Summary of Proposed Constitutional Amendments
On the general election ballot in November, voters will be presented with eleven proposed amendments to Florida’s Constitution. State Senator Mike Fasano wants all voters to be informed about the impact each potential amendment will have upon the state and its residents. Here is a brief amendment-by-amendment summary:
- HEALTH CARE SERVICES - prohibits any law or rule from compelling a Florida resident or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage.
- VETERANS DISABLED DUE TO COMBAT INJURY - expands eligibility for the combat-related disabled veterans’ homestead property tax discount to include veterans who were not Florida residents when they entered the military.
- STATE GOVERNMENT REVENUE LIMITATION -replaces the existing constitutional state revenue limitation based on Florida personal income growth with a new state revenue limitation based on changes in population and inflation.
- PROPERTY TAX LIMITATIONS - authorizes the Legislature to prohibit increases in the assessed value of homestead property and certain non-homestead property if the just value of the property decreases. It also reduces, from 10 percent to 5 percent, the existing limitation on annual assessment increases for specified non-homestead property. Finally, it grants new owners of homestead property, who have not received a Florida homestead exemption in the past three years, a temporary additional homestead exemption equal to 50 percent of the just value of the property.
- STATE COURTS - adds a requirement that a Supreme Court justice appointed by the Governor must also be confirmed by the Florida Senate. It also authorizes repeal of a court rule by a general law approved by the Legislature. Finally, when investigating charges against a judge, the House of Representatives will be able to review all files held by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
- PROHIBITION ON PUBLIC FUNDING OF ABORTIONS - prohibits public funds from being expended for any abortion or for health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.
- AMENDMENT #7 REMOVED FROM BALLOT
- RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - repeals a limit on the ability of state and local governments to spend funds “directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.”
- HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION - will allow the Legislature to provide property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and to the surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the line of duty.
- TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION - will grant an additional property tax exemption for tangible personal property when the owner’s property is assessed at more than $25,000, but less than $50,000.
- ADDITIONAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION -authorizes the Legislature to allow counties and municipalities to grant an additional homestead tax exemption to persons who are 65 years or older, who have maintained a permanent residence on the property for at least twenty five years, and have a household income less than $20,000.
- APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM - changes the process for selecting the student member of the Board of Governors of the state university system.
“It is my hope that all voters will be fully equipped to make intelligent decisions on these important constitutional amendments,” Senator Fasano states. “Once something is amended into the constitution it is very difficult to amend it out. Every Floridian who goes to the polls in November should be as informed as possible as they decide to either support or reject the various proposals which will be on the ballot.”
If you have any questions or need any additional information about the proposed constitutional amendments please contact Senator Mike Fasano’s office at 727-848-5885.