2012 Proposed Constitutional Amendments
A brief description of each amendment that appeared on the November 6 ballot, links to the entire texts of the amendments and how they fared.
1) Health Care Services - This amendment would permit the state to pull out of the federal health care program, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It would specifically prohibit laws forcing individuals or employers to buy or provide health care coverage. Some believe if this amendment passes, it could conflict with federal law and be found unconstitutional. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
2) Veterans Disabled Due To Combat Injury; Homestead Property Tax Discount - This amendment would expand a special homestead property exemption to include combat disabled veterans who were not Florida residents when they entered the military. The discount would be based on a percentage equal to that of the veteran’s permanent, service-related disability. (Read full text) This proposed amendment passed.
3) State Government Revenue Limitation - This amendment replaces the existing state revenue limitation, which is based on Florida personal income growth, and replaces it with a new revenue limitation. That cap would be based on inflation and population changes. Revenues collected in excess of the limitation would be deposited into the budget stabilization fund. Once that fund reached its maximum balance, the revenue could be used to support and maintain public schools. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
4) Property Tax Limitations; Property Value Decline; Reduction For Nonhomestead Assessment Increases; Delay Of Scheduled Repeal - This amendment would prevent increases in the assessed value of homestead properties and some non-homestead properties when the market values for those properties decrease. It also would reduce the annual growth assessment cap on non-homestead properties from 10% to 5%. In addition, it would provide first-time homesteaders with an additional exemption equal to 50% of the home’s market value. However, that exemption would drop to zero after five years. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
5) State Courts - This amendment would require Supreme Court justices appointed by the governor to also be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. It would allow the Legislature to repeal a court rule with a simple majority instead of the two-thirds majority in place now. And the amendment would allow the state House of Representatives to review Judicial Qualifications Commission files whether or not they were related to an impeachment. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
6) Prohibition On Public Funding Of Abortions; Construction Of Abortion Rights - This amendment would block the use of public funds for any abortion or for health benefits that cover abortions. It would mirror federal law, which prevents federal spending for most abortions. However, this amendment would not apply to expenditures required by federal law for cases in which a woman has a physical disorder, injury or illness that would place her in danger of death unless she has an abortion, or cases of rape or incest. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
7) Religious Freedom - Removed
8) Religious Freedom - This amendment would overturn a part of the state Constitution that blocks taxpayer funds from being spent on religious institutions, including any churches, sects and religious denominations. The new language, replacing a provision in the Constitution going back more than 125 years, says an individual or entity may not be denied funding, benefits or support based on religious identity or belief. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
9) Homestead Property Tax Exemption For Surviving Spouse Of Military Veteran Or First Responder -This amendment would give a homestead property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a military veteran or first responder killed in the line of duty. The provision would authorize the Legislature to totally or partially exempt a surviving spouse’s homestead property from being taxed. (Read full text) This proposed amendment passed
10) Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption - This amendment applies to businesses and would allow for an enhancement of the tangible personal property tax exemption. The exemption would apply to property, such as equipment or furniture, with an assessed value that runs up to $50,000. Currently, the first $25,000 of assessed value of tangible personal property is exempt from ad valorem taxes levied by counties, cities, school districts and other local governments. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.
11) Additional Homestead Exemption; Low-Income Seniors Who Maintain Long-Term Residency On Property; Equal To Assessed Value - This amendment would authorize the Legislature to let counties and municipalities grant an additional homestead tax exemption for low-income seniors. The exemption would be equal to the assessed value of a homestead property, if: its market value is less than $250,000; the owner has maintained permanent residence there for at least 25 years; the owner is at least 65; and the owner has a low household income under law. (Read full text) This proposed amendment passed.
12) Appointment Of Student Body President To Board Of Governors Of The State University System - This amendment would create a new council made up of student body presidents from the State University System. The council’s chairperson would replace the current Florida Student Association representative on the state university system’s 17-member Board of Governors. (Read full text) This proposed amendment failed.