2012 Amendments Voter's Guide

A quick breakdown of what's wrong with the proposed amendments on this year's ballot and why you should vote no on them, no matter how good they may sound at first.

 

1. Health Care Services – OPPOSED

 

Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?


Too many families in our state struggle to gain access to healthcare because they simply can't afford it. Now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, giving more people access to care and more protections for patients, Floridians can't afford to take a step backward.

Passing this amendment would allow insurance companies to once again discriminate against patients and inflate costs.

Passing this amendment would allow state law to trump the federal law, which could possibly be deemed unconstitutional.

 

2. Veterans Disabled Due to Combat Injury; Homestead Property Tax Discount – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

Tax breaks sound nice, until you discover the overall cost of implementing them. Adding a homestead exemption to the state constitution makes it harder to gain much needed revenue to keep our communities running. This will likely lead to more cuts to roads, schools, and other public services that people depend on.



3. State Government Revenue Limitation – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment more severely limits state revenue which will likely result in more cuts to public services. It removes our ability to be flexible in our state budget decisions as necessary, and would not allow the state to appropriately keep up with the needs of Florida residents. Similar legislation was passed in Colorado, hurting that state's ability to provide basic public services like health care, transportation and education. Florida should not elect to take on those same difficulties.

 

4. Property Tax Limitation; Property Value Decline; Reduction for Non-Homestead Assessment Increases; Delay of Scheduled Repeal – OPPOSED

 

Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment, if passed, would result in another constitutionally imposed tax break, placing more financial burdens on local governments. Like amendment 2, this will likely lead to more cuts to roads, schools, and other public services that people depend on.


5. State Courts – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment was placed on the ballot by politicians and would allow them to have greater control over which judges are chosen and which judges may retain their positions. It would politicize our system for choosing and retaining judges and replace the fair system that we have now.

Passing this amendment would weaken our system of checks and balances in government and place the future of one branch of government into the hands of another.

 

6. Prohibition on Public Funding of Abortions; Construction of Abortion Rights – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment would limit the extent of reproductive healthcare a woman would be afforded using state dollars, while also removing important privacy protections for women while they are making reproductive decisions. A woman's right to privacy and family planning is not something that our state should be denying its residents.


8. Religious Freedom – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment is not about freedom, but finance.

It would, for the first time in 126 years, allow public funds to go directly to private religious entities. Making such a change to our state constitution would allow the defunding of public schools in order to fund privately run religious schools.

Florida taxpayers invest in a public school system so that every child is allowed an education and every parent is allowed to have a say in the school system. Giving tax dollars away to private entities in such a manner means funneling our money into institutions that do not have to follow the same rules in accepting all students, meeting the needs of all of our kids, and keeping education free for every child in every community.

The only way to ensure a fair and free educational system with our tax dollars is to ensure they stay in the public school system.



9. Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

For the same reasons we oppose amendments 2 and 4, we do not support this amendment which would continue to cut revenue to local governments.


 

10. Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

This amendment gives tax breaks to businesses only and causes the same problems as amendments 2, 4, and 9. It drains our public revenue and makes it more difficult to fund public services.


11. Additional Homestead Exemption for Low-Income Seniors who Maintain Long-Term Residency on Property; Equal to Assessed Value – OPPOSED

Why does Organize Now opposed this amendment?

This amendment presents the same problems as amendments 2,4, and 9. While there would be minimal tax relief for seniors who own homes, losing those funds would result in hurting the other services that seniors and the greater community need and depend on.



12. Appointment of Student Body President to Board of Governors of the State University System – OPPOSED


Why does Organize Now oppose this amendment?

Currently, state university students are able to have a say in what happens with their schools (tuition fees, class sizes, etc.) by being part of the Florida Student Association, a group which is controlled by students and has representation on the Board of Governors. Their president, elected by students, is who sits on the Board of Governors to help make decisions for our state university system.

This amendment creates a brand new process for representation to that board without giving students the chance to vote for their representative. Bureaucracy without democracy is a bad way to choose leadership.

 

 

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