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Homestead Property Tax Discount for Spouses of Deceased Veterans Amendment

Summary

Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.[3]

 

The measure would amend section 6 of Article VII and Article XII of the state constitution, as follows: 

Article VII, Section 6

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS
(2) If a veteran who receives the discount described in paragraph (1) predeceases his or her spouse, and if, upon the death of the veteran, the surviving spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead property and permanently resides thereon, the discount carries over to the surviving spouse until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the homestead property. If the surviving spouse sells or otherwise disposes of the property, a discount not to exceed the dollar amount granted from the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s new homestead property, if used as his or her permanent residence and he or she has not remarried. 

Article XII

Text of Section 36

Ad valorem tax discount for surviving spouses of certain permanently disabled veterans.—The amendment to Section 6 of Article VII, relating to the ad valorem tax discount for spouses of certain deceased veterans who had permanent, combat-related disabilities, and this section shall take effect January 1, 2021.[3]  


LPF Stance: No Position

Description

If approved, this would allow combat-injured veterans to transfer Save Our Homes homestead exemption benefits to their spouses after death.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

I. State Government

  1. Private Property and Markets: 

Private property is all property owned by non-government entities. We recognize the rights to private property and self-ownership as a basic human rights. Therefore, one of the functions of government is to protect the private property rights of all persons under its jurisdiction. This includes private entities having the right to voluntarily transfer ownership of their private property, free of government price or quantity controls, intervention or taxation.

VI. Paying for Government

  1. Ending Tax Favoritism: 

As long as we have taxes, equal protection of the law requires that for each type of tax, the rates should be the same and the tax base should be calculated in the same way for every individual or business.

There should be no abatements, subsidies, credits, refunds or other preferential treatments as incentives to businesses to invest or create jobs, or as a privilege to individuals or classes of individuals, such as age, race or location. Such tax favoritism should be unconstitutional.

 

Discussion

The 1992 Save Our Homes Amendment places a cap on the increases of the assessed value of a homesteaded residence in Florida. The original intent was to decrease taxes on homesteaded properties in Florida by placing caps on the appraised value on homes and land. It didn’t do that.

While the Libertarian Party of Florida welcomes any chance to decrease taxes, SOH created several problems in it’s attempt to curtail increasing Florida property taxes. For example, while SOH places a cap on the assessed value of a residence, it fails to address the tax rates themselves. Those taxes can be incrementally increased each year regardless of a property’s value. Indeed, they often are increased to compensate for the SOH limits. Similarly, the legally arbitrary homestead exemption itself shifts the burden of these taxes from homesteaded property owners to non-homestead property owners, who receive no such exemption. They pay even higher taxes as a result.

Similar arguments were made in the past about SOH adjustments. In 2008, Florida TaxWatch argued against Amendment 1 on the basis that portability transfers—as we see in the current Amendment 5—represented a constitutional challenge. They also argued the burden was placed on non-homesteaded homeowners who have seen the largest tax increases in Florida, creating an obvious and unfair tax disadvantage. The Miami Herald also urged a “No” vote because adjustments to the homestead exemption only further complicated Florida’s now incomprehensible “archaic tax system.”

Likewise, the LPF welcomes any opportunity to cut taxes and honor our veterans, such programs should be universally applied for all spouses in Florida and indeed, all taxpayers. We believe we should focus our efforts on cutting government spending and taxation rather than playing games with property values. Only with responsible spending will that burden ease for all.  Nonetheless, the LPF takes No Position on Amendment 6.

Extend “Save Our Homes” Portability Period Amendment

Summary

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective January 1, 2021, to increase, from 2 years to 3 years, the period of time during which accrued Save Our Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

The measure would amend section 4 of Article VII and create a new section in Article XII of the state constitution, as follows:

 

Article VII

FINANCE AND TAXATION

(8)a. A person who establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2009, or January 1 of any subsequent year and who has received a homestead exemption pursuant to Section 6 of this Article as of January 1 of any either of the three two years immediately preceding the establishment of the new homestead is entitled to have the new homestead assessed at less than just value. If this revision is approved in January of 2008, a person who establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2008, is entitled to have the new homestead assessed at less than just value only if that person received a homestead exemption on January 1, 2007.

Article XII

SCHEDULE

Transfer of the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments; increased portability period.—This section and the amendment to Section 4 of Article VII, which extends to three years the time period during which the accrued benefit from specified limitations on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead, shall take effect January 1, 2021.[4]


LPF Stance: No

Description

If approved, this would increase the amount of time for which homeowners can apply for Save Our Homes transferred homestead tax exemptions from one homesteaded property to a new homestead from two years to three.

