On The Ballot Part 2

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By: former Boca Councilman Robert Weinroth

Last month, I began to outline a summary of proposals that will be posed to voters on the ballot this month.

To review the full language of the CRC proposals, go to: http://flcrc.gov/PublishedContent/ADMINISTRATIVEPUBLICATIONS/CRCFinalReport.pdf

Here are the remaining questions you will face in November:

QUESTION 7 / CRC Revision 2: 

If approved, a minimum vote threshold for university boards of trustees and the board of governors to impose or authorize a new fee or increase an existing fee would be established. It goes on to specify the purposes of the State College System and provide for the governance structure of the system; and establish the right of survivors of specified first responders and military members to death benefits.

The League of Women Voters of Florida offers the following analysis:

  • Universities’ boards of trustees and the state Board of Governors would require a supermajority approval from their members to increase student fees or impose new ones;
  • It would make the governing framework for state colleges a part of the Constitution;
  • It would create a constitutional requirement for state and local governments to pay death benefits to first responders;
  • It would expand the definition of first responders under state law to include paramedics and emergency medical technicians;
  • It would require the state to provide death benefits to members of the U.S. military who are either residents of Florida or who are stationed in the state; and
  • It would create a financial burden on local and state government from paying death benefits to a larger group of first responders and members of the military for which funding is not identified.

Approval of this revision is supported by the Association of Florida Colleges and opposed by the League of Women Voters of Florida; Florida Education Association.

QUESTION 9 / CRC Revision 4: 

If approved, the revision will prohibit the drilling for exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas in specified state waters; and establish a general        prohibition on the use of vapor-generating electronic devices in enclosed indoor workplaces.

This proposal is supported by the Florida Wildlife Federation; Gulf Restoration Network; American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; League of Women Voters of Florida; and Florida Policy Institute; Progress Florida. Opponents include the Florida Petroleum Council; Associated Industries of Florida; Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association; Florida Education Association; and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

QUESTION 10 / CRC Revision 5: 

The proposed revision would require the Legislature to convene for regular session on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year; establish the Office of Domestic Security and Counterterrorism within the FDLE; require, rather than authorize, the Legislature to provide for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and prescribe its duties by general law and to remove the authority of a county charter or a special law to provide for choosing county officers in a manner other than election and to prohibit a county charter from abolishing county officers, transferring the duties of a county officer to another officer or office, changing the length of  terms of county officers, or establishing any manner of selection of county officers other than by election.

This revision is opposed by both the League of Women Voters of Florida; Florida Education Association

QUESTION 11 / CRC Revision 6: 

The proposed revision would to remove a provision authorizing laws that regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition, and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship; remove prohibition on the retroactive application of changes in criminal laws to punishment of previously committed crimes; and delete an obsolete Constitutional provision regarding the development of a high speed ground transportation system.

This revision is supported by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and opposed by the Florida Education Association.

QUESTION 12 / CRC Revision 7: 

The proposed revision would create a new section of the State Constitution to establish certain restrictions for specified public officers and the judiciary regarding lobbying for compensation of another person or entity before certain government bodies and to prohibit the abuse of a public position by public officers and employees.

Supporters: Integrity Florida; Common Cause; and the Florida Policy Institute; Opponents: Florida Education Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce

QUESTION 13 / CRC Revision 8: 

Originally, a circuit judge struck the greyhound-racing ban from the ballot. However, the Supreme Court of Florida has reinstated the proposal.

If approved, the racing of, and wagering on, greyhounds and other dogs would be prohibited after a specified date.

Supporters: Grey2K USA and the League of Women Voters of Florida; Opponents: Florida Greyhound Association; Florida Education Association; and the Florida Chamber of Commerce

QUESTION 13 / PBC School Question:

Shall the School Board of Palm Beach County have authority to levy 1 mill of ad valorem millage?

The money would, according the the School District of PBC, be dedicated to the operational needs of District public schools to fund school safety equipment, hire additional school police and mental health professionals, fund arts, music, physical education, career and choice program teachers, and improve teacher pay beginning July 1, 2019. The authority, if approved, automatically sunsets on June 30, 2023. Oversight over the expenditures would be the responsibility if an independent finance committee of citizens and experts.

The School Board has provided the following justifications for the request:

  1. Enhance Public Safety:
  • Maintain a certified law enforcement officer in every school.
  • Hire additional police officers and purchase additional safety equipment.
  • Hire additional mental health professionals – school counselors, social workers and psychologists – to support the social and emotional well being of student.
  1. Keep Arts & Music Education:
  • Continue to fund over 650 Art, Music, PE, Health, Choice and Career education teachers.
  • Ensure there are no cuts made to existing teaching staff levels.
  1. Improve teacher pay with retention supplement based on years of experience