2018 Proposed Constitutional Amendments 6-13

2018 Proposed Constitutional Amendments 6-13
The following proposed amendments 6 through 13 were drafted by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), which met in 2017.

Amendment 6 contains 3 provisions: 1) It would expand victim’s rights beyond those already contained in law. It would, in addition, eliminate a constitutional provision that prevents a victim’s rights from infringing on the rights of the accused. 2) It would raise the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices and judges from 70 to 75. 3) It would prohibit courts and judges from depending on an administrative agency’s interpretation of a law. Supporting this amendment are 37 Florida sheriffs and Florida Smart Justice. Opposition comes from the Florida Public Defender Association, ACLU of Florida, League of Women Voters of Florida, and the Florida Education Association.

Amendment 7 also has 3 parts: 1) It would impose a requirement that universities’ boards of trustees and the state Board of Governors get supermajority approval from their members to increase student fees or impose new ones. 2) It would add a governing framework for state colleges to the Florida Constitution. 3) It would require payment of death benefits to the dependents of first responders or military personnel killed in the line of duty. The Association of Florida Colleges supports passage of this amendment. The League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida Education Association oppose it.

Amendment 8 is another 3-part amendment: 1) It would impose 8-year term limits on school board members, equivalent to 2 consecutive 4-year terms. 2) It would allow the state to establish specialized or charter schools that would not be under control of local school boards. 3) It would mandate the teaching of “civic literacy” classes in public schools. (Note: Florida law already requires a semester of civics education for middle school students.)

Amendment 9 has 2 parts: 1) It would prohibit drilling for oil or natural gas in “state waters,” which are defined as about 9 miles off the western and southern coasts and at least 3 miles off the eastern coast, as well as “bays, estuaries and other waters under Florida’s jurisdiction.” 2) It would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes or “vaping” in indoor workplaces. Supporting this amendment are Florida Wildlife Federation, Gulf Restoration Network, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Policy Institute, and Progress Florida. Opponents are Florida Petroleum Council, Associated Industries of Florida, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, Florida Education Association, and Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Amendment 10 consists of 4 parts: 1) It would force the legislature to begin its session on the second Tuesday of January in even-numbered years. 2) It would create an Office of Domestic Security and Counterterrorism within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 3) It would mandate the creation of a state Department of Veterans’ Affairs. 4) It would force all counties to elect a sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, and Clerk of Circuit Court. The League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida Education Association stand opposed to this amendment.

Amendment 11 ontains 3 provisions: 1) It would delete a constitutional provision that allows the state legislature to restrict the property rights of “aliens ineligible for citizenship.” 2) It would delete a provision that forces the state to prosecute criminal suspects under the law they were originally charged under, even if that law has been amended. 3) It would delete a section of the constitution dealing with high-speed transportation, repealed by voters in 2004. This amendment is supported by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and opposed by the Florida Education Association.

Amendment 12 would expand from 2 to 6 years the amount of time state and local officials would have to wait between leaving their official positions and working as a paid lobbyist. Supporters of this amendment include Integrity Florida, Common Cause, and Florida Policy Institute. Opposing it are the Florida Education Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Amendment 13 would ban betting on any type of dog racing as of Dec. 31, 2020. However, dog tracks could continue to offer other types of gambling, including poker rooms. Support for this amendment comes from Grey2K USA, and the League of Women Voters of Florida. Opposition comes from Florida Greyhound Association, Florida Education Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Passage of any amendment requires a 60% majority vote. The amendments that survive court challenges will appear on the ballots in the 2018 Florida general election on Tuesday, 6 November. To vote in this election, you will need to be registered to vote by 9 October.

You Should Also Read:
A History of the Florida Constitution
2018 Proposed Constitutional Amendments 1-5

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