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KrisAnne Hall's Guide to the 2012 Florida Constitutional Amendments

KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor, fired after teaching the Constitution to TEA Party groups - she would not sacrifice liberty for a paycheck. She is a disabled veteran of the US Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor's wife and a patriot.  She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents.

Click here for KrisAnne's Guide

 


2012 Florida Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Amendments are often the hardest documents to understand when they are on a ballot. On November 6, 2012 Florida will have 11 Constitutional Amendments that will be voted on. The Santa Rosa Tea Party Patriots in partnership with The Florida Panhandle Patriots have worked together to research these amendments and that research is now available on this webpage.

Each amendment is presented in its entirety, and links have been provided for further research as some information was too lengthy to post. You will find articles that have been compiled from many resources including the web. In an attempt to give a balanced prospective there are documents of support and opposition. This information is for educational purposes only so that you have the opportunity to make an educated choice in November. It is our hopes that you will take advantage of this tool.

We are grateful to our researchers, Ron Webster, Cindy and Kim from The Florida Panhandle Patriots and Al Lyster from the Santa Rosa Tea Party Patriots who spent many hours researching each amendment.

Click on FULL SUMMARY to open the complete text, explanation, pros and cons, pertinent articles, as well as who supports and who opposes the amendment.

Recommendations of the voting membership of the
FL Panhandle Patriots:
Amendments 1 & 6:  YES
Amendments 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: NO
Amendment 7 has been removed from the ballot! 


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AMENDMENT #1 - CS/SJR 2: Health Care Services
EXPLANATION:
Proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit laws from compelling any Floridian/employer to purchase, obtain or provide health care coverage. This would allow a person/employer to purchase services directly from a health care provider and allow a health care provider to accept direct payment for services if a patient chooses to pay out of pocket.
FULL SUMMARY

AMENDMENT #2 - CS/SJR 592: Veteran's Property Tax Discount
EXPLANATION:
The proposed measure would allow for property tax discounts for disabled veterans. This bill explicitly extends the rights to ad valorem tax discounts, made available in 2010 to all veterans who were residents of Florida prior to their service, to all combat-disabled veterans currently living in Florida whether they were residents prior to their service or not. Under current law, disabled veterans who were Florida residents at the time they entered the service can be granted property tax relief up to the full value of their home. This change would eliminate the requirement that veterans must have been Florida residents prior to joining the services. Expected revenue loss to local governments is $2.4 million in 13-14, increasing to $7.6 million recurring by 16-17.
FULL SUMMARY



AMENDMENT #3 - SJR 958: State Government Revenue Limitation
EXPLANATION: Replaces existing revenue limits with a new limitation based on inflation and population changes.
FULL SUMMARY


AMENDMENT #4 - CS/HJR 381: Property Tax Limitations; Property Value Decline; Reduction for Non Homestead Assessment Increases; Delay of Scheduled Repeal
EXPLANATION:
This proposal does three things: 1) provides an additional homestead exemption for first time homebuyers up to the full value of their home phased out over five years, 2) reduces the assessment cap on nonhomesteaded property from 10% to 5% and delays the expiration of that cap to 2023, and 3) removes the recapture provision of all assessment caps.

The proposed amendment would prohibit increases in the assessed value of homestead property if the fair market value of the property decreases; reduces the limitation on annual assessment increases to non-homestead property; and provides an additional homestead exemption..

Specifically, non-homestead or commercial property would have their assessment increases capped at 3 percent per year. The property tax rate would also be lowered to 10 percent for rental and 5 percent for commercial properties. According to reports, this will put non-homestead or commercial property owners in line with the benefit received by homestead owners.

Additionally, the measure would implement an additional homestead exemption for first-time buyers equal to 50 percent of the median home price in the county. The additional exemption, however, would be gradually reduced until it expires within 5 years.
FULL SUMMARY


Amendment #5 - CS/HJR 7111 Florida Supreme Court
- Proposing a revision of Article V of the State Constitution relating to the judiciary
EXPLANATION:
This revision also removes the power of the Governor to request files of the Judicial Qualifications Commission to conform to a prior constitutional change. This revision also makes technical and clarifying additions and deletions relating to the selection of chief judges of a circuit and relating to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and makes other nonsubstantive conforming and technical changes in the judicial article of the constitution.

The proposed bill proposes that three justices be added to the seven-member court. Additionally, two divisions - civil and criminal - would be created within the high court with five justices each. The governor would be in charge of appointing the chief justices for each division and two would alternate as chief justice of the entire court. Appointees would have to be confirmed by the Senate. The proposed legislation also grants the House access to investigative files of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and sets aside at least 2.25 percent of the state's general revenue to fund the judicial branch.

FULL SUMMARY

Amendment # 6 - CS/HJR 1179 - Abortion/Public Funding/Construction of Rights
EXPLANATION: Proposes an amendment to prohibit public dollars from funding abortions. This would prohibit the State Constitution from being interpreted to create broader rights than those contained in the U.S. Constitution. Exempts federal law requirements, physician-certified physical danger to the mother and instances of rape or incest.
FULL SUMMARY

Amendment # 8 - CS/HJR 1471 - Religious Freedom
EXPLANATION: Proposes an amendment to remove a prohibition on revenues from public treasury being used to aid any church, sect or religious denomination in aid of a sectarian institution. This would insure that no individual/entity can be denied any government benefit, funding or support based on religious identity or belief.
FULL SUMMARY

Amendment # 9 - CS/HJR 93 - Florida Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses
EXPLANATION: If enacted this amendment would authorize the legislature to totally or partially exempt surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty from paying property taxes. It creates a new homestead exemption for surviving spouses of the military and first responders killed in the line of duty. Exemption can be granted for the full value of the home. Expected revenue loss to local governments is $0.6 million starting in 13-14.
FULL SUMMARY

Amendment #10 - CS/HJR 1003 - Florida Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption

EXPLANATION: If enacted this amendment would provide an exemption from ad valorem taxes levied by local governments on tangible personal property that's value is greater than $25,000 but less than $50,000. It doubles the current exemption on tangible personal property taxes to $50,000. This could impact your business if you have tangible personal property like machinery of between $25,000 and $50,000. Expected revenue loss to local governments is $20.1 million beginning in 13-14.
FULL SUMMARY

Amendment #11 - CS/HJR 169 – Additional Homestead Tax Exemption for Seniors
EXPLANATION:
If enacted this amendment would enable the state legislature to authorize counties and municipalities to offer additional tax exemptions on the homes of low-income seniors.
It will also provide an additional exemption to low-income seniors if counties and municipalities choose to offer it. There are a number of eligibility requirements and 100% of taxes owed can be exempted. Expected revenue loss to local governments is $9.1 million in 14-15.
FULL SUMMARY

Amendment # 12 - CS/HJR 931 – Board of Governors/Student Member of Board of Governors
EXPLANATION: If enacted this amendment would replace the president of the Florida Student Association with the chair of the council of state university student body presidents as the student member of the Board of Governors of the State University System. The amendment also requires that the Board of Governors create a council of state university student body presidents.
FULL SUMMARY

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