Each Election Year in Florida (even number years), there are Proposed Amendments to Florida’s Constitution on the ballot. Amendments to Florida’s State Constitution have to voted on by the people. 60% threshold is needed for an amendment to be passed into the Florida Constitution.
There are three ways a proposed amendment can be put onto the ballot in the State of Florida, per Article XI of the Florida State Constitution:
Proposal by State Legislature
Constitution Revision Commission (will not meet again until 2037)
In short, we recommend voting Yes on ballot items 1 and 3. Item 2 we encourage our readers to do research on Amendment 2 and choose your vote based off your own research.
Amendment 1: Limitation on the Assessment of Real Property Used for Residential Purposes
On the ballot: “Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective January 1, 2023, to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit the consideration of any change or improvement made to real property used for residential purposes to improve the property’s resistance to flood damage in determining the assessed value of such property for ad valorem taxation purposes.”
Amendment 1 will allow the State of Florida to prohibit taxing flood resistance improvements made to a home in the State. The ban would have to be enacted by law in the Florida State Legislature.
Amendment 1 will add ‘Section 42 to Article XII – Schedule of the Florida State Constitution.’
We recommend voting Yes for Amendment 1.
Amendment 2: Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission
On the ballot: “Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets at 20-year intervals and is scheduled to next convene in 2037, as a method of submitting proposed amendments or revisions to the State Constitution to electors of the state for approval. This amendment does not affect the ability to revise or amend the State Constitution through citizen initiative, constitutional convention, the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, or legislative joint resolution.”
The Constitution Revision Commission exists to make recommendations every 20 years on changes that should be made to the Florida State Constitution.
The Constitution Revision Commission has been a part of Florida’s State Constitution 1968, the same year the current Florida State Constitution was enacted. The first time the Constitution Revision Commission met was in 1977-1978.
The Constitution Revision Commission has had much success in its 1998 and 2018 sessions. Most of the ballot items put forward from those Commissions were voted in by Florida residents. All the items from the 1978 Constitution Revision Commission were defeated in that election.
Some of the Amendments successfully passed into law from the Florida Constitution Review Commission in 1998 and 2018 (respectively) include:
Made educating children an obligation for the State of Florida
Banned offshore oil drilling in Florida
Merging of Florida Offices of Treasurer and Florida Comptroller into the position of Florida Chief Financial Officer
Prohibition on local government abolishing the positions of Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of the Court, Property Appraiser and Tax Collector
Gun owners may be keen to know that the 1997-1998 Florida Constitution Review Commission recommended the adoption of Amendment 12 (1998).
Amendment 12 (1998) added Article VIII Section 5(b) into the Florida State Constitution. The changes allow local government to mandate a criminal background check and institute a 3-5 day waiting period for the sale of any firearm. It’s noted that those who have a concealed weapons permit do not have to follow this provision.
Notably, former County Commissioner Bob Solari was a member of the 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission.
If you think Florida’s Constitution does not need a review every 20 years, we recommend voting Yes to abolish the Constitution Review Commission.
If you think Florida’s Constitution should be reviewed every 20 years, vote No for Amendment 2, to keep the Florida Constitution Review Commission.
Amendment 3: Additional Homestead Property
On the ballot: “Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to grant an additional homestead tax exemption for nonschool levies of up to $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property owned by classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, and Florida National Guard members. This amendment shall take effect January 1, 2023.
Amendment 3 will allow the State of Florida to give a homestead tax exemption to teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active duty members of the United States Armed Fores and members of the Florida National Guard. The exemption will be up to $50,000 of the assessed value of the homestead property.
We recommend voting Yes for Amendment 3.
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