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Last Wednesday, September 19, the Peace & Justice Report’s first guest was Ron Turner, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections. He talked about the TWENTY different questions which will be on the November ballot. His official Sarasota SOE website is sarasotavotes.com. In the upper right of that web page you can click on and download a list of all of these “BALLOT QUESTIONS.” That list is shown below.
For more information see Ballotpedia. For the recommendations of the Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus go here. For the League of Women Voters recommendations, go here.
Progressive Sarasota recommends yes only on 3 (gambling), 4 (rights restoration), 9 (vaping, drilling),11 (property rights, criminal statues) and 13 (dog racing).
As for the local Sarasota County questions, Progressive Sarasota currently recommends yes on Legacy Trail extension, no on raising needed signatures to 10%, yes on not selling county parks/beach right-of-ways, yes on single-member districts, and no on ‘move the date’.
Sarasota County Ballot Questions | November 6, 2018 | General Election
No. 1 Constitutional Amendment, Article VII, Section 6, Article XII, Section 37
Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.
No. 2 Constitutional Amendment, Article XII, Section 27
Limitations on Property Tax Assessments
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified nonhomestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.
No. 3 Constitutional Amendment, Article X, Section 29
Voter Control of Gambling in Florida
This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether
to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.
The amendment’s impact on state and local government revenues and costs, if any, cannot be
determined at this time because of its unknown effect on gambling operations that have not
been approved by voters through a constitutional amendment proposed by a citizens’ initiative
No. 4 Constitutional Amendment, Article VI, Section 4
Voting Restoration Amendment
This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.
The precise effect of this amendment on state and local government costs cannot be determined, but the operation of current voter registration laws, combined with an increased number of felons registering to vote, will produce higher overall costs relative to the processes in place today. The impact, if any, on state and local government revenues cannot be determined. The fiscal impact of any future legislation that implements a different process cannot be reasonably determined.
No. 5 Constitutional Amendment, Article VII, Section 19
Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees
Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.
No. 6 Constitutional Revision, Article I, Section 16, Article V, Sections 8 and 21, Article XII, New Section
Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
Creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from seventy to seventy-five years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age.
No. 7 Constitutional Revision, Article IX, Sections 7 and 8, Article X, New Section
First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
Grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waiver of certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members who die performing official duties. Requires supermajority votes by university trustees and state university system board of governors to raise or impose all legislatively authorized fees if law requires approval by those bodies. Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure.
No. 9 Constitutional Revision, Article II, Section 7, Article X, Section 20
Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor-generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.
No. 10 Constitutional Revision, Article III, Section 3, Article IV, Sections 4 and 11, Article VIII, Sections 1 and 6
State and Local Government Structure and Operation
Requires legislature to retain department of veterans’ affairs. Ensures election of sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court in all counties; removes county charters’ ability to abolish, change term, transfer duties, or eliminate election of these offices. Changes annual legislative session commencement date in even-numbered years from March to January; removes legislature’s authorization to fix another date. Creates office of domestic security and counterterrorism within department of law enforcement.
No. 11 Constitutional Revision, Article I, Section 2, Article X, Sections 9 and 19
Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights. Removes obsolete language repealed by voters. Deletes provision that amendment of a criminal statute will not affect prosecution or penalties for a crime committed before the amendment; retains current provision allowing prosecution of a crime committed before the repeal of a criminal statute.
No. 12 Constitutional Revision, Article II, Section 8, Article V, Section 13, Article XII, New Section
Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.
No. 13 Constitutional Revision, Article X, New Section, Article XII, New Section
Ends Dog Racing
Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.
County Bond Referendum
Sarasota County General Obligation Bonds for Legacy Trail Extension with Enhanced Safety and Connections
To acquire and improve the Legacy Trail Extension railroad corridor as a safe trail for walking, running, and cycling with enhanced connectivity from North Port through Venice to downtown Sarasota, with additional improvements including safe crossings, overpasses, amenities, and increased accessibility, shall Sarasota County issue General Obligation bonds, not exceeding the
maximum lawful interest rates, maturing within 20 years from each issuance, not exceeding $65 million payable from ad valorem taxes restricted to these purposes?
Yes, for Bonds
No, against Bonds
County Charter Amendment
Process for Citizen Initiated Petitions for Charter Amendments to be Placed on the General Election
Shall Sarasota County Charter Section 7.1 be amended to place citizen-initiated Charter amendments on the next general election ballot upon receiving signatures from 10% of registered voters, provided that signatures are gathered within a set general election cycle timeframe, instead of having an unlimited time to obtain signatures of 5% of registered voters for placement of citizen-initiated amendments on a special election ballot that is held 60 days after certification of the signatures?
Yes, for the Charter amendment
No, against the Charter amendment
Charter Review Board Charter Amendment Proposals to be Placed on Next General Election Only
Shall Section 7.1 of the Sarasota County Charter be amended to allow Charter amendments proposed by the Charter Review Board to be voted upon only on the next general election, rather than on the next countywide election?
Charter Amendment to Reacquire and Retain Siesta Key Beach Road as Public Right of Way
The County vacated an approximately 373-foot-long portion of Beach Road on Siesta Key in 2016, which had been closed for some time. The vacated portion of Beach Road is accessible by all means, including pedestrian, but not including motorized vehicles. Shall the Charter be amended to require the County to reacquire this portion of Beach Road, and reopen it for vehicular traffic, as well as never vacate it in the future?
Charter Amendment to Preserve County-Owned Parks, Preserves, Beach and Water Access and Waterfront Vistas
Presently, the Board of County Commissioners, as provided by general law, has the authority to sell any County-owned property and to vacate roads and rights of way. Shall the Charter be amended to prohibit the County from selling or giving away County-owned parks and preserves, and to prevent the County from vacating any road segments or rights of way abutting any beach, river, creek, canal, lake, bay, gulf access or waterfront vista?
Sarasota County Charter Amendment to Change County Commission Elections to Single-Member Districts
Shall each member of the Board of the County Commissioners of Sarasota County, Florida be elected by only those voters residing in the same district in which the Commissioner resides, rather than having each member of the Board of County Commissioners elected by voters County-wide as presently exists in Article II, Section 2.1A of the Sarasota County Charter?
City of North Port Charter Referendum
Referendum Regarding the Adoption of a New City Charter:
Shall the proposed 2018 City Charter as set forth in Ordinance No. 2018-28 be adopted to replace the current City Charter in its entirety?
Yes, for Adoption
No, against Adoption
City of Sarasota Charter Amendment
Charter Amendment: Change in Date of Election of City Commissioners
Changes City Commission elections from March and May in odd numbered years to August and November in even numbered years to coincide with federal, state and county elections. No candidate shall be elected in the August election. The August election shall occur only when required by the number of qualifying candidates. Otherwise, the November election shall be the only election. Changes Commission appointment of Mayor and Vice Mayor to coincide with election dates.
Yes, for the Amendment
No, against the Amendment
Sunday, February 25, 2024
Monday, February 19, 2024
Monday, February 12, 2024
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