Guide for Voters on the Six Amendments

Click here for Citrus County Sample ballot, (all precincts except 105, 409, 410)

Amendment 1: Repeal of public financing requirement

–What it would do: End the constitutional requirement of public financing for political campaigns. The Legislature created public financing for statewide campaigns in 1987, arguing it was becoming too expensive to run for public office. In 1988, voters added the requirement to the state Constitution. This year, the Legislature voted to place the proposed amendment on the ballot to remove the public financing system.

–Proponents say: Public financing for candidates is akin to “welfare for politicians.”

–Opponents say: Removing public financing increases the impact of special-interest money in politics.

EYEONCITRUS POSITION:  VOTE NO Politics are controlled by big money, the only chance an independent can hope to have in running against such a backdrop of  Big Money is for this to remain in effect.  In fact, all private funding of elections should be outlawed. The politicians who receive these monies hold no allegiance to the people, who they are suppose to represent. If there were equally funded candidates (which could be accomplished with only public funding) the issues would be the deciding factor in a election, rather than who can bombard the citizenry with untold advertisements, which dull the mind and blur the issues.

Amendment 2: Tax break for deployed military personnel

–What it would do: Provides a property tax reduction to every Floridian serving in the military outside the United States. The amount of the tax break would depend on the number of days the resident serves overseas. The amendment would affect about 25,525 military personnel who call Florida their home.

–Proponents say: The proposed amendment received unanimous support in 2009 from both the House and Senate.

–Opponents say: There is no organized opposition.

EYEONCITRUS POSITION: VOTE YES It goes without saying, our military it too often abandoned after they have served our country. It has happen countless of times.

Amendment 4: Control over changes to growth plans

–What it would do: Would require voter approval of changes to comprehensive growth-management plans. An organization called “Hometown Democracy” gathered petition signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Right now county commissions and city councils approve comprehensive plan amendments, which then are reviewed by the Department of Community Affairs for consistency to the state’s growth management law. The amendment would require final approval by voters before the plans are changed.

–Proponents say: Elected officials are too eager to change growth-management plans to accommodate growth at the expense of local taxpayers and the environment. They ignore the wishes of voters, whose only recourse is to remove elected officials at the polls.

–Opponents say: Requiring voter approval of comprehensive plan changes would cripple the economy and lead to massive job loss. Developers would not want to risk the expense of proposing comprehensive plan changes to see them approved by a county commission and rejected by voters. Comprehensive plan changes in and of themselves are complex documents that require extensive study by county and city officials, something that voters likely would not bother with before voting against plan changes.

EYEONCITRUS POSITION: VOTE YES Putting the power into the People’s hands is always the wise decision.

Amendments 5 & 6: Changes in redistricting process

–What it would do: Prohibit the drawing of state legislative or congressional boundary lines in order to favor or disfavor any incumbent or political party. The districts would have to be compact and utilize existing geographical boundaries. The rules would protect minority representation rights. Amendment 5 is state legislative redistricting and Amendment 6 is congressional redistricting.

–Proponents say: Establish easily understood, nonpartisan guidelines in drawing legislative boundaries.

–Opponents say: Impossible to draw lines solely along geographical boundaries and prevent legislators from creating minority-balanced districts.

EYEONCITRUS POSITION: VOTE YES This would prevent the politicians from manipulating the district lines in order to gain an unfair advantage in their elections. This occurred on the redistricting of Karen Thurman‘s district (several years ago) resulting in a exceptional office holder losing her reelection bid due to the redrawing of her district lines!

Amendment 8: Relaxation of class-size requirements

–What it would do: Changes the calculation for class-size maximums from per-class to schoolwide averages. Voters in 2002 passed the class-size amendment that set the maximum number of students per classroom in public schools across the state. The amendment would allow districts to set class-size numbers based on the average students per school rather than class-specific.

–Proponents say: The 2002 amendment is costing millions of dollars to implement; it is rigid and unmanageable. The amendment would still reduce class sizes while giving flexibility to school districts.

–Opponents say: Amendment waters down the 2002 version, where voters wanted to limit specific class sizes. Students and teachers benefit from small class sizes.

EYEONCITRUS POSITION: VOTE YES It would help reduce costs and still maintain smaller class sizes based upon individual schools and their capabilities.