Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 17, 2012, 11:48 a.m. EST by Underdog
from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Please take a quick moment to at least glance at the titles of 11 Florida Constitutional Amendments contained in this link. that are on the upcoming November 6, 2012 ballot. A cursory overview will clearly show that most of them were likely placed on the ballot by Conservative and/or Republican efforts. The most disturbing thing about these amendments is the very fact that they are just that -- amendments to the state constitution. All of these attempts at change of law could have been enacted as regular Florida legislation without the need of state constitutional amendment. But by presenting these as referendums to making them Florida State Constitutional law, the repeal process becomes much, much harder. So this is some really serious effort here to push conservative ideology into the state constitution.
Let me just touch on some of the highlights for you.
Proposed Amendment 1 begins as follows: "Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to prohibit laws or rules from compelling any person or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage..." etc. etc. etc.
This means whoever got this on the ballot is opposed to Obamacare and will try to prevent its implementation in Florida through state constitutional amendment.
Proposed Amendments number 2, 9, and 11 all have to do with changes in Homestead Exemption tax, and all of them want to lower that tax. Florida is one of the very few states in the country that has no state income tax. That is the reason why everyone from all over the country flocks here when they retire. But Florida needs income just as much as most other states do. The Florida Lottery will not get it there. This is a Republican tax-cut strategy at the state level, despite the need for taxes to run the state.
Proposed Amendment 5 has to do with the State Court system, and this is an obvious conservative ploy. The most disturbing sentence in this wording on the ballot is this:
The State Constitution authorizes the Supreme Court to adopt rules for the practice and procedure in all courts. The constitution further provides that a rule of court may be repealed by a general law enacted by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature. This proposed constitutional revision eliminates the requirement that a general law repealing a court rule pass by a two-thirds vote of each house, thereby providing that the Legislature may repeal a rule of court by a general law approved by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature that expresses the policy behind the repeal.
What this means is that the Legislative body would be able to strip the Court of its ruling anytime it doesn't like the ruling and can muster a simple majority in both houses of state government. Republicans complain about the court system legislating from the bench. This Amendment would give them the power to make the judicial system virtually meaningless on any significant legislation they might pass that the court would rule against. So why even have a court system at all? This is an outrage and an insult to anyone who understands the purpose and function of the court system in the US. The court system is part of the checks and balances upon which our government rests (the famous three-legged stool). This law would try to effectively limit, if not actually abolish, the court's capability of keeping bad laws in check.
Proposed Amendment 6: Prohibition of Public Funding of Abortions; Construction of Abortion Rights
Read it for yourself. It is a short proposal as stated on the ballot. Need I say more? Do you think progressives put it there?
But I have saved the most serious proposed amendment for last.
Proposed Amendment 8: Religious Freedom
This is so over-the-top I am reproducing it in full below.
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution providing that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.
WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF??????
This is an outright attempt to create a Theocracy by rule of law, effectively merging Church and State, and eliminating the traditional wall that separates them. If this passes, and the ACLU doesn't take it up and argue it successfully at the US Federal Court level (not excluding the SCOTUS), then this would be a dangerous precedent for the rest of the country. Jefferson would be turning over in his grave about this one. If you were an atheist or agnostic, would you want your tax dollars spent like this??? The nerve and audacity to plainly word this proposed amendment so openly by conservatives clearly indicates that they feel they have a good chance of voting this in. And I wouldn't be surprised, given the fact that there are so many Republicans in this state and so many conservative retirees here. They are praying and appealing to their God that He will pass this into law. So let me appeal to Him and pray that he will piss all over them and not allow it to pass. FU Conservatives on this one!!!! Shame!!!
I simply could not believe it when I saw all of these conservative proposals to alter the State Constitution. I could not detect ONE proposed amendment having to due with progressive policy changes. It is all about anti-tax, anti-abortion, anti-church/state separation, and all of the other conservative "anti-ism" that has been going around for decades.
If you are a Florida voter reading this, I strongly urge you to vote NO to ALL of these proposed constitutional amendments. Even if you agree with them, you don't have to change the constitution to have them implemented. The same thing can be accomplished by simple passage of law in the existing state legislature. But the conservatives want a constitutional amendment on ALL of these, because they know it will be a LOT harder to get these repealed if they become law as constitutional amendments rather than law enacted under the existing state constitution.