Florida Constitutional Amendment Recommendations
Several of you have asked me to write recommendations for the proposed state constitutional amendments and non binding referendum. I’ll give my recommendations first. If you don’t wish to or don’t have time to read my rationale on each, you don’t need to. I have provided my rationale below however along with links to the actual text that will go into the constitution if approved by 60% of the voters. Finally, I have included a link to a sermon I preached this past Sunday where I applied Biblical principles to the proposed constitutional amendments. Look for judges recommendations Sunday.
Amendment 1 – Yes.
Amendment 2 – Yes.
Amendment 4 – No.
Amendments 5 & 6 – No.
Amendment 8 – Yes.
Nonbinding Statewide Advisory Referendum – Yes.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 – Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirements
In 1986, the Florida Legislature added this provision to the state statutes to allow candidates who aren’t able to raise support from their constituents the ability to use tax dollars to fund their campaigns if their opponents’ campaigns spend more than $2 per voter. This provision was added to the FL constitution in 1998 the constitutionality of the existing amendment was challenged by Rick Scott in the primary election. Scott argued that the existing amendment restricts his free speech rights. The court agreed with Scott. The proposed amendment would remove the existing amendment from the FL Constitution.
The issue here is should the government be allowed to take your money (via taxation) and give that money to a candidate for public office whose views and positions you may or may not support? Shouldn’t each candidate be responsible to raise money for his/her campaign without reaching into your pocket via taxation? In America, each citizen should have the right to support or not support any candidate of his/her choice. The idea that the government can take your money and give it to a candidate whose views are opposite yours is repulsive. Government has no Biblical authority to take your money and give it to a political candidate, and it should not have this authority in its constitution or statutes.
I endorse Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 and ask you to vote Yes on 1.
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendment 1, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/10-71.pdf.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 – Homestead Ad Valorem Tax Credit For Deployed Military Personnel
Amendment 2 proposes giving an additional $25,000 of homestead exemption to deployed military personnel. This would mean that military personnel deployed would pay less taxes and all other tax payers would pay a larger share of taxes. Since, this amendment would affect only 25,000 Floridian service men and women, the impact on Florida’s taxpayers will be minimal; however, passage of this amendment would send a big message to current, former, and future military personnel that Florida appreciates their dedication and service. Additionally, deployed servicemen and women often find it difficult to make ends meet while deployed, and defense is a Biblical and constitutionally authorized action of government.
I endorse Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 and ask you to vote Yes on 2.
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendment 2, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/10-72.pdf
Proposed Amendment 4 – Referenda Required For Adoption and Amendment of Local Government Comprehensive Land Use Plans
If a business, church, school, institution, etc is looking to expand or build in Florida, they often need a land use change. Currently, this process entails the business, church, school, institution, etc. to prepare plans, go before a county or city board and eventually the county commission or city council for approval. This is a long arduous process that makes it more difficult for businesses to bring jobs to Florida.
Amendment 4 proposes that such questions would go to the voters on a ballot. Proponents argue that this will give you a seat at the table. Actually, it will give you one vote against the rest of the county. Businesses looking to relocate or expand will now have to wait not months but for the next ballot cycle to see if voters will approve their project. In that election, voters may be faced with a hundred or more comprehensive land use plan changes. What voter would have the time to research all of the proposed changes? Ballots could be 50-100 pages or more. Imagine the cost increase of merely printing and mailing absentee ballots.
At issue here is whether a government or the voters have the authority to determine what you can build on your property. Both the Bible and the constitution grant private property rights. I don’t see any Biblical or constitutional grounds for this kind of government control. Our current system limits freedom and expands the role of government beyond what our founding fathers intended. Amendment 4 would make matters worse. If you were a business looking to expand, would you go to the time and expense of a ballot vote to see if your project would be approved, or would you go to Houston, TX where your project can be approved in an afternoon? As you can see, most business will go elsewhere if this passes. Amendment 4 would place Florida at a disadvantage when it comes to business recruitment. Our economy is dead right now. If amendment 4 passes, our economy will be deader than dead!
