2020 Florida Constitutional Amendment Guidance
Amendment 1: VOTE NO
The Florida Constitution permits “every” US citizen to vote. This amendment proposes the substitution of “only” for “every,” which would make no substantive change to Florida’s constitution, which already limits voting to US Citizens. This change of wording does not merit your support.
Amendment 2: VOTE YES
The amendment would set the minimum wage at $10 per hour as of September 30, 2021, increasing $1 per hour for five years, followed by annual inflation adjustments. The minimum wage has not been significantly increased for decades, and the changes will bring the minimum wage closer to a living wage and is important to families. We support equal rights and equal opportunity for all, and this change promotes social and economic justice necessary to so many Americans. Florida’s present minimum wage yields $17,800 a year for a full-time worker, which doesn’t come close to a living wage for a family of four. Please vote in favor of this amendment.
Amendment 3: VOTE NO
Primary elections for state officers and legislators would become a “jungle primary” with a single pool of candidates, then the top 2 have a run-off general election. Analysts project a reduction in civic engagement and in diverse representation, noting Florida voter participation is especially low in non-partisan elections, which are similar. The Florida League of Women Voters specifically foresees a strong adverse impact on African-American representation in Florida, as do other good government groups. There is an economic cost to this proposal, for it would add several millions to every county’s budget expenses for the first several years of implementation, which may be difficult for local governments. This proposal is opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, the Florida League of Women’s Voters and the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida, Inc.
Amendment 4: VOTE NO
Eliminates the long-standing constitutional right of Floridians to pass a constitutional amendment in a single election. The sponsors want voters to win two elections instead, making it harder and more expensive for voters to require change on issues important to voters. Florida’s League of Women Voters observes it would significantly limit citizens’ ability to engage in direct democracy because of these factors.
Amendment 5: Vote Yes
This amendment expands the time to apply for homestead portability from 2 years to 3 years for Save-Our-Homes benefits transfer from an old to a new homestead. The problem addressed is that the period is based on calendar years – a homeowner selling a home late in a year with the building of a new house taking more than a year would not be able to obtain portability. The Tampa Bay Times and the Pinellas County Democratic Party support the amendment.
Amendment 6: Vote Yes
This amendment is a “surviving spouse” benefit of a deceased veteran, which would permit a homestead property tax discount to be granted to a surviving spouse, and remain in effect until the surviving spouse remarries, sells or disposes of the property. The provision will increase stabilization of homeownership for widows and widowers.