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Thursday, 06 September 2012 04:22

Florida NOW says No to 11 Amendments

Written by  Donna Slutiak, President FL NOW

Florida NOW says No to 11 Amendments
At their recent meeting in August, the State Council of the Florida National Organization for Women CCE, after studied review and consideration, voted unanimously to urge a NO vote on the 11 amendments to Florida's Constitution that are on the November Ballot.

"Seven of the eleven amendments have to do with tax and budget issues,” said Donna Slutiak, the state president. “Our State Constitution is not the place to address tax and budget policy. Proposals to assist veterans and the surviving spouses of first responders are laudable and the Florida legislature should pass laws to provide support."

While encouraging a NO vote on all of the amendments, of particular concern to FLNOW are amendments 3, 6, and 8.

The titles of these amendments are very deceptive. Amendment 3 entitled "state revenue limitation" is similar to Colorado's Tax Payer Bill of Rights (TABOR) a failed experiment that resulted in massive cuts to education, healthcare and the construction of roads, among other services. "Amendment 3 will do nothing to curb waste and abuse and will lead to the same experience seen in Colorado......massive cuts to already underfunded services that improve the lives of our children, families, and seniors, as well as the infrastructure that supports Florida's businesses" noted Slutiak.

Amendment 6 allows politicians in Tallahassee to intrude into personal medical decisions that should be made between a woman, her doctor, and her faith, especially in those difficult cases when a woman decides to end a pregnancy.

"Amendment 8 is entitled ‘Religious Freedom’ when it actually allows religious groups and institutions that do not pay taxes to receive tax dollars with no oversight or accountability" said Slutiak. "Florida's Constitution should address a limited number of issues. We have a body of laws that can be adjusted and even repealed from time to time if need be....that is where these proposals need to be addressed."

Florida NOW CCE reminds voters that it is critical to vote the whole ballot, and vote NO on each amendment! Skipping amendments because they are lengthy or confusing is the same as a YES vote - the 60 percent threshold needed for an amendment to pass is based on the number of votes cast on that amendment.

Florida NOW CCE also adopted unanimously, a recommendation to vote YES to retain the 3 Supreme Court Justices - Justice R. Fred Lewis, Justice Barbra J. Pariente and Justice Peggy A. Quince. A well-funded attack from the conservative right wing is being waged against these three moderate Justices, Justices who have consistently stood up for the people of Florida. Governor Rick Scott will decide their replacements if they are not retained.

“The long term future of Florida is at stake,” said Slutiak. That's why Florida NOW CCE recommends a NO vote on the amendments, and a YES vote on the Justices.
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