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

I. State Government

  1. Private Property and Markets: 

Private property is all property owned by non-government entities. We recognize the rights to private property and self-ownership as a basic human rights. Therefore, one of the functions of government is to protect the private property rights of all persons under its jurisdiction. This includes private entities having the right to voluntarily transfer ownership of their private property, free of government price or quantity controls, intervention or taxation.

VI. Paying for Government

  1. Ending Tax Favoritism: 

As long as we have taxes, equal protection of the law requires that for each type of tax, the rates should be the same and the tax base should be calculated in the same way for every individual or business.

There should be no abatements, subsidies, credits, refunds or other preferential treatments as incentives to businesses to invest or create jobs, or as a privilege to individuals or classes of individuals, such as age, race or location.  Such tax favoritism should be unconstitutional.

 

Discussion

The 1992 Save Our Homes Amendment places a cap on the increases of the assessed value of a homesteaded residence in Florida. The original intent was to decrease taxes on homesteaded properties in Florida by placing caps on the appraised value on homes and land. It didn’t do that.

While the Libertarian Party of Florida welcomes any chance to decrease taxes, SOH created several problems in the attempt to curtail increasing Florida property taxes. For example, while SOH places a cap on the assessed value of a residence, it fails to address the tax rates themselves. Those taxes can be incrementally increased each year regardless of a property’s value. Indeed, they often are increased to compensate for the SOH limits. Similarly, the legally arbitrary homestead exemption itself shifts the burden of these taxes from homesteaded property owners to non-homestead property owners, who receive no such exemption. They pay even higher taxes as a result.

Similar arguments were made in the past about SOH adjustments. In 2008, Florida TaxWatch argued against Amendment 1 on the basis that portability transfers—as we see in the current Amendment 5—represented a constitutional challenge. They also argued the burden was placed on non-homesteaded homeowners who have seen the largest tax increases in Florida, creating an obvious and unfair tax disadvantage. The Miami Herald also urged a “No” vote because adjustments to the homestead exemption only further complicated Florida’s now incomprehensible “archaic tax system.”

It is the position of the Libertarian Party of Florida that we should focus our efforts on cutting government spending and taxation rather than playing games with property value. Only with responsible spending will that burden ease.

The LPF recommends No because the SOH program has only shifted tax burdens from homesteaded property owners to non-homestead property owners, creating an unequal tax system and further complicating Florida’s incomprehensible tax code.

Require Constitutional Amendments to be Passed Twice Initiative

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.[5]

The measure would add amend Sections 5 and 7 of Article XI of the Florida Constitution, as follows:

SECTION 5. Amendment or revision election.—

(a) A proposed amendment to or revision of this constitution, or any part of it, shall be submitted to the electors at the next general election held more than ninety days after the joint resolution or report of revision commission, constitutional convention or taxation and budget reform commission proposing it is filed with the custodian of state records, unless, pursuant to law enacted by the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the membership of each house of the legislature and limited to a single amendment or revision, it is submitted at an earlier special election held more than ninety days after such filing. If the proposed amendment or revision is approved as provided in subsection (e), it shall be submitted to the electors a second time at the next general election occurring at least ten weeks after the election in which the proposed amendment or revision is initially approved.

(b) A proposed amendment or revision of this constitution, or any part of it, by initiative shall be submitted to the electors at the general election provided the initiative petition is filed with the custodian of state records no later than February 1 of the year in which the general election is held. If the proposed amendment or revision is approved as provided in subsection (e), it shall be submitted to the electors a second time at the next general election.

 

LPF Stance: No Position

Description

If approved, this amendment would require all Florida constitutional amendments to receive 60 percent approval in two subsequent Florida General Elections instead of the current requirement of 60 percent approval in a single Florida General Election. This amendment would not have an impact on the number of signatures required for an Initiated Constitutional Amendment (citizens initiative) to receive placement on a General Election ballot.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

The Platform of the Libertarian Party of Florida does not currently speak to the process in which the Florida Constitution is amended.

 

Discussion

A Constitution’s purpose is to serve as a document outlining the basic principles of a nation, state, or social group. A Constitution does not encompass every law within a country. Nor does it encompass the Platform, Bylaws, or Standing Rules of an organization such as the Libertarian Party of Florida. A Constitution is the document which represents the supreme law of the land and the document on which all laws are based.

The intent of Amendment 4 is to make it harder to amend the Florida Constitution, the state’s most important governing document by requiring that ballot-led initiatives are passed twice in two subsequent general elections. The LPF is of the opinion that this amendment can be viewed as either beneficial or detrimental to Floridians:

To the benefit of Floridians, making ballot-led Constitutional amendments more difficult to pass streamlines the Florida Constitution. It ensures that difficult to repeal amendments, such as the $15 minimum wage amendment on the ballot this year, are not passed without extraordinary support. Another example of poor amendment choices was the Florida Monorail Amendment approved by a slim margin in 2000. It established a high-speed ground transportation system to connect the five most-populated regions of the state but the actual cost of the project wasn’t known. Once voters discovered the cost would be $20 billion to $25 billion, just four years later, Amendment 1 was repealed and the project was never built.

