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2012 Election Special Edition

Floridians get to vote on 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution in the Nov. 6 General Election. All 11 were placed on the ballot by Florida’s Republican-controlled state Legislature, rather than through citizen initiative –reason enough, in some minds, to oppose them all.

The perception that lawmakers are seeking to avoid being held accountable for making difficult budget decisions is one reason the nonpartisan Florida League of Women Voters has joined groups and individuals throughout the state in recommending that voters reject all the amendments. 

The League’s thoroughly researched 2012 Florida Election & Voter Guide outlining the pros and cons of each amendment can be found online at bereadytovote.org.

The amendments, with some pros and cons provided by the league, are:

Amendment 1

A “Yes” vote amounts to an attempt to opt Florida out of federal health care reform.

A “No” vote means Florida should comply with federal health care reform.

Amendment 2

A “Yes” vote gives the homestead tax exemption to disabled veterans who were not residents at the time they entered military service.

A “No” vote would not expand the property tax exemption to those veterans.

Amendment 3

A “Yes” vote replaces the existing state revenue limit based on personal income growth with one based on population and inflation.

A “No” vote would maintain the existing cap based on personal income.

Amendment 4

A “Yes” vote would reduce local government revenue by cutting in half the taxable rate on non-homesteaded property, such as second homes.

A “No” vote maintains existing property tax exemptions.

Amendment 5

A “Yes” vote would require the state Senate to confirm Supreme Court justices.

A “No” vote would continue to allow the governor to make appointments.

Amendment 6

A “Yes” vote would mean Florida’s constitutional right to privacy is not applicable to abortion-related issues. 

A “No” vote continues that right to privacy to include abortion-related issues.

Amendment 8

A “Yes” vote would allow public money to go to private religious institutions.

A “No” vote would continue to prohibit public funding of institutions and groups that promote religion.

Amendment 9

A “Yes” vote would grant homestead property tax relief to surviving spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty.

A “No” vote would maintain existing tax exemptions.

Amendment 10

A “Yes” vote would double the tax exemption on tangible personal property.

A “No” vote would leave the exemption at its current rate.

Amendment 11

A “Yes” vote would allow cities and counties to grant a full homestead exemption to certain low-income seniors.

A “No” vote would continue the current exemptions.

Amendment 12

A “Yes” vote would create a council of student body presidents from which the student representative to the Board of Governors would be selected.

A “No” vote would not authorize the new council.