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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Sep. 17, 202005:10 AM EST

Six amendments on ballot for Florida voters

Minimum wage, open primary among the potential changes to the state constitution.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

With the level of national media attention surrounding the presidential election Nov. 3, don’t forget that many other offices and issues will be decided when voters go to the polls.

In Florida, there are six ballot questions that could change the state’s constitution.

The first four amendments are citizen initiatives.

A citizen initiative requires at least 766,200 verified signatures on petitions collected from at least 14 of the 27 congressional districts.

The other two questions were placed on the ballot by the state Legislature.

The proposed amendments must receive at least 60% approval from voters to become law.

If approved by voters in November, the change would take effect Jan. 1.

Amendment 1

Citizenship requirement to vote in Florida elections.

The state constitution says “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

The amendment would change the first two words to three words: “Only a citizen.”

It is sponsored by Florida Citizen Voters.

Amendment 2

Raising Florida’s minimum wage.

Sponsored by Florida For a Fair Wage, it would increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective Sept. 30.

Each Sept. 30 thereafter, the minimum wage would increase by $1 per hour until it reaches $15 per hour Sept. 30, 2026.

Then, future minimum wage increases would be adjusted annually for inflation beginning Sept. 30, 2027.

Amendment 3

All voters vote in primary elections for state Legislature, governor and cabinet.

Sponsored by All Voters Vote Inc., the amendment proposes that all registered voters could vote in primaries for members of the state Legislature, governor and cabinet posts regardless of the voter’s political party registration.

All candidates for an office, including party-nominated candidates, would appear on the same primary ballot. The two candidates receiving the most votes would advance to the general election.

If only two candidates qualify for the election, they would not appear on the primary ballot and the winner would be determined in the general election.

The change would become effective for elections after Jan. 1, 2024, if the amendment is approved in November.

Amendment 4

Voter approval of constitutional amendments.

The amendment would require proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution be approved by voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. It would retain the current 60% approval thresholds for passage in each of the two elections. It is sponsored by Keep Our Constitution Clean PC.

Amendment 5

Limitation on homestead assessments.

The Legislature proposes amending the state constitution, effective Jan. 1, to increase, from two years to three years, the period of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

Amendment 6

Ad valorem tax discount for spouses of certain deceased veterans who had permanent combat-related disabilities.

The Legislature proposes that the homestead property tax discount for veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities would carry over to the veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal title to, and permanently resides on, the homestead property until the survivor remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property.

In addition, the discount could be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions.

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