Confused about amendments?
Check out this summarized version of
proposals before you go to the polls
Confused about the proposed amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot? Here’s a simplified version of what each amendment is about to help you decide before you get to the polls. Each one will require at least 60% of Florida voters to pass. All were placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature during the 2011-2012 sessions.
Amendment 1 – Health Care Services
If passed, would attempt to exempt Floridians from the requirements of the individual mandate section of the Federal Affordable Care Act. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the federal government’s right to impose the individual mandate, the legal status of this amendment is questionable.
Amendment 2 – Veterans Disabled Due to Combat Injury: Homestead Property Tax Discount
If passed, would provide a property tax discount to all Florida veterans that are over 65 and disabled as a result of a combat injury. Currently this exemption only applies to veterans who were Florida residents when they enlisted. Revenue loss to local government as a result of passage of the amendment: $15 million over 3 years.
Amendment 3 – State Government Revenue Limitation
If passed, would place a stricter limit on state revenues that would be based on inflation and population growth, instead of personal income growth as the Florida Constitution currently states.
Amendment 4 – Property Tax Limitations
If passed, would extend tax breaks to certain business property owners and first-time homebuyers. Revenue loss to local government as a result of passage of the amendment: $1 billion over 3 years.
Amendment 5 – State Courts
If passed, would add a requirement that a Florida Supreme Court Justice must be confirmed by the Senate after appointment by the Governor. Also would authorize the repeal of a court rule by a simple majority of each house of the Legislature rather than a two-thirds vote as currently required and allow the Florida House expanded access to review files involving judges accused of misconduct.
Amendment 6 – Prohibition on Public Funding of Abortions: Construction of Abortion Rights
If passed, would restate in the Florida Constitution current federal and state law that prohibits public funds from being used for an abortion or health insurance coverage of abortion. It would also limit the constitutional right to privacy to specifically exclude it from being applied to cases involving abortion-related issues.
Amendment 8 – Religious Freedom
If passed, would repeal the 126-year-old provision in the Florida Constitution that prohibits taxpayer funding of religious institutions including schools through voucher programs.
Amendment 9 – Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder
If passed, would eliminate property taxes for the surviving spouses of military veterans, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who die while on active duty or in the line of duty. Revenue loss to local government as a result of passage of the amendment: $1.8 million over three years.
Amendment 10 – Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption
If passed, would raise the tax exemption for machinery, equipment or other business property from $25,000 to $50,000 and allow cities or counties to approve additional tax exemptions. Revenue loss to local government as a result of passage of the amendment: $60.3 million.
Amendment 11 – Additional Homestead Exemption; Low-Income Seniors who Maintain Long-Term Residency on Property; Equal Assessed Value
If passed, would eliminate property taxes for those 65 and older who lived in their home for at least 25 years and have an annual “household” income of less than $27,030 and own a home with a value of less than $250,000. Revenue loss to local government as a result of passage of the amendment: $27.9 million.
Amendment 12 – Appointment of Student Body President to Board of Governors of the State University System
If passed, would change the method of appointing the student member of the University System Board of Governors from the President of the Florida Student Association to the Chair of a Council of state university student body presidents.
You can read more about these amendments at http://www.floridatrend.com/tagged/87 or www.thefloridavoter.org/resources/issues/2012-constitutional-amendments or election.dos. state.fl.us/initiatives.