Amendments 1, 2 and 3 Explained

Submitted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. This and other important voting materials may be obtained at www.flchamber.com

AMENDMENT #1

WATER AND LAND CONSERVATION – DEDICATES FUNDS TO
ACQUIRE AND RESTORE FLORIDA CONSERVATION AND RECREATION LANDS
Ballot Summary:
Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.
Sponsor:
Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, Inc.
Analysis:
Amendment 1 would redirect funds from needed programs into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.
According to the Department of Revenue, throughout the next 20 years, the amendment would siphon off approximately $19 billion from dedicated trust funds.
Voters need to consider the following before supporting or opposing this amendment:
Is land conservation a priority issue that the state should spend approximately $19 billion on over the next two decades?
Should this issue be handled by a constitutional amendment or should the Florida Legislature address this issue?
If another major hurricane/economic downturn/recession affects our state, could allocating this money in the Florida Constitution prevent lawmakers from redirecting funds to address crisis areas? If so, what does that mean for taxpayers?
Groups Opposing Amendment 1:
 Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Tax Watch
Groups Supporting Amendment 1: Sierra Club, Audubon Florida, Florida AFL-
CIO

AMENDMENT #2

USE OF MARIJUANA FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Ballot Summary:
Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.
Sponsor:
People United for Medical Marijuana
Analysis:
If you take away the politics surrounding this issue, your vote should indicate whether or not you think marijuana should be legalized in Florida. The devil is in the details on this constitutional amendment, which essentially allows a doctor to prescribe marijuana to any patient for any reason the doctor sees fit. Because the Florida Legislature passed a law during the 2014 Legislative Session that legalizes specific strains of marijuana used to treat epilepsy and other debilitating diseases (these strains produce very little, if any, euphoric results), the argument that all marijuana should be legalized to treat those same diseases is no longer a strong one. So, do you believe marijuana should be legalized or not?
Those who oppose this amendment (Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Medical Association, drug free advocates and more) say passing it will create a “pot for any purpose” scenario in Florida. The result: effects similar to the state’s recent pill mill epidemic, which ravaged many communities, the opening of “pot shops” in your community and much more. Tourism advocates have expressed concern about how the legalization of marijuana in Florida could impact Florida’s family-friendly tourism brand.
Those who support the amendment (Trial lawyers, pro-marijuana groups and others) point to the medical benefits of marijuana and to other states that have legalized the drug for either medical or recreational uses.
Groups Opposing Amendment 2: Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Sheriff’s Association, Drug Free Florida
Groups Supporting Amendment 2: Trial lawyers, Florida Cannabis Action Network, medical marijuana supporters

AMENDMENT #3

PROSPECTIVE APPOINTMENT OF CERTAIN JUDICIAL
VACANCIES
Ballot Summary:
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution requiring the Governor to prospectively fill vacancies in a judicial office to which election for retention applies resulting from the justice’s or judge’s reaching the mandatory retirement age or failure to qualify for a retention election; and allowing prospective appointments if a justice or judge is not retained at an election. Currently, the Governor may not fill an expected vacancy until the current justice’s or judge’s term expires.
Sponsor:
The Florida Legislature
Analysis:
Amendment 3 clarifies existing constitutional language to specify that the outgoing governor appoints incoming Florida Supreme Court Justices and district court of appeal judges if a vacancy occurs at the same time as the outgoing governor’s term ends. It also prevents the possibility of legal challenges and confusion when governors change and judicial vacancies occur.
This amendment is currently proposed without knowing who the next governor will be, effectively removing politics from the situation. Because this is an issue that cannot be solved through legislation, it must be passed as a constitutional amendment.
Groups Opposing Amendment 3: League of Women Voters Florida
Groups Supporting Amendment 3: Florida Chamber of Commerce
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