Voters will face 12 constitutional amendment proposals on the Nov. 6 ballot. Each needs at least 60 percent of votes to pass and make it into the Florida Constitution.
Amendment 1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
Raises the homestead property tax exemption by $25,000 for homes worth more than $100,000. That would exempt the value between $100,000 and $125,000 of a home that serves as the owner’s primary residence. School taxes would be exempt.
CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana explains Amendment 1:
Amendment 2: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments
Amendment 2 would make permanent a 10 percent cap on annual property-tax assessment increases for commercial property, apartments and vacation homes.
CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana explains Amendment 2:
Amendment 3: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida
In a battle that has drawn tens of millions of dollars, this amendment that would make it harder to expand gambling in Florida. It would give Florida voters the exclusive right to decide whether a new casino can open in the state. It takes that right away from the Florida Legislature. That includes expansion of slot machines and other electronic betting devices as well as games like blackjack, roulette and craps.
CBS4’s Rudabeh Shahbazi explains Amendment 3:
Amendment 4: Voting Restoration for Felons
This amendment restores the voting rights for former felons, except murderers and sex offenders, who complete their sentences, paid restitution and fulfilled parole or probation requirements. Currently, former felons must wait at least 5 years after completing their sentences to ask the Florida Clemency Board, made up by the governor and the Cabinet, to restore their rights. If passed, Amendment 4 would affect 1.5 million Floridians.
CBS4’s David Sutta explains Amendment 4:
Amendment 5: Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees
Amendment 5 would make it tougher for future lawmakers to raise taxes by requiring two-thirds votes in the state House and Senate to increase taxes or fees, up from the usual majority.
This amendment does not apply to local taxes that might be raised in specific counties, cities or other taxing districts, such as school or fire districts. The amendment also stops a typical legislative technique of adding tax and fee increases onto other legislative bills.
CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez explains Amendment 5:
Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims, Judicial Retirements
Amendment 6, the so-called Marsy’s Law amendment, would include crime victims’ rights into the state constitution, including the right to due process, to be “reasonably protected from the accused,” the right to be notified if bail is granted and shielding victims’ personal information, and the right to be heard at public trial proceedings.
It also would also raise the mandatory retirement age for state judges, including Supreme Court justices, from 70 to 75. It would also prohibit state courts from deferring to an administrative agency’s interpretation of a state statute or rule.
CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana explains Amendment 6:
Amendment 7: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
Amendment 7 bundles three proposals into one. If passed, it would provide college tuition for survivors to an expanded list of first responders and military members killed on duty, to include paramedics, emergency medical technicians and U.S. military members residing in Florida. It would require university trustees to agree by a two-thirds supermajority to raise college fees, not including tuition and establish the existing state college system as a constitutional entity and provide governance structure for such.
This is one of the amendments being challenged in the Supreme Court.
CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez explains Amendment 7:
Amendment 8 related to charter schools and term limits for school board members will not appear on the ballot because it was stricken by the Florida Supreme Court.
Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
Prohibits offshore oil and gas drilling in “Florida territorial seas”, which includes about nine miles west of Florida and three miles east of Florida or to the Gulf Stream, whichever is furthest. It would also ban the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in indoor workplaces.
CBS4’s Rielle Creighton explains Amendment 9:
Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation
Amendment 10 rolls four different proposals into one that would:
- Permanently move legislative sessions in even-numbered years to January instead of March
- Create a counter-terrorism and security office within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Require, rather than authorize, the legislature to provide for a state Department of Veterans Affairs
- Require that all 67 counties must elect their sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, elections supervisor and clerk of court. If this amendment passes, Broward County would have to have an elected position of tax collector, and Miami-Dade County would have to have an elected sheriff
CBS4’s Rielle Creighton explains Amendment 10:
Amendment 11: Removal of Obsolete Provisions
This amendment has three parts.
- Delete wording that bans property ownership for foreign-born persons ineligible for citizenship
- It would delete language approving a high-speed rail. Floridians voted down the high-speed rail project in 2004, but the language was never removed
- It would also remove the “Savings Clause”, a constitutional provision from 1885 that forbids making changes to criminal sentencing laws retroactive. For example, if the Legislature changes a mandatory minimum sentence for an offense from 20 years to five years, anyone still being prosecuted for or already convicted of that offense would still have to serve 20 years. This is one of the amendments being challenged in the Supreme Court
CBS4’s Rudabeh Shahbazi explains Amendment 11:
Amendment 12: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
This amendment would expand ethics rules for public officials, both elected officials and government employees, including judges. It would ban public officials from lobbying during their terms and for six years after leaving office and prohibit these officials from using their position for private gain.
CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez explains Amendment 12:
Amendment 13: Ends Dog Racing
This amendment would ban greyhound racing involving wagering by 2021, but people in Florida could continue to wager on races occurring in other states. Florida dog tracks would still be able to operate as card rooms, and in Miami-Dade and Broward include slot machines.
CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez explains Amendment 13: