What does Florida Amendment 2 Mean? (General Election 2020)

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Florida Amendment 2 for the 2020 General Election is a popular and quite contentious topic this election cycle … along with every time the topic of raising minimum wage to a living wage is brought to the table.

Florida Amendment 2 – Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage – on 2020 General Election ballots reads:

“Raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall 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 shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.

State and local government costs will increase to comply with the new minimum wage levels. Additional annual wage costs will be approximately $16 million in 2022, increasing to about $540 million in 2027 and thereafter. Government actions to mitigate these costs are unlikely to produce material savings. Other government costs and revenue impacts, both positive and negative, are not quantifiable.

This proposed constitutional amendment is estimated to have a negative impact on the state budget. This impact may result in higher taxes or loss of government services in order to maintain a balanced state budget as required by the constitution.”

A laymen’s breakdown of Florida Amendment 2 on the 2020 General Election Ballot:

Amendment 2 proposes to incrementally increase Florida’s minimum wage starting on September 30, 2021, raising it from $8.56/hour to $10/hour. Each September 30 following, minimum wage would increase by $1/hour until the minimum wage reached $15/hour by 2026. Further increases would be based upon the annual rate of inflation.

There are many arguments for and against Florida Amendment 2 and raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.

Many business owners argue that raising the minimum wage will cause prices to increase, drive businesses to choose automated options (kiosks) over human employees, and negatively affect the economy. Organizations like the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce (both made up of business owners and representatives of big businesses in Florida) oppose the amendments.

However, others argue that the current minimum wage ($8.56/hour, which is above the federal minimum wage of $7.26/hour) is a poverty rate. And opposite of the argument that this increase will drive sales prices up, supporters of Amendment 2 say when workers are paid living wages, communities can be brought out of poverty and sales at local business will increase because of this.

RELATED ARTICLE: Raising the minimum wage will help Florida succeed | Gainesville Sun

Who is sponsoring Florida Constitutional Amendment 2 on the 2020 General Election ballot?

Florida for a Fair Wage is the sponsor of Amendment 2. Orlando personal injury attorney John Morgan (of Morgan & Morgan) is the primary financial backer and vocal proponent of raising the minimum wage in Florida, having donated more than $4.5 million to the effort.

Morgan’s passion and fervent support for raising Florida’s minimum wage is a moral and religious issue, he said during an interview.

In total, more than $5.2 million has been raised in support of Amendment 2. Other major backers are the Service Employees International Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In summary, here’s a breakdown of what it means if you vote “yes” or “no” on Florida Amendment 2 in the 2020 General Election:

  • YES vote = You support increasing the state’s minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 per hour in September 2026.
  • NO vote = You oppose the initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 in September 2026, and favor keeping the current minimum wage of $8.56 per hour.

Get more details and related articles about Amendment 2 here.

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Florida Amendment 1 - Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative

Amendment Sponsor: Florida Citizen Voters

Wording on the Ballot:

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.

Because the proposed amendment is not expected to result in any changes to the voter registration process in Florida, it will have no impact on state or local government costs or revenue. Further, it will have no effect on the state’s economy.

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Amendment 1 seeks to replace one word in the Florida Constitution. The Florida Constitution currently states that “every” citizen of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote can vote in Florida. This amendment proposes changing “every” to “only a.”

The change would have no functional or financial effect on the state.

  • YES vote = You support amending the Florida Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote in Florida
  • NO vote = You oppose amending the Florida Constitution, and are in favor of keeping the existing language that says “every citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote in Florida.

Florida Amendment 2 - Raising Florida's Minimum Wage

Amendment Sponsor: Florida for a Fair Wage

Wording on the Ballot:

Raises minimum wage to  10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall 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 shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.

State and local government costs will increase to comply with the new minimum wage levels. Additional annual wage costs will be approximately $16 million in 2022, increasing to about $540 million in 2027 and thereafter. Government actions to mitigate these costs are unlikely to produce material savings. Other government costs and revenue impacts, both positive and negative, are not quantifiable.

THIS PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE A NET NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE STATE BUDGET. THIS IMPACT MAY RESULT IN HIGHER TAXES OR A LOSS OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A BALANCED STATE BUDGET AS REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION.

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Amendment 2 proposes to incrementally increase Florida’s minimum wage starting on September 30, 2021, raising it from $8.56/hr to $10/hr. Each September 30 following, minimum wage would increase by $1/hr until the minimum wage reached $15/hr by 2026. Further increases would be based upon the annual rate of inflation.

  • YES vote = You support increasing the state’s minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 per hour in September 2026.
  • NO vote = You oppose the initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 in September 2026, and favor keeping the current minimum wage of $8.56 per hour.


Supporters of the Amendment:
Florida for a Fair Wage (Sponsor), Organize Florida, AFL-CIO, The League of Women Voters of Florida

Opponents of the Amendment: Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Florida Chamber of Commerce

News Coverage of the amendment:

Florida Amendment 3 - All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet

Amendment Sponsor: All Voters Vote, Inc.

