On Your Ballot: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
How does the constitutional amendment process work?
Changes to the Florida Constitution can be proposed by a joint resolution of the Florida Legislature, citizens’ initiative process, the Constitutional Revision Commission, or the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.
Proposed amendments require 60% approval from voters to pass.
Thirteen proposed constitutional amendments or revisions will appear on the 2018 General Election Ballot. To view or download a copy of these amendments, visit the Florida Division of Elections website.
Does the Leon County Democratic Party recommend positions on these amendments?
Yes. On September 10, the Steering Committee of the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee voted to take a position on the ballot amendments, as recommended by the Elected Officials/Legislative Committee. These recommendations were approved by the full membership of the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee on September 24.
I’ve heard that some amendments have been removed from the ballot by the courts. Is this true?
The Supreme Court has removed Amendment 8 from the November 2018 Ballot, upholding the decision by a lower court that Amendment 8 misled voters by not clearly stating its true purpose and never mentioning charter schools by name. The Court approved three other appealed amendments, 6, 10 and 13. They will stay on the ballot.
Some of the other proposed amendments are still being reviewed by the Supreme Court. We will update this site when the Supreme Court rules.
|Amendment Number||Recommended Vote||Summary|
|1||NO||A homestead property tax cut that deprives cities and counties of the revenue they need and makes property taxes more regressive by creating a new exemption that applies only to homes appraised over $100,000.|
|2||NO||Makes permanent a limit on property tax increases for commercial and rental property and vacation homes that would be better dealt with outside the constitution.|
|3||Prohibits new non-tribal casinos without approval by citizen initiative; the Leon County Democratic Party has not taken a position.|
|4||YES||Restores the right to vote to Floridians convicted of a felony who completed their sentence (excluding murder and sex crimes). Florida has more former felons banned from voting than any other state, and is 1 of only 4 states that take away voting rights permanently. Our voting ban is the worst voter suppression measure in the country.|
|5||NO||Prohibits any new tax, increased tax, or removal of tax exemption without approval by a 2/3 majority of both houses of the Legislature and the Governor, making it virtually impossible to fix our current arbitrary and regressive tax laws that starve government of the revenue needed to solve our problems.|
|6||NO||(Multi-issue) Purports to create victim rights that are already protected. Pressures judges to rush criminal cases, which will lead to more wrongful convictions and make it harder to exonerate the wrongly convicted. Increases the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 to 75, but does so in a way that will lead to more trial judges appointed by the governor and fewer elected by the voters.|
|7||NO||(Multi-issue) Makes it harder for universities to raise money from fees, and singles out certain government employees for special benefits.|
|8||Charter Schools: Removed from the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court.|
|9||YES||(Multi-issue) Prohibits offshore oil and gas drilling out to the limit of state jurisdiction, an important step toward protecting our waters and beaches. Prohibits indoor vaping.|
|10||NO||(Multi-issue) The most important proposal in this amendment would take away the power of charter counties to choose their own government structure.|
|11||YES||(Multi-issue) The most important proposal in this amendment would make it possible for the Legislature to lessen the punishment for crimes already committed, even for people in prison.|
|12||NO||Bans for 6 years lobbying by former state and local agency heads and elected officials – pretends to root out corruption but actually ignores the main sources of corruption – campaign donations and the business interests of elected officials – and instead attacks the ability of former public servants to make a living.|
|13||YES||Bans dog racing and gambling on dog races. Animal rights advocates have long decried the cruelty to greyhounds inherent in being trained and kept for racing. Slot machines and poker rooms now allowed at dog racing venues would still be allowed.|