Florida constitutional amendments

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit are asking the Florida Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s ruling that struck three amendments from the ballot.

www.miamibeachchamber.com

The City of Miami Beach is in a battle with the state that could impact hundreds of Florida municipalities. It’s about home rule and the city’s ability to set its own policy when it comes to wages.

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The amount may go up each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Miami Beach leaders voted two years ago to approve a higher minimum wage than the state.

Amendment 10 at the Capitol
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Florida officials are rallying behind Amendment 10, which would require certain local offices be elected rather than appointed. A number of local agencies gathered at the Capitol Monday to launch a statewide initiative supporting the proposal.

Florida Supreme Court

A Leon County Circuit Judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit attempting to remove six constitutional amendments from the ballot in November. 

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

The League of Women Voters of Florida wants a constitutional amendment it says is misleading removed from the November ballot. The target is Amendment Eight which critics say could lead to the creation of more charter schools.

The League’s Attorney Rom Meyer says the ballot summary of Amendment Eight is vague and doesn’t tell voters the main purpose of the proposal.

Recent polling shows there are four constitutional amendments poised for approval on Florida’s November ballot. Three of those deal exclusively with the issue of taxation. But there’s ongoing concern that determining tax policy through constitutional referendum isn’t in the public’s best interest.

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

The journey for Florida felons to regain their right to vote recently overcame its largest hurdle, as the grassroots citizen’s initiative received enough signatures to place the issue on the 2018 ballot. This has prompted a similar proposal to be withdrawn in order to avoid confusion at the polls.

Constitution Revision Committee Experts Offer Suggestions

Jan 31, 2017
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A panel of Constitution Revision Commission experts are offering suggestions for the incoming group charged with amending the constitution later this year. The proposals range from opening the state’s primaries to criminal justice reform.

A new proposal would allow the state to keep laws the state Supreme Court rules are unconstitutional.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

According to a new University of South Florida poll, just 22% of Floridians feel they’re well informed about the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November.

Dominic Calabaro speaking at the press conference.
Nick Evans

The nonprofit government watchdog group Florida TaxWatch released its voter’s guide Wednesday detailing proposed state constitutional amendments. 

Unlike some other issuers of voting guides, fiscally conservative TaxWatch doesn’t take a yes-or-no stance on the initiatives.  Instead, it offers a take on the pros and cons of enacting the amendments.    

Dominic Calabro, head of the organization, says it’s important to exercise caution when changing the state constitution.

R.Benk / WFSU-News

In order to prevent overharvesting, Florida voters in 1994 ratified a constitutional ban on what’s called a gill net, which catches fish by entangling their gills in the net’s mesh. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which was put in charge of creating the rules to implement the amendment, also stipulated that mullet fishermen could only use nets whose holes were no larger than 2-inches in size, prompting two decades of court battles. After a year of deliberating, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled in favor of commercial fishermen last week.

Florida voters will have to decide the fate of nearly a dozen state constitutional amendments in the upcoming election. One organization has set up an on-line resource to give voters all sides on each of those amendments.