GOP Legislature packs 2012 ballot with amendments
The just-finished legislative session will be remembered for more than the $3.8 billion deficit or the political meltdown that marred its finish. It will also be known for packing the November 2012 election ballot with seven constitutional amendments — from abortion to religion to property taxes. (read the entire story here)
Abortion (HJR 1179)
To include in the Florida Constitution the federal ban on use of all public funds for abortion. It would also overturn all court decisions that rely on privacy rights in the Florida Constitution to reject abortion restrictions.
Confirming justices (HJR 7111)
The Senate would confirm new justices to the Florida Supreme Court. The Legislature, by simple majority vote, could void court rules. Investigations of judicial misconduct — now confidential — would be available to the House in advance of impeachment proceedings.
Capping state revenue (SJR 958)
Imposes a limit on state revenues based on a formula that includes changes in population and inflation.
Veterans property taxes (SJR 592)
Expands discount on property taxes to all veterans disabled as a result of combat, not just those who are Florida residents.
Property taxes (HJR 381)
Gives a series of property tax breaks to first-time homebuyers, commercial property and those with second homes in Florida. First-time homebuyers would receive a homestead exemption worth up to $200,000 to be phased out over five years. It lowers the cap on the amount a property assessor can raise the assessed value of a commercial property and non-homestead second homes from 10 percent to 5 percent each year.
Health insurance mandates (SJR 2)
No law can "compel, directly or indirectly," anyone to carry health insurance, setting up a legal feud between Florida and the federal government over requirements of the federal health care law championed by President Barack Obama.
Religious funding (SJR 1218)
Repeals current prohibition of state funding, directly or indirectly, for religious institutions. This provision has prevented school voucher opponents from enacting law to provide state vouchers directly to private schools.