment 4 -  Voting Restoration Amendment

Restores eligibility to vote >1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions (excluding murder and felony sexual offenses) who fully complete their entire sentences, including any probation, parole, and restitution

 
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amendment 5 -  Super-Majority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Requires a 2/3 majority vote in the Legislature, vs. simple majority, which makes future votes for routine taxes and fees more difficult. (i.e sales, gasoline, alcohol, fishing fees, drivers license fees)

 
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amendment 6 - Rights of Crime Victims; Judges Retirement Age

Victims Rights are already protected in the State Constitution and laws; Eliminates a protection for the constitutional rights of the accused

 
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amendment 7 - First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities Fees 

Requires a supermajority to increase college fees (excluding tuition) making routine increases more challenging; Provides a new constitutional guarantee of death benefits already covered by law, while expanding definition of first responder and eligibility of benefits to U.S. military who are residents of or stationed in Florida

 
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amendment 8 - School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools; Civics Literacy

Establishes 2 x 4 years term limits for all school districts, removing autonomy from local boards; Allows Legislature to establish an entity to create charter or specialized schools that may not be operated, controlled or supervised by local boards; Creates requirement in Constitution to teach 'civic literacy' but this is already covered in middle school

 
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amendment 9 - Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces

Prohibits oil and gas drilling (exploration and extraction of oil and gas) on state-owned waters off Florida coast; Adds "vapor generating electric devices" to current constitutional restrictions on enclosed workplace smoking

 
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amendment 10 - State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Sets lawmaking session start dates; mandates a duplicative counterterriorism department; Makes a Dept of Veterans Affairs mandatory vs. optional; Requires all counties elect a sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, supervisor of elections and clerk of circuit court, taking control away from charter counties and requiring elections for all local offices

 
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amendment 11 - Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes

Deletes unconstitutional, anti-immigrant provision and allows criminal justice reforms to apply retroactively
 

 
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amendment 12 - Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Complex amendment significantly expanding ethics rules for elected officials/government employees and extending lobbying bans from 2 yrs to 6 yrs; Six years may be onerous, may discourage some from running for public office and would make Florida the state with the most stringent government ethics laws

 
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amendment 13 - Ends Dog Racing

Ends commercial dog racing involving wagering by 2020