I oppose Proposed Constitutional Amendment 4 and ask you to vote no on 4!
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendment 4, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/37681-2.pdf
Proposed Amendment 5 & 6 – Standards for Legislature to Follow in Legislative and Congressional Redistricting
If you look at a map of our State House and Senate and Federal Congressional maps, you’ll see that many are gerrymandered. Often this is done to give incumbents an unfair advantage; however, it is also done to give minorities an unfair advantage. The latter is why a crook like Alcee Hastings, who was impeached as a Federal judge by a Democratic controlled US House for accepting a $150,000 bribe, is elected each election cycle in Congressional District 23.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments 5 proposes creating new standards for redistricting State House and Senate districts. Proposed Amendment 6 does the same for Federal Congressional districts. Both amendments sound good when you read the summary; however, I urge you to read the actual text that will go into our constitution if these pass. These amendments call for legislative and congressional district that don’t favor or disfavor a political party or incumbent. They also call for redistricting to use geographical and/or political boundaries. If the amendments stopped there, I’d endorse them; however, they include not denying equal opportunity of minorities to participate in the political process. While I agree that redistricting should not discriminate against minorities, it also should discriminate for minorities. Again, District 23 is a prime example of discriminating for minorities. Furthermore, there are certain individuals, including Federal and State Judges, who define equal opportunity to mean equal results. Consequently, I cannot support amendments 5 and 6.
I oppose Proposed Constitutional Amendments 5 & 6 and ask you to vote no on 5 & 6!
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendments 5, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/43605-2.pdf
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendments 6, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/43605-1.pdf
Proposed Amendment 8 – Revision of the Class Size Requirements for Public Schools
The class size amendment was passed by a narrow margin back in the days when more than 50% was the requirement to pass. The current amendment was passed without disclosure to the taxpayers of the cost associated with reducing classes. Taxpayers and school districts are now feeling the effects of the class size amendment. Proposed amendment 8 would ease the requirements thus lightening the burden on taxpayers and school districts.
The public education system in our country was founded by the Puritans for the purpose of teaching every child to read so that he/she could read the Bible. The Bible, prayer, the ten commandments, and the idea that we are created by God in His image and therefore accountable to obey His commands were a part of public education in America until activist judges determined that our constitution doesn’t allow for such practices that were practiced prior to and after the creation of the constitution and bill of rights. Since we’ve removed God from schools, student behavior has deteriorated substantially and the quality of education has rapidly declined. At the founding of this country, we had 13 year olds who had graduated from high school and college and were mature enough to serve as ambassadors to foreign countries. Today, it’s not uncommon for a 13 year old to be functionally illiterate and unable to add and subtract. In times past, schools have excelled with more students in the classroom and less funding, even when adjusted for inflation. To fix the problem we have, we need to put God back into schools and give even poor parents the choice to send their children to public schools or private school, which offer superior education for nearly half the cost or less. Whatever we do, we need to stop throwing money at a school system that has failed our kids.
I endorse Proposed Constitutional Amendment 8 and ask you to vote Yes on 8.
To read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendment 8, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/10-75.pdf
Nonbinding Statewide Advisory Referendum – Balancing the Federal Budget
If your budget gets out of balance, what happens? The bank calls you up and asks you to balance it, right? Sure you may be able to borrow for a little while, but sooner or later, you have to balance your budget. Our federal government hasn’t learned this basic principle however. Our federal government simply prints or borrows more money. The former deflates the value of your money. The latter has obligated our country with a debt that our great grand kids will struggle to pay, unless we STOP the spending! If passed, Florida will be the 20th state to call for a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment.
I endorse the Nonbinding Statewide Advisory Referendum and ask you to vote for it.
For the full text of the proposed referendum, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/constitutional-amendments/pdf/referendum-2742.pdf.
To hear more about what God’s word says about these issues, watch my sermon entitled Applying Biblical Principles to the Constitution: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10119992