Affects articles X and XI. In plain English Citizens would get the right — through a vote — to decide whether to authorize casino gambling operations in the state. The Florida Legislature would not be able to make such decisions. Casino games and slots are restricted to tribal facilities in most of the state with some exceptions in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
The Florida Legislature has tried often to pass gambling bills but has been unable to do so. This measure would allow citizens to vote on it and individuals opposed to gambling could vote their position. Perhaps the authority to pass such measures should remain with the Florida Legislature, rather than through the citizenry. Florida is one of only a handful of states that ban felons from voting after they completed their sentences. Such restrictions have typically been found in the South and date to the post-Civil War era.
Additional efforts by these states were instituted against the Civil Rights Movement of the s. The issue has been a hot potato in Florida — in , there were efforts to re-enact such voting prohibitions. A decade ago, former governor Charlie Crist began the process to restore the right to vote, but Governor Rick Scott enacted new laws to further limit restoration of voting rights.
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The fight continues on both sides. Wording on the ballot The amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently banned from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case-by-case basis.
The precise effect of this amendment on state and local government costs cannot be determined, but the operation of current voter registration laws, combined with an increased number of felons registering to vote, will produce higher overall costs relative to the processes in place today. In plain English Restores the right to vote for most people with prior felony convictions once they finish their sentences.
Some individuals feel that former felons have forfeited their right to vote, while others believe the governor and Cabinet should determine who can have their right to vote restored. Wording on the ballot Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject.
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This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district. In plain English It requires a two-thirds vote of the Florida Legislature in order to increase taxes. Currently, most tax measures need only a simple majority vote to pass.
This measure would make it nearly impossible to raise taxes, revenues, or fees, thus making Florida a low tax state. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from 70 to 75 years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age. It also increased the age for judges to retire to 75 and disallows judges from deferring to government agencies to interpret the law.
The measure increases the rights of victims.
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The law was named for a California college student named Marsy Nicholas who was murdered in Some critics are concerned that the Constitutional Revision Commission lumped three different issues into one amendment. The measure also raises the mandatory age of retirement for state judges from 70 to 75 and disallows courts from deferring to government agencies — typically the individuals with expertise on the issue and charged with implementing the policy — when interpreting certain laws.
Civic reformers note that judges and courts should be free to defer to public agencies. Wording on the ballot Grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waiver of certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members who die performing official duties. Requires supermajority votes by university trustees and state university system board of governors to raise or impose all legislatively authorized fees if law requires approval by those bodies.
Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure. In plain English Requires the state to pay death benefits to families of first responders and military personnel. It also requires a supermajority vote to increase fees at public universities.
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It requires the boards for universities to obtain a supermajority of their members in order raise student fees. The definition of first responders is expanded to include EMT and paramedics, and supporters feel such death benefits should be a part of the Florida Constitution. Family members of individuals in the armed services to die in the line of duty are already compensated by the federal government.
Critics also point out that the Constitutional Revision Commission has again bundled a few different issues into one amendment. Adds use of vapor generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances. In plain English Bans offshore drilling for oil and gas. It also limits the use of vaping in indoor workplaces. A number of environmental, tourism, and citizen groups have been concerned about the devastating impact to the state if there were additional oil spills.
Creates office of domestic security and counterterrorism within department of law enforcement.
This measure would force it to be a requirement. Most of the measures are redundant in that they already exist. It would appear then that the measure is designed to weaken localities by state interests. For instance, voters in local communities would be limited in their ability to vote for or against county officers. Wording on the ballot Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights.
Removes obsolete language repealed by voters. Deletes provision that amendment of a criminal statute will not affect prosecution or penalties for a crime committed before the amendment; retains current provision allowing prosecution of a crime committed before the repeal of a criminal statute.
Your guide to Florida's constitutional amendments in plain English
In plain English This amendment repeals bans on aliens owning property in the state, the requirement for high-speed rail systems from the Florida Constitution, and other items. It removes the requirement that suspects in crimes be prosecuted under the provisions of the law, even if those laws have been changed.
Wording on the ballot Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.
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