Take Me Somewhere Else
I got my mail in ballot in the mail today. Before I put pen to paper I had to do some research on the many, many amendments that are being thrown at us. And I’m glad I did. Most of them are confusing as hell. And if I know these people in Pasco County (and I do) I know they will go to the ballot box and just fill in circles without even knowing what they’re voting for. So I’ve offered a little help and how I intend on voting. NOTE: Clicking on the title of the amendment will take you to the actual amendment as listed in BallotPedia. Buckle up, pour the alcohol, and read on dear voter:
I don’t own a home. I’ve rented all of my adult life, so I could care less if the homeowners get taxed more or less. I do, however, care about the many millions of dollars the government would lose if those who owned a home between $100K and $125K were exempt from certain taxes. The money lost would be great for our educational system, our infrastructure, even the space program or a high speed rail system. If I owned a home – I’d probably be selfish and vote “Yes”. This time my pen went to “No“.
Again – I own no property. From what I understand, this amendment will keep in place a cap on how much the government can tax an owned property. However, as a renter, if the cap is lifted and the nonhomestead businesses (like retail stores, malls, convenient stores, grocery stores, or car dealerships) get their taxes raised – guess who is going to have to pay for that? Right – me as a renter. And also YOU as a homeowner. We all will have our prices raised. And they’re high enough already. Do I want the taxes to be collected from those rich enough to pay them? Sure. I certainly don’t want it to come out of my empty wallet. BUT…the taxes raised here will go toward the police, fire fighters, first responders, public transportation, parks and libraries. I would gladly pay an extra dollar at the grocery store to help have a better safety structure in place or to get more busses on the road to help those who don’t have a car to get around here in Pasco County. I’m voting “NO” on retaining the current 10% cap. Let it go to 12% or 13%. Anything to live in a better community.
I’m pretty boring. I don’t gamble. Only because I always lose when I DO gamble. I’ve often said I might as well walk out to I-75 and just throw my money on the highway…it’ll be the same effect as if I were gambling. And I won’t leave with a high level of disappointment as when I leave the Seminole Gaming Palace in Tampa. However, I do believe the people of Florida should have a say in whether they want to gamble and where they want to gamble. We’re adults. Why should the suits have the power to dictate where we can and can’t gamble? Card games, slot machines, casino games, and Bingo should be decided by the people FOR the people. I’m voting “YES” on this amendment. Who knows…one day I’ll be old and may want to gamble a little bit to be able to pay my nursing home bills. I’ll want to be able to have a say about that as a voter.
I had NO hesitation on this amendment being proposed. It’s just common sense. Everyone should have a voice and a say as to their community involvement. Especially if they’ve served their time, and did their sentence, completed probation and parole. Those that have been convicted of a crime (except murder and sexual charges) should be able to vote after they’ve done their time for their crime. I emphatically vote “YES” on this one. Will the released felons vote? Who knows. But they should have an option open to them to become a part of society. It’s the right thing to do.
This amendment is sneaky and dirty. Why? Because the Republicans of this state KNOW that we’ll be having a Democratic Governor in the very near future. This amendment, if approved, will impose a two-thirds vote to raise ANY taxes through both houses. This will hinder any Democrat from raising taxes on businesses and companies to build our roads, or fix the red tide issue among other things. This is just a wedge that the Republicans want to stick into the Florida laws so that anyone who governs in the near future just can’t (and won’t) raise taxes without an alarmingly heavy vote in favor of the raise. I will vote “NO” on this amendment. Honestly – take a look at who supports this amendment. All Republicans. That doesn’t seem sneaky to you??
We already have rights for crime victims here in Florida. It’s in our Constitution. Victims have the right to be heard and the right to know what is happening in their case from start to finish. Opening up this mish-mash can of worms would allow corporations to enter the court room with their hoity toity lawyers and dictate how a case is being handled when/if a case isn’t going in their favor. The commercials show a HUMAN victim – some poor girl sitting on the back of an ambulance after what seemed to have been domestic violence. She’s already got rights. This amendment is a cover up for corporations to be able to have victim rights as well. (Example: A hotel has cancellations because of the Red Tide and losing a cash flow. They’re now a victim. Or a hurrican plows through Florida and Pizza Hut can’t make pizza because the power is out – they’re a victim and want their rights.)
This amendment (again…a mish-mash of junk) raises the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 years old to 75 years old. I honestly could care less. I would LIKE to know that my judge (if I were to ever have the opportunity to ever be in front of a judge) were concentrating on my case instead of daydreaming about a nap. I would hope the judge has the right to work until they’re 100 if they want to. I could care less, really. But raising someone’s “mandatory” retirement age is just not something I think should happen.
The third part of this requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes instead of referring to government agency’s statutes. You’re a sitting judge – you are supposed to make up your own mind, be fair and just, and then dictate the law righteously. Not consider what someone else had said in a corporate case in the past. Again – I will never ever have the opportunity to be in this type of situation to be standing in a court next to a lawyer waiting for a judge to order me to do something. I’ll never be in that position.
So I am voting “NO” on all of this. Victims rights were the most important to me in this garbage amendment. And victims are already covered in the Constitution. I don’t need Republicans to sneak in provisions for corporations behind the face of a human victim. I’m not that dumb.
