With voting right around the corner, http://www.votepinellas.com/ has all the information we need to make informed voting decisions. I pulled and summarized some key areas below. I hope you find this useful.
If you haven't registered to vote or know someone who is looking to register, please note that the "Voter Registration Deadline is October 11, 2016."
NO. 1 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE X, SECTION 29 Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice This amendment establishes a right under Florida's constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do. The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government. YES NO
NO. 2 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE X, SECTION 29 Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions 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 immunize violations of federal law or any nonmedical use, possession or production of marijuana. Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory costs and enforcement activities associated with the production, sale, use and possession of medical marijuana. Fees may offset some of the regulatory costs. Sales tax will likely apply to most purchases, resulting in a substantial increase in state and local government revenues that cannot be determined precisely. The impact on property tax revenues cannot be determined. YES NO
NO. 3 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6 ARTICLE XII Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017. YES NO
NO. 5 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6 ARTICLE XII Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-Income, Long-Term Residents; Determination of Just Value Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017. YES NO