Florida Constitution Amendments
Proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution may be made by a joint resolution of the Florida Legislature, a citizens’ initiative, a proposal from the Constitution Revision Commission, or a proposal from the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. Below are the six amendments that will be on your 2020 General Election ballot:
Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections (1)
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.
Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage (2)
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.
All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet (3)
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.
Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments (4)
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.
Limitation on Homestead Assessments (5)
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.
Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities (6)
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.
For more information regarding these amendments and to view the text, please visit the Division of Elections website.
City of Jacksonville Referenda
An amendment to the City of Jacksonville charter by referendum may be proposed by ordinance or by a petition signed by qualified voters of Duval County. Below are the ballot titles and referenda questions which shall appear on the 2020 General Election ballot.
"Amending Jacksonville Charter, granting city council authority to appoint and remove four JEA board members"
Shall the Jacksonville Charter be amended to create a new Section 4.03 and amend Section 21.03 which will (1) grant to City Council the executive power to appoint and remove four members of the JEA Board and (2) amend the qualifications of Board members?"
This Charter amendment, if implemented, will have no impact on revenues and like the current selection process may have a minimal, or immeasurable, impact on costs to the City of Jacksonville.
"School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax to Improve Safety and the Learning Environment"
To upgrade aging schools through repairs and modernization, to keep schools safe and to continue to promote a conducive learning environment, to improve technology, and to replace existing or build new schools, and share with charter schools for their allowable uses, shall the Duval County School Board be authorized to levy a 15-year half-cent sales surtax, with expenditures based upon the Surtax Capital Outlay Plan, and monitored by an independent citizens committee?
______ For the Half-Cent Tax
______ Against the Half-Cent Tax
For more information regarding these two amendments, please go to the City of Jacksonville website.