Oh, this sounds all pretty and at first read – why wouldn’t we want to help survivors of those who die in the line of the country’s service? But hold on. Again – this a confusing gaggle of junk thrown into one amendment to throw off those who don’t feel like doing any research.
First off – First Respondors or any Military Member who dies in the line of service to our country are already compensated by the federal government. Wives, husbands, daughters, sons or any survivor get a monthly stipend to help ease the pain of financial loss and human loss. So there’s no reason for this to be voted on yet again. It’s already happening. Apparently, this amendment would shift any death benefits for First Responders (to include police, firefighters, EMT, etc..) from the federal government to their prospective State Employer. The spouse or any surviving member of the deceased would be getting checks from Florida instead of the U.S. Government.
What this amendment REALLY does is shove a supermajority vote to be placed for any Florida colleges to be able to raise their fees or taxes.
This amendment also has added : (b)(2), the state shall waive certain educational expenses that the child or spouse of the deceased first responder or military member incurs while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate education, or a postgraduate education. Excuse me – but what is “certain educational expenses”? That is one wide open door to be able to interpret any way someone wanted to. I’m actually voting “NO” on this amendment. Only because spouses and families are being compensated if their beloved falls in the line of duty. Keep your confusing amendment of junk thrown in a bundle. Come back to me when you can narrow this one down a little bit more.
You will not be able to vote YES on one without voting YES on the other here. This is the sneakiest, trickiest, screwiest amendment so far.
Do I want to ban offshore drilling? Yes.
Do I care if someone vapes in the workplace? No.
But you can’t split this up and vote Yes and No. It’s one or the other. But my concern is more about the offshore drilling of gasses and oil. Those who vape can go outside like the rest of us smokers. (Sorry, vapers.) I am voting “YES” on this amendment ONLY BECAUSE I think offshore drilling should be not be a thing off the Florida coasts.
What a stupid amendment. Honestly.
Florida is LOADED with confusing amendment proposals this year. I’m used to one or two – but we are now up to number 10. This amendment limits the reach of local government. Everything proposed here (the election of community officers, dates for regular sessions, the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs) are already in place. While I believe voters SHOULD have a say in who is elected Sheriff in Broward County – I live four hours away and don’t care who is the Sheriff. You know who cares? Those who live in Broward County. So they – local residents – should be able to appoint who they think best serves those who live in Broward County. Not someone who lives in Tallahassee. So I am going to vote “NO” on this confusing amendment.
Okay – huh?? First of all – the current right to own a property for Floridians is available to everyone except “aliens”. The current language is that “aliens” cannot purchase property in the state of Florida. A “YES” vote removes this racist language from the right to own property or land.
The second part is the High Speed Monorail System that was approved by 53% of the voters back in 2000. The majority of us WANTED a high speed system to get us from one major city to another at a speed of 120 mph. Sure. But then in the confusing Amendment in 2004 64% of the voters voted to appeal the prior Amendment 1. So now – 14 years later – the State Government has decided they would like to remove the 2000 language of the APPROVAL of a high speed system from their current laws. This amendment is proposing to do just that…remove the language from their laws that most of us (at one time) wanted to go from Tampa to Miami in an hour instead of four hours.
The third part deals with the reduction of sentences on criminal sentences. Reduction of sentences would also reduce the amount of money it costs to house and feed an inmate and those funds could be redirected to substance abuse programs or re-entry programs for those inmates who are to be released early.
Okay – with all that said…YES, get rid of the racist language. “Aliens” is offensive. SURE, remove the paragraph saying we WANTED a high speed rail system back in 2000 but were tricked in 2004 to say no. And yeah, the taxpayer money should be spent more wisely. John Doe serving 10 years for a gram of weed is a bit ridiculous. Let him go. We could use the money somewhere else to help those that want to help themselves. So all around – I’ll be voting “YES” on this amendment.
Gawd, are we done with this one??
This amendment supports prohibiting public officials from lobbying for compensation during the official’s term in office and for six years after the official leaves office and prohibiting public officials from using the office to obtain a disproportionate benefit.
Um…duh! This is an automatic “YES” from me. I wish the amendments were ALL this easy.
I honestly didn’t know dog racing was still a thing. I have never been to a dog race, but I love Greyhounds. They’re beautiful, smart animals. But so are horses, and they race all the time. Bassett Hounds are used for hunting, Huskies pull sleds through the snow, and those hairy dogs (shephards?) are used to herd sheep. I get it – greyhound dogs are run hard. They chase a fake rabbit around a track and can never catch up to it. There are people that enjoy and bet on these races. There are those of us that aren’t even interested. I have, however, had a friend who adopted a former racing dog. I felt bad for the critter. It had leg and hip problems. And was full of anxiety. While this may not be the norm for ALL the dogs in the race, I think we can treat on our animals in a more humane way. I’m going to vote “YES” on this amendment only because I don’t (and will never) bet on a dog race. And it’s time for the greyhounds to chase real rabbits in an open field instead of a track.
You’ll notice there’s no “AMENDMENT 8”. I don’t know what they did with it, but there was no such thing as an amendment 8.