To the detriment of Floridians, Amendment 4 weakens the option of direct participation from voters in the state of Florida and is part of a trend following Amendment 3 in 2006 which changed the threshold for the number of votes required to approve a ballot amendment from a simple majority to 60 percent. While this amendment may streamline the Constitution, it places power almost entirely in the hands of the legislature and lobbyists in Tallahassee. It requires any group wishing to enact change through citizens’ initiatives spend twice as much to promote their cause for four years and two votes instead of the current two years with one vote. An example of a relatively expensive campaign that passed with a supermajority vote that would have gone to the legislature twice rather than once, is 2016’s Amendment 2 approving medical marijuana. This amendment passed with 71 percent approval in the state after a grand total of $9.5 million was spent both for and against the measure.

This Amendment does not prevent citizens from initiating constitutional amendments by gathering signatures, nor does it increase signature requirements for citizens’ initiatives. It does require a constitutional change to be so important to voters they consider it twice and spend twice to promote or oppose it. Amendment 4 increases the amount of time it would take for such initiatives and other proposed amendments to make their way into the state Constitution. It shifts initiatives away from citizens throughout the state and more to the Legislature and their lobbyist big-money influences..

The LPF takes No Position on Amendment 4.

Top-Two Open Primaries for State Offices Initiative

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. 

 

The measure would add a section C to Section 5 of Article VI of the Florida Constitution, as appears below:

ARTICLE VI, SECTION 5. Primary, general, and special elections.—

(a) A general election shall be held in each county on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year to choose a successor to each elective state and county officer whose term will expire before the next general election and, except as provided herein, to fill each vacancy in elective office for the unexpired portion of the term. A general election may be suspended or delayed due to a state of emergency or impending emergency pursuant to general law. Special elections and referenda shall be held as provided by law.

(b) If all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for that office.

(c) All elections for the Florida legislature, governor and cabinet shall be held as follows:

(1) A single primary election shall be held for each office. All electors registered to vote for the office being filled shall be allowed to vote in the primary election for said office regardless of the voter’s, or any candidate’s, political party affiliation or lack of same.

(2) All candidates qualifying for election to the office shall be placed on the same ballot for the primary election regardless of any candidate’s political party affiliation or lack of same.

 

LPF Stance: No

Description

If approved, this would eliminate closed-party nominations for state offices and replace them with the “top-two” system, allowing all voters to vote in primary elections, regardless of party affiliation. Candidates of each party are listed on the same ballot for all voters. Candidates obtaining the top two popular vote positions advance to general election regardless of their party affiliation. Thus two Republicans or two Democrats might face each other in the General Election, blocking third-party participation.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

II. Elections

  1. Election Ballot Choices
    We support innovative voting methods that increase efficiency and voter turnout, and save taxpayer money, such as a “none of the above” choice (with a new election without the losing candidates if it wins) and rank choice voting; and we should consider proportional representation. We oppose “Top Two” primaries since these keep minority parties from being represented in the general election.

 

Discussion

Florida is a closed-primary state. This means voters of each party identify the candidate that best represents their party to support and advance that candidate to the General Election.

Currently, voters choose to affiliate with a party or may choose No Party Affiliation (NPA) on their voter registration form. The electorate may vote for only candidates registered in the voter’s same party during a Primary Election. All voters, regardless of affiliation, may vote on non-partisan candidates and issues during a Primary Election or in a universal primary contest.

In a top-two system, sometimes aptly known as a “jungle primary,” the two candidates with the most votes in the open primary advance to the General Election. During the General Election, only two candidates will be listed on the ballot.

According to Richard Winger, ballot-access expert, California, Louisiana, and Washington have top-two systems. As of August 3, 2015, Winger states there were 119 instances when a member of a third party ran for federal or state office in those states along with democrats and Republicans in the same race. In all 119 instances, the minor party candidate did not place first or second and thus, was eliminated from the general election.

Turnout in California declined more than any other state between 2010, when voters approved the top-two system, and 2014. In the 2010 California Primary, there were six parties represented on the ballot. In 2014, there was only one Democrat and one Republican on the General Election ballot for each statewide race. As a result, in these three states, voters who didn’t want to vote for a Republican or a Democrat often couldn’t vote at all.

The LPF recommends voting No. These primaries often lead to the exclusion of minority party candidates participating in the General Election, leading to single party rule.

$15 Minimum Wage Initiative

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 Sept. 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting Sept. 30th, 2027.

 

This measure would amend Section 24 of Article X of the Florida Constitution.

