Amendment 1: Citizenship Required to Vote in Florida Elections
Summary: This amendment provides that only United States citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election. Supporters argue that the change would protect the electoral process by changing the current wording, which says “every citizen,” to “only a citizen,” thereby preventing cities from allowing non-citizens to vote, as some in other states have. Opponents say that Florida law already allows only citizens to vote and that the change is unnecessary.
Sponsor: Florida Citizen Voters
Amendment 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage
Summary: This amendment would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage would increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases would revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027. Supporters argue that the amendment would help to level the economic playing field for workers. Opponents of the measure say the measure will increase business costs and result in thousands of lost jobs in the wake of a COVID-induced recession that still holds much uncertainty for businesses and individuals.
Sponsor: Florida For a Fair Wage
Amendment 3: All Voters Vote in a Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor and Cabinet
Summary: Effective Jan. 1, 2024, this measure would allow all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation. All candidates for an office, including party nominated candidates, would appear on the same primary ballot and the two candidates receiving the most votes would advance to the general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary would be held and the winner would be determined in the general election. Candidate party affiliations would be permitted to appear on the ballot. Supporters argue that the measure would give more voice to unaffiliated voters, who comprise over 25% of the electorate and tend to hold less extreme views. Opponents say the change could hurt minority representation in Florida’s government by opening primaries in predominantly black Democratic districts to white Republican and independent voters.
Sponsor: All Voters Vote, Inc.
Amendment 4: Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments
Summary: This amendment would require all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to receive the approval of 60% of voters in two separate elections in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections. Proponents of the measure say it would put safeguards in place to ensure that voters have a full understanding of the immediate and long-term effects of proposed constitutional changes. Opponents say this measure would create barriers to direct democracy in Florida by adding hurdles to what some already consider to be a major, costly feat requiring hundreds of thousands of signatures.
Sponsor: Keep Our Constitution Clean PC
Amendment 5: Limitation on Homestead Assessments
Summary: This amendment would give Florida homeowners an additional year to claim accrued Save-Our-Homes homestead tax benefits on a property they have vacated to move into another homesteaded property. Currently, Floridians have only two hears after vacating the property to accrue and use the tax benefits.
Under Florida’s “Save Our Homes” law, the taxable value of homes owned by claimants of a homestead exemption may increase by no more than 3% per year. However, the home’s market value may outpace that increase. The difference between the home’s taxable value and its assessed value is what a homeowner who sells one homesteaded property and buys another is required to pay. The Florida Legislature passed the measure without opposition; however, the legislative staff analysis of the bill says it comes with a price tag of about $10.2 million annually for local governments when it is fully enacted.
Sponsor: The Florida Legislature/House (HJR 369)
Amendment 6: Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities
Summary: Effective, Jan. 1, 2021, this amendment would allow the spouses of certain honorably discharged veterans to continue to receive a discount on property taxes after the veteran’s death as long as the spouse holds the property title and resides in the property. In most cases, the exemption would expire if the spouse remarries, sells the house or otherwise disposes of the property, however it would be transferrable under certain circumstances. This bill passed the Florida Legislature unopposed but according to legislative staff analysis comes with a $4 million annual price tag for local governments.
Sponsor: The Florida Legislature/House (HJR 877)