Monday, February 8, 2010

Amendments on the November ballot.

Here are the amendments on the Nov. 2 election ballot that Deirdre Macnab was talking about in class today.

Floridians will see questions on campaign finance, property taxes, growth plans and legislative redistricting come November.

Repeal of public campaign finance laws - The Florida Legislature voted in the spring to put before voters a proposed amendment that would repeal the public campaign financing for statewide campaigns. In 2006, the state shelled out $11,133,761 to 10 candidates for statewide office. Gov. Charlie Crist received about $7.4 million, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink received about $1 million, Attorney General Bill McCollum received $897,104 and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson received $393,459.

Homestead ad valorem tax - The Legislature is asking voters to provide an additional homestead property tax exemption for members of the U.S. military or military reserves, the U.S. Coast Guard or its reserves, or the Florida National Guard, who receive a homestead exemption and were deployed in the previous year on active duty outside of the United States.

The exempt amount will be based on the number of days the person was deployed.Property tax limit for non-homestead property –

The Legislature also put on the ballot a proposal to limit the maximum annual increase in the assessed value of non-homestead property to 5 percent. It also requires the Legislature to provide another homestead exemption for people who have not owned a principal residence during the last eight years.

Amendment 4 - Hometown Democracy – The group known as Florida Hometown Democracy garnered enough signatures to place an amendment on the ballot that would require changes to local comprehensive growth plans to be approved by local voters at the polls. Backers say the measure would end what they call undue influence by local developers. However, opponents argue it would make it much more difficult for local governments to make even small, necessary changes for local community growth.

Redistricting – The group Fair District Florida collected signatures for Amendments Five and Six, which deal with the redrawing of legislative and congressional districts. The proposed amendment prohibits officials from drawing legislative districts that favor incumbents or political parties and sets up other requirements also known as gerrymandering.

Amendment Five deals with the Florida House and Senate seats and Amendment Six addresses Florida's congressional seats.

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