Courtesy of me and the Florida Family Policy Council
I have been DELUGED by requests for guidance on the Constitutional Amendments, as well as anything I can offer on the Judges on the ballot. So, what follows are some thoughts from me, but with an important distinction.
I have pasted in here the guide from the board of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC). I agree with much of what it has offered. But, not all of its opinions or recommendations. My comments will precede the guide on the Amendments. The judges can be found in a previous post.
NOTE: Be absolutely certain you get to Amendment 13, especially if you hunt, fish, or raise animals.
Amendments 1-3 ... I recommend a YES on all three.
- A1 puts more money in your wallet and even though the counties and cities will whine and complain, and find ways to raise your taxes to make up the difference, you can hold the elected leaders accountable by voting them out. The bottom line: It's your money and you and I are taxed enough.
- A2 puts limits on property tax increases in the Constitution and not in the hands of greedy, undisciplined local elected officials.
- A3, according to those who have studied the language, is the best way to control the spread of gaming and end the influence of a powerful lobby. It would be in your hands. It's good public policy.
Amendment 4 ... I recommend YES on A4
- This is voting restoration for felons who are not murderers or violent sexual offenders. I know many disagree with my reasoning which is...when someone has served their sentence, if you want them to behave appropriately, treat them appropriately. I disagree with my friends at the FFPC because the current system is completely unacceptable. Right now, tens of thousands have to have their appeal for rights restoration heard by the Florida Clemency Board. That's four people. The Cabinet. It is inefficient. There is no way possible for the Board to do its job. No system is perfect. But, for those who worry that convicted felons should have to prove themselves I would counter that the frequency of elections provides ample time for most to do just that. If they recommit then they will not be able to vote anyway. When someone has paid their debt to society, then, as a Christian I say it is paid. If you do not want them to find their way as a productive member of society then sentence them to a longer term. To those who say, "They'll all vote Democrat!" Just do the right thing...you may be surprised.
Amendment 5 ... YES
- It requires a super-majority in the Florida House & Senate to enact and impose new taxes or raise state fees. This is as big a no-brainer as it gets.
Amendment 6 ... yes (you'll notice smaller letters on my "YES")
- The smaller letters are because I do not like that this takes on multiple topics. They are placed together because of vague similarities. I still do not like it. But, the enshrinement of victims rights in the State Constitution is a must. So, it overshadows the rest.
Amendment 7... No opinion
- Like the FFPC I agree A7 well-meaning. I think this belongs in the hands of legislators and really has no place inside the State Constitution.
Amendment 9 ... NO
- You will not find me on the side of banning our state from obtaining resources to create jobs and help power a vibrant economy. To combine this with vaping is absurd. Let them both die.
Amendment 10 ... YES
- This is a bundle which makes a lot of sense. Most importantly the final provision, of four, which insures the election of five local Constitutional officers. Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of Courts (and/or Comptroller), Superintendent of Education, and Property Appraiser. Say what you will about how ugly these races sometimes become. Never lose the power of your vote to determine who holds these important posts.
Amendment 11 ... YES
- This is another bundle which does a good job reflecting the Constitutional Revision Commission's purpose. This one actually cleans up some things inside our founding document.
Amendment 12 ... NO
- On the surface this looks very appealing, in fact completely agree with the idea BUT it does not belong in the Constitution.
Amendment 13 ... NO
- Make sure you get here...voter fatigue could prove to be an issue here. This is Amendment is not written appropriately. The preamble of this Amendment opens the door to limiting or outlawing hunting, fishing, farming of animals, etc. The language could open the door to activist judges. Additionally, this needs to be a very narrow, limited piece of legislation attacking the issue of Greyhound racing and/or gambling. Do not let this one sneak by. Those who support this measure will make to A13.