Wording on the Ballot:

Allows 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, appear on the same primary ballot. Two highest vote getters advance to general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary is held and winner is determined in general election.
Candidate’s party affiliation may appear on ballot as provided by law. Effective January 1, 2024.

It is probable that the proposed amendment will result in additional local government costs to conduct elections in Florida. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference projects that the combined costs across counties will range from $5.2 million to $5.8 million for each of the first three election cycles occurring in even-numbered years after the amendment’s effective date, with the costs for each of the intervening years dropping to less than
$450,000. With respect to state costs for oversight, the additional costs for administering elections are expected to be minimal. Further, there are no revenues linked to voting in Florida. Since there is no impact on state costs or revenues, there will be no impact on the state’s budget. While the proposed amendment will result in an increase in local expenditures, this change is expected to be below the threshold that would produce a statewide economic impact.

News Coverage of amendment 3:

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Establishes a top-two open primary system for state office primary elections

Summary: Amendment 3 proposes to replace closed primary partisan elections (for state legislature, governor, and cabinet) with a single primary where all voters would be able to vote, regardless of party affiliation. With this proposal, all candidates would run on a single nonpartisan primary ballot, regardless of political party affiliation. The two candidates with the most votes would advance to the general election. Congressional and presidential races would not be affected.

  • YES vote = You support every candidate in a statewide or legislative race to appear on a single primary ballot, regardless of political party. (Races include: state legislators, governor, and cabinet (attorney general, chief financial officer, and commissioner of agriculture)
  • NO vote = You oppose establishing a top-two open primary system for primary elections, and are in favor of leaving in place Florida’s current system where closed primaries are held by each party (only voters registered as a specific political party affiliation can vote in their closed primary. Registered independents cannot vote in the closed primary elections).


Supporters:
All Voters Vote, Florida Fair and Open Primaries

Opponents: Republican Party of Florida, Democratic Party of Florida, Green Party of Florida, Florida State Conference NAACP, Florida Chamber of Commerce, The League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida People’s Advocacy Center, People Over Profits, AFL-CIO, Organize Florida, Florida Conservation Voters

Florida Amendment 4 - Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments

Wording on the Ballot:

Requires all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections,
instead of one, in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections.

It is probable that the proposed amendment will result in additional state and local government costs to conduct elections in Florida. Overall, these costs will vary from election cycle to election cycle depending on the unique circumstances of each ballot and cannot be estimated at this time. The key factors determining cost include the number of amendments appearing for the second time on each ballot and the length of those amendments. Since the maximum state cost is likely less than $1 million per cycle but the impact cannot be discretely quantified, the change to the state’s budget is unknown. Similarly, the economic impact cannot be modelled, although the spending increase is expected to be below the threshold that would
produce a statewide economic impact. Because there are no revenues linked to voting in Florida, there will be no impact on
government taxes or fees.

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THIS AMENDMENT CANNOT BE DETERMINED DUE TO AMBIGUITIES AND UNCERTAINTIES SURROUNDING THE AMENDMENT’S IMPACT.

News Coverage of the amendment:

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Requires voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at a second general election

Summary: Amendment 4 seeks to require that all proposed amendments and revisions to the Florida constitution be voted on and approved by 60% of voters in two consecutive general elections in order to pass. The current process allows an amendment to become part of the constitution after reaching 60% approval in one general election.

  • YES vote = You support requiring voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at a second consecutive general election to become effective.
  • NO vote = You oppose requiring voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at a second consecutive general election to become effective.


If this passes…

  • Voters’ ability to amend our constitution and act as a check on the state legislature when it fails to act in the best interest of Floridians will be significantly limited
  • Corporations and special interest groups that are well-funded will have second chances to defeat amendments that initially pass (with 60% of the vote)
  • Citizen initiatives will require significantly more time and money investments in order to successfully pass voter-led initiatives


Supporters:
Keep Our Constitution Clean, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Opponents: Southern Poverty Law Center, Common Cause, The League of Women Voters of Florida, ACLU, AFL-CIO, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Service Employees International Union, New Florida Majority, Florida Civic Engagement Table, Organize Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition

Florida Amendment 5 - Limitations on Homestead Property Tax Assessments; increased portability period to transfer accrued benefit

Amendment Sponsor: Senator Rick Roth (R – West Palm Beach), The Florida Legislature

Wording on the Ballot:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective January 1, 2021, to increase, from 2 years to 3 years, the period
of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Increases the period during which a person may transfer “Save Our Homes” benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.

Currently, if a person moves to a new home, they have two years to transfer their “Save Our Homes” benefit to have the new home assessed “at less than just value.” The amendment would increase that time period to three years rather than two.

  • YES vote = You support extending the period during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.
  • NO vote = You oppose extending the period during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.

Florida Amendment 6 - Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities

Amendment Sponsor: Sate Rep. Sam Killebrew (R – Winter Haven), The Florida Legislature

Wording on the Ballot:

Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.

Summary (in laymen's terms):

Allows a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran

  • YES vote = You support allowing a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.
  • NO vote = You oppose allowing a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.