Miami-Dade Democrats recommendations for 2018 ballot amendments

Early voting is taking place daily from 7am to 7pm and the 2018 ballot will be packed with a number of amendments for voters to decide on. Many of which have been loaded with additional provisions. We’ve had a team review the amendments and the entire Democratic Executive Committee voted on the below recommendations after lengthy discussion. We hope that you find our recommendations useful.

Print out the PDF of the amendment recommendations

Lee las recomendaciones en español

You can visit this link to access your sample ballot and follow along

Please pay special attention to Amendment 4 (voting rights) and Amendment 5 (tax limitations)

For residents in the city of Miami, we recommend voting NO on the referendums for strong mayor and development at Melreese Park

 

SCHOOL BOARD REFERENDUM

 

Referendum to Approve Ad Valorem Levy for Teachers, Instructional Personnel, School Safety and Security

$0.75 per $1000 increase in ad-valorem tax for School district

We recommend: YES!

To fund much needed increases in teachers’ salary and school security

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

Amendment 1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Additional $25,000 homeowners exemption

We recommend: NO

Further revenue cuts will diminish already cash strapped essential services like police, fire, healthcare, transportation and affordable housing.

 

Amendment 2: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments

Permanent 10 percent cap increase on non-homestead properties

We recommend: NO

We suggest no, because the alternative would mean that Non-Florida residents would benefit at the additional expense to local municipalities and services.

 

Amendment 3: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

Citizen initiative approval on new casinos

We recommend: YES

We suggest Yes, because we want to empower local residents to protect their community’s character

 

Amendment 4: Voting Restoration Amendment

Restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence

We recommend: YES

Its time has come, Florida is one of 5 states that maintains an onerous procedure for restoring felons’ rights

Amendment 5: Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

2/3 votes of legislature required for tax or fees increase

We recommend: NO

Will deprive Legislature of meeting its responsibilities and impede an efficient operation in times of emergency operations. It’s an attempt by Republicans to thwart progress when they eventually lose their majority in Tallahassee


Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims; Judges

Expands scope of victims rights

We recommend: NO

Amendment does not provide for any additional rights to crime victims, but has other provisions for judges

 

Amendment 7: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities

Supermajority requirement for universities to increase fees/death benefits to first responders

We recommend: NO

Public universities will not be able to manage their budget adequately. Death benefits to first responders are  already adequately provided by local and state government.

 

Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces

We recommend: YES

Protect our environment.

 

Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Force counties to hold elections for more officials, Legislature session to start in January, create Office of Domestic Security and Department of Veterans Affairs.

We recommend: NO

Violates Dade County home rule charter for local municipalities

 

Amendment 11: Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes

Would repeal the state’s ability to prohibit non-citizens or “aliens ineligible for citizenship” from buying, owning and selling property. Deletes provision to prosecute under old laws, deletes obsolete language in high speed rail

We recommend:  YES

The old provisions are no longer viable. This does not grant or take away permissions, it would just clean up the language.

 

Amendment 12: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Expands ethics rules for elected officials

We recommend:  YES

Better control on lobbyists

 

Amendment 13: Ends Dog Racing

We recommend: YES

Dog racing is animal abuse.



COUNTY CHARTER REFERENDUMS

 

Referendum 1: Charter Amendment Relating to Nonpartisan Election of Clerk of the Circuit Court

Election of clerk to be non-partisan

We recommend: YES

This position is non-partisan and should be elected as such.

 

Referendum 2:  Charter Amendment Relating to County Appointed Officials and Employees Running for Certain Elective Office

Reverse existing law on requiring officials to resign of running for another elected office

We recommend: YES

Give opportunity to more qualified candidates to run

 

Referendum 3: Charter Amendment Relating to Review of Initiatory Petitions for Legal Sufficiency

Commissioners to determine legal sufficiency of initiatory petition

We recommend: YES

Allows citizens to be empowered

 

Referendum 4: Charter Amendment Regarding Elections for County Commissioners and Mayor

Bypasses election if candidate runs unopposed

We recommend: YES

No need for an election if there is no opposition.

 

Referendum 5: Charter Amendment Prohibiting Certain Payments Circulators of Initiatory Petitions

Prohibit payment based on number of signatures obtained in an initiatory petition

We recommend: NO

Will disincentivize signature gathering.