There are several amendments to the Florida state constitution on the ballot this year. Changes to the constitution are not easily undone, and therefore require a bit of study. Panama City voters will find some links on this page labeled “Allyn Kemp’s Favorite Links” these are links to several discussions about these amendments. They are informative and easy to read.
There are six of these amendments, and I’ll include a very brief description below:
Repeal of public campaign financing requirement. Currently people running for office who abide by the rules can get some public campaign money. This benefits third party candidates.
An extra homestead AD Valorem tax credit for active duty military personnel serving outside the continental limits of the U.S.A., in support of operations designated by the legislature.
A voter referendum would be required for adoption and changes to local government comprehensive land use plans. These plans involve some serious zoning restrictions and I think the citizens should have an opportunity to vote on them.
Amendments #5 and #6
These two amendments apply standards for drawing legislative districts and congressional districts. The process now used allows these districts to be drawn to benefit a political party. The new boundaries must be compact and can not be drawn to include or exclude certain citizens. The old boundaries allowed the lines to assume the shape of a snake, or to include citizens in one area, and then jump to another area to include more citizens of the same demographic make up. Opponents are the two political parties.
This amendment increases the current class size set by the voters in 2002. The class size determines how many class rooms and teachers will be required. The proposed changes are below:
2002 Class Size
Grades Kindergarten to Grade 3, 18 Students
Grades 4 to 8, 22 Students
Grades 9 to 12 25 Students
Grades Kindergarten to Grade 3, 21 Students
Grades 4 to 8, 27 Students
Grades 9 to 12 30 Students
School administrators generally favor this amendment, the teachers union does not. This change would save money by reducing the need for some additional class rooms, and additional teachers.
The links I mentioned at the beginning tell who opposes these amendments, and why, and what the proponents hope to gain. I hope you will take a few minutes and read the information you will find there.