NewsNationalDemocracy 2018

Actions

2018 Florida Amendments: Which were approved?

Posted: 6:29 PM, Nov 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-07 04:06:46Z
2018 Florida Amendments: Which were approved?

Florida’s ballot for the 2018 election contains 12 proposed amendments to the state’s Constitution.  Here's how they fared: (Real-time results here)

All amendments must receive 60% approval to pass.

Amendment 1
Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Result:

Yes 58%
No 42% (Denied)
(99% reporting)

Background
This amendment was put on the ballot by the Florida Legislature by a vote in 2017.

Wording on the ballot
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.

In plain English
It increases the amount of a home’s value that is exempted from property taxes.

 

Download the FOX 4 FREE app that offers real-time news and weather from across Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Southwest Florida

 

Amendment 2
Limitations on Property Tax Assessments

Result:
Yes 66% (Approved)
No 34%
(99% reporting)

Background
This amendment was also placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature. It was originally on the ballot in 2008 and voters approved the 10% annual cap.

Wording on the ballot
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified non-homestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.

In plain English
There is an existing cap on non-homestead property assessments. This would make it permanent.

Amendment 3
Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

Result:
Yes 71% (Approved)
No 29%
(99% reporting)

Background
Unlike the previous two amendments, this one was brought by a citizen’s group.

Wording on the ballot
This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts. 

The amendment’s impact on state and local government revenues and costs, if any, cannot be determined at this time because of its unknown effect on gambling operations that have not been approved by voters through a constitutional amendment proposed by a citizens’ initiative petition process.

In plain English
Citizens would get the right – through a vote – to decide whether to authorize casino gambling operations in the state. The Florida Legislature would not be able to make such decisions.

Amendment 4
Voting Restoration Amendment

Result:
Yes 64% (Approved)
No 36%
(99% reporting)

Background
This amendment was placed on the ballot by a citizen’s group. Florida is one of only a handful of states that ban felons from voting after they completed their sentences. Such restrictions have typically been found in the South and date to the post-Civil War era. Additional efforts by these states were instituted against the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The issue has been a hot potato in Florida – in 1968, there were efforts to re-enact such voting prohibitions. A decade ago, former governor Charlie Crist began the process to restore the right to vote, but Governor Rick Scott enacted new laws to further limit restoration of voting rights. The fight continues on both sides

Wording on the ballot
The amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently banned from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case-by-case basis.

The precise effect of this amendment on state and local government costs cannot be determined, but the operation of current voter registration laws, combined with an increased number of felons registering to vote, will produce higher overall costs relative to the processes in place today. 

In plain English
Restores the right to vote for most people with prior felony convictions once they finish their sentences. 

Amendment seeks to restore voting rights for 1.5M felons

 

Amendment 5
Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Result:
Yes 66% (Approved)
No 34%
(99% reporting)

Background
This amendment was also placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature. 

Wording on the ballot
Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

In plain English
It requires a two-thirds vote of the Florida Legislature in order to increase taxes. Currently, most tax measures need only a simple majority vote to pass. 

Amendment 6
Rights of Crime Victims; Judges

Result:
Yes 62% (Approved)
No 38%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from 70 to 75 years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age.

MORE: Local woman pushes for passage of victim's right amendment

In plain English
Places into the Florida Constitution victims’ rights. It also increased the age for judges to retire to 75 and disallows judges from deferring to government agencies to interpret the law.

Amendment 7
First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits;
Public Colleges and Universities

Result:
Yes 66% (Approved)
No 34%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waiver of certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members who die performing official duties. Requires supermajority votes by university trustees and state university system board of governors to raise or impose all legislatively authorized fees if law requires approval by those bodies. Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure.

In plain English
Requires the state to pay death benefits to families of first responders and military personnel. It also requires a supermajority vote to increase fees at public universities.

Amendment 8

* Did not qualify for ballot – the Supreme Court removed the measure, maintaining that the amendment, which was proposed by the Constitutional Revision Commission, misled voters and did not state its real intent. It also contained different issues in one “bundled” amendment.

Download the FOX 4 FREE app that offers real-time news and weather from across Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Southwest Florida

Amendment 9
Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces

Result:
Yes 69% (Approved)
No 31%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.

In plain English
Bans offshore drilling for oil and gas. It also limits the use of vaping in indoor workplaces.

Amendment 10
State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Result:
Yes 63% (Approved)
No 37%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Requires legislature to retain department of veterans’ affairs. Ensures election of sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court in all counties; removes country charters’ ability to abolish, change term, transfer duties, or eliminate election of these offices. Changes annual legislative session commencement date in even-numbered years from March to January; removes legislature’s authorization to fix another date. Creates office of domestic security and counterterrorism within department of law enforcement.

In plain English
It prohibits counties from abolishing certain local offices, requires that the existence of a Department of Veteran’s Affairs be constitutionally mandated, and changes the starting date for the legislative session (second Tuesday in January).

Amendment 11
Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes

Result:
Yes 62% (Approved)
No 38%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights. Removes obsolete language repealed by voters. Deletes provision that amendment of a criminal statute will not affect prosecution or penalties for a crime committed before the amendment; retains current provision allowing prosecution of a crime committed before the repeal of a criminal statute.

In plain English
This amendment repeals bans on aliens owning property in the state, the requirement for high-speed rail systems from the Florida Constitution, and other items.

Amendment 12
Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Result:
Yes 79% (Approved)
No 21%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment.

Wording on the ballot
Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.

In plain English
Bans public officials from lobbying for money while they are in office and for a period of six years after leaving office.

Amendment 13
Ends Dog Racing

Result:
Yes 69% (Approved)
No 31%
(99% reporting)

Background
The Florida Legislature authorized a “Constitution Revision Commission” which referred this measure as a possible constitutional amendment. Dog racing is one of several “pari-mutuel” wagering or gaming sports in Florida. 

MORE: Future of greyhound racing in Florida on the line in general election

Wording on the ballot
Phasing out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

In plain English
Bans dog racing and gambling on dog racing (greyhounds and other breeds).

Voters say goodbye to dog racing in Florida