2020 Constitutional Amendments: What Florida Will Be Voting on in November

Tampa, Fla. (NewsRadio WFLA) – In addition to choosing the next president of the United States this November, Florida voters will also decide what to do with the latest round of constitutional amendments set to appear on the 2020 ballot.

While the state legislature in Tallahassee has a couple of their own that may still pass, here is our PM Tampa Bay guide to the ones approved so far.

For this report, the compilation of details and data on each amendment comes from the Florida Division of Elections. PM Tampa Bay legal correspondent Felix Vega also offers analysis on the standing of specific issues.

Information about amendments that will not appear on the ballot, including recreational marijuana, is also included below.

We will continue to update our guide as additional amendments are approved.

AMENDMENT 1

TITLE: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT TO VOTE IN FLORIDA ELECTIONS (18-14)

BALLOT SUMMARY: 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

SPONSOR: FLORIDA CITIZEN VOTERS

YES VOTE: CHANGES CURRENT FLORIDA LAW TO REFLECT THE FOLLOWING (deletes the words “Every citizen” and replaces with “Only a citizen”)

ARTICLE VI. Section 2. Electors

Every Citizen Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years old and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.

NO VOTE: KEEPS “EVERY CITIZEN” LANGUAGE IN CURRENT CONSTITUTION

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT (REQUIRED BY LAW TO APPEAR ON BALLOT): 

  • 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 revenues. 
  • Further, it will have no effect on the state’s economy.

BY THE NUMBERS:

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 927,908 

(NOTE: HIGHEST NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS SO FAR)

FINAL APPROVAL: SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

AMENDMENT 2

TITLE: RAISING FLORIDA’S MINIMUM WAGE (18-01)

BALLOT SUMMARY: 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.

SPONSOR: FLORIDA FOR A FAIR WAGE; ORLANDO ATTORNEY JOHN MORGAN

YES VOTE: FLORIDA MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES TO $10 AN HOUR ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. PROVIDES FOR $1 PER YEAR INCREASE UNTIL $15 AN HOUR MINIMUM WAGE IS ACHIEVED SEPTEMBER 30, 2026. 

CURRENT FL MINIMUM WAGE: $8.56 (HOURLY), $5.56 (TIPPED WORKERS)

NO VOTE: MAINTAINS CURRENT MINIMUM WAGE WITH ANNUAL INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS 

LEGAL HISTORY: Florida voters adopted an amendment in 2004 to tie minimum wage to inflation rates when the rate was $5.15 an hour, then increased to $6.15 an hour to the current rate of $8.56 an hour.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT (REQUIRED BY LAW TO APPEAR ON BALLOT): 

  • 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.

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 770,170

FINAL APPROVAL: NOVEMBER 8, 2019

AMENDMENT 3

TITLE: ALL VOTERS VOTE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR STATE LEGISLATURE, GOVERNOR AND CABINET (19-07)

BALLOT SUMMARY: 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.

SPONSOR: ALL VOTERS VOTE

YES VOTE: IF APPROVED, OPENS ALL STATE (NOT FEDERAL) ELECTION PRIMARIES TO ALL VOTERS REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION. FLORIDA CURRENTLY HAS A “CLOSED” PRIMARY SYSTEM WHERE VOTERS *MUST BE REGISTERED AS A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN TO VOTE. CANDIDATES WITH THE TWO *HIGHEST VOTE TOTALS –REGARDLESS OF PARTY—ADVANCE TO GENERAL ELECTION. EXAMPLE: IF TWO REPUBLICANS GET THE HIGHEST VOTE TOTALS FOR GOVERNOR, THEY WILL FACE OFF IN NOVEMBER.

NO VOTE: KEEPS CURRENT CLOSED PRIMARY SYSTEM  

LEGAL NOTE: WOULD NOT GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 2024 ELECTION CYCLE. AN AMENDMENT TO MAKE THE SAME RULE FOR FEDERAL ELECTIONS (PRESIDENT, U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE) HAS FAILED

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT (REQUIRED BY LAW TO APPEAR ON BALLOT): 

  • 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.

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 776,144

FINAL APPROVAL: DECEMBER 6, 2019

AMENDMENT 4

TITLE: VOTER APPROVAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

BALLOT SUMMARY: 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.

SPONSOR: KEEP OUR CONSTITUTION CLEAN

YES VOTE: IF APPROVED BY 60% OF VOTERS, THE AMENDMENT WOULD THEN NEED TO BE APPROVED BY 60% OF VOTERS IN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION (A SECOND ELECTION) BEFORE IT WILL BECOME LAW.

NO VOTE: LEAVES CURRENT AMENDMENT APPROVAL SYSTEM IN PLACE (ONE BALLOT VOTE APPROVED BY 60% OF VOTERS) 

LEGAL NOTE: FLORIDA LEGISLATURE IS ALSO CONSIDERING AMENDMENT TO ELIMINATE CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION COMMISSION (CRC) SPONSORED BY STATE SEN. JEFF BRANDES 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT (REQUIRED BY LAW TO APPEAR ON BALLOT): 

  • 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 modeled, 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.

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 783,420

FINAL APPROVAL: JANUARY 31, 2020

FAILED AMENDMENTS 

TITLE: ADULT USE OF MARIJUANA (LEGALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA)

BALLOT SUMMARY: Permits adults 21 years or older to possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason. Permits Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to sell, distribute, or dispense marijuana and marijuana accessories if clearly labeled and in childproof packaging to adults. Prohibits advertising or marketing targeted to persons under 21. Prohibits marijuana use in defined public places. Maintains limitations on marijuana use in defined circumstances.

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 535,792

FINAL APPROVAL: FAILED TO MEET SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS

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TITLE: RIGHT TO COMPETITIVE ENERGY MARKET FOR CUSTOMERS OF INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES; ALLOWING ENERGY CHOICE (18-10)

BALLOT SUMMARY: Grants customers of investor-owned utilities the right to choose their electricity provider and to generate and sell electricity. Requires the Legislature to adopt laws providing for competitive wholesale and retail markets for electricity generation and supply, and consumer protections, by June 1, 2025, and repeals inconsistent statutes, regulations, and orders. Limits investor-owned utilities to construction, operation, and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems. Municipal and cooperative utilities may opt into competitive markets.

LEGAL NOTE: OPPOSED BY UTILITY COMPANIES AND STATE LAWMAKERS THAT WOULD ALLOW A PLAN TO FOR HOME-GROWN ELECTRIC COMPANIES

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 672,221

FINAL APPROVAL: FAILED TO MEET SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS

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TITLE: PROHIBITS POSSESSION OF DEFINED ASSAULT WEAPONS

BALLOT SUMMARY: Prohibits possession of assault weapons, defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.

  • Possession of handguns is not prohibited. 
  • Exempts military and law enforcement personnel in their official duties. 
  • Exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date. 
  • Creates criminal penalties for violations of this amendment.

LEGAL NOTE: WOULD HAVE REQUIRED REGISTRATION OF ASSAULT WEAPONS OF THOSE ALREADY OWNED. ALSO, A SEPARATE “GUN SHOW “LOOPHOLE BILL IS BEING CONSIDERED IN THE LEGISLATURE.

BY THE NUMBERS

SIGNATURES NEEDED TO MAKE BALLOT: 766,200

STATEWIDE TOTAL: 148,708

FINAL APPROVAL: FAILED TO MEET SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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