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12 Amendments, 20 Topics: What You Need to Know Before You Vote in the Florida Election on November 6

October 05, 2018 03:59 PM

Contributors

Bo Evans, Tamika Cody, Michael Adam Mora

Florida’s general election is only a few weeks away. In addition to who they prefer as the next governor, Florida voters will also cast their vote on 12 amendments. There are 20 topics weaved into several of the amendments, which might be confusing for even the well-versed voter.

HelloSWFL’s politic beat reporters, Anna Kohls and Bo Evans , spent several days fleshing out each amendment and topics to get a better understanding of what Florida voters are in for when they head to the polls on Nov. 6, 2018.

Amendment 1: Your Florida home's property tax is at stake

If you own a home in the state of Florida, and it is your primary place of residence, your homestead property tax could be changed.

Amendment1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Amendment 2: The 10% cap on non-homestead properties is up for debate

The amendment is a 10 percent cap that protects non-homestead properties.

Who’s affected?

Renters and people who do not live in Florida full-time. The amendment is supposed to expire Jan. 2019 unless it receives 3/5 supermajority.

A yes vote means property owners will be given an additional $25,000 of property tax exemption for a total of $75,000 on homes, which are $125,000 in value.

A no vote means the exemptions will stay the same at $50,000.

Amendment 2: Limitations on Property Tax Exemptions

Amendment 3: Who will control gambling in Florida

The expansion of casino gambling in Florida is in your hands.

Amendment 3: Voter Control Gambling in Florida

Amendment 4: What about convicted felons and their voting rights?

Ex-convicts want their voting privileges restored sooner, rather than later.

Amendment 4: Voting Restoration Amendment

Amendment 5: 2/3 Vote = Supermajority

If you want to have a say on who can raise taxes, pay close attention to Amendment No. 5. Right now the legislature needs a simple majority -- 50 percent plus one -- to impose a new state tax or fee or raise existing taxes or fees. If enough people vote in favor of the amendment, then legislature will need a supermajority or a 2/3 vote to impose new state taxes or fees.

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

Amendment 6: Marsy's Law

There are three parts to this amendment. One part of the amendment will focus on the victims of a crime. The second could allow Florida judges to sit on the bench until they are 75-years-old. The third is provided in the video below:

Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims and Judges

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

There are three parts to Amendment 7.

The first part will give benefits to family of military members or first responders, who were killed while on duty.

The second part will require a university to have a 2/3 vote to raise college fees.

And the third will put the state and community colleges in Florida’s constitution.

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

Amendment 9: Offshore Oil & Gas Drilling and Vaping all Rolled into One

Voters have to decide whether they are for or against offshore drilling. And in the same amendment, voters will have to figure out if they want to add vaping to the list of “no smoking” laws in the state of Florida.

Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping Indoor Workplaces

Amendment 10: Four in One

There are four topics to Amendment 10.

Topic 1 - Lawmakers want the start date for the legislative session to start on the second Tuesday in January .

Topic 2 - Create a Counter-Terrorism office

Topic 3 - Require a State Veterans Affairs Department

Topic 4 - Election of county-level offices, which includes sheriff, tax collector, supervisor of elections, etc.

Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Amendment 11: Removing complex language

Amendment 11 may sound simple, but there is some complexity to it. It is all about removing the language.

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

Amendment 12: All Eyes Are on Lobbyists and Public Officers

Can elected officials be paid lobbyists after they leave office?

This one is straightforward. Public officers are not allowed to lobby and get paid while they are in office. They will have to wait at least six years after they have left office to be a paid lobbyist.

In addition, public officer or employees are not allowed to use their position for personal gain.

Amendment 12: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Amendment 13: End Dog Racing in Florida

The amendment would ban all dog racing in the state after December 2020.

It is one of the simpler proposals on the ballot. A yes vote means dog racing in Florida would be banned.

A no vote means dog racing would continue as it has in the past.

Amendment 13: Ends Dog Racing

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