(c)  MINIMUM WAGE. Employers shall pay Employees Wages no less than the Minimum Wage for all hours worked in Florida. Six months after enactment, the Minimum Wage shall be established at an hourly rate of $6.15. Effective September 30th, 2021, the existing state Minimum Wage shall increase to $10.00 per hour, and then increase each September 30th thereafter by $1.00 per hour, until the Minimum Wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. On September 30th of 2027 that year and on each following September 30th, the state Agency for Workforce Innovation shall calculate an adjusted Minimum Wage rate by increasing the current Minimum Wage rate by the rate of inflation during the twelve months prior to each September 1st using the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, CPI-W, or a successor index as calculated by the United States Department of Labor. Each adjusted Minimum Wage rate calculated shall be published and take effect on the following January 1st. For tipped Employees meeting eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the FLSA, Employers may credit towards satisfaction of the Minimum Wage tips up to the amount of the allowable FLSA tip credit in 2003”

 

LPF Stance: No

Description

This measure raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective Sept. 30, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on Sept. 30, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting Sept. 30, 2027.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

Section VII

  1. Terms of Employment All of the terms of employment contracts, such as wage rates, hours worked, benefits and work rules, should be decided only between or among the parties involved: the employers and employees. The state should not legislate the terms of employment contracts.

 

Discussion

The current minimum wage in Florida is $8.56 an hour, $1.31 above the federal minimum. This means that the current minimum wage would rise 75 percent if a $15 minimum wage were instated. While such a raise would hypothetically equate to an equal increase in earnings, experiments carried out in places where high minimum wage laws were instated show otherwise. 

In 2014, Seattle passed a minimum wage law raising its then $9.47 wage to exactly $15. Yet in the years following, economists found a number of adverse worker impacts. For example, while workers’ wages did indeed go up, employers in Seattle found a way to bypass the increased spending by cutting their hours. During the first three years of Seattle’s minimum wage increase, during which it increased wages to $13 per hour, employers cut workers’ hours 9 percent across the board, or 3.5 million hours per quarter: equating to a $125 average decline in employee’s earnings per month.

A Cato Institute analysis from 2012 argued that minimum wage laws actually have little effect on reducing poverty, and in some cases, adverse effects. As in Seattle, the continuous case nationwide is that each round of minimum wage increases accounts for up to 550,000 part-time job losses.The same analysis reported that both state and federal minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 had absolutely no effect on states’ overall poverty rates. Likewise, 72 percent of professional economists oppose a $15 minimum wage across the board, including those who generally advocate for minimum wage increases. They argued in this case, $15 is far too high.

As noted by Nobel Memorial Prize Winner Paul Krugman, “So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment.

Any such interference from the state on increasing the minimum wage will likely result in detrimental economic growth for small businesses, decrease the number of hours worked annually, and have unintended adverse effects on the poorest Floridians. The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends a No vote on Amendment 2.

Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

Summary:

The measure would amend Section 2 of Article VI of the Florida Constitution to state: 

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

 

LPF Stance: No


Description:

If approved, this amendment would mandate United States citizenship along with the lengthy list of current requirements to vote in all Florida elections. While current law prevents non-citizens from voting, this change to the Florida Constitution prevents Florida cities from allowing non-citizens to vote, should the residents of that city vote to do so in the future. Some cities in the United States, such as San Francisco and College Park, MD, already allow non-citizens to vote in their local elections. The passage of Amendment 1 would remove the ability for Florida residents to choose to include the voices of non-citizens in their local elections.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

XII. Secession

  1. Local Government and Secession

We support the right of all local jurisdictions (such as counties, cities, school districts and special districts) to determine their political geography and government structure, including representation systems, election dates, and elected and appointed officers.

 

VI. Paying for Government

  1. Localism

As a principle, we recognize Florida as a diverse and vast people. As such, we seek to support the most local forms of government, rather than further afield governments, such as State or Federal.

 

Discussion

As Libertarians, we recognize the rights of local citizens and respect their judgement regarding who they choose to participate in local elections. This amendment takes those rights away.

Federal law already prohibits non-citizens from voting, but some localities like San Francisco and College Park, MD have made the decision to give non-citizens voting rights in local elections. Regardless of their citizenship status, municipal residents should be able to vote in their communities if the majority of their local municipality grants them such rights.

This amendment to the Florida Constitution is an overreaching attempt to tie the hands of future elected officials within all of Florida’s local governments. For these reasons, the Libertarian Party of Florida recommends a vote of No on Amendment 1.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 28, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

MIAMI – The Florida Lobbying Restrictions Amendment would significantly restrict former officials’ ability to lobby current government lawmakers. Let’s take a look at it.

Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers (Proposal 39) – 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.

THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE
Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
4. We support Equality under the Law, and condemn any law that either rewards or punishes any individual based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation3, or any other group identification. Each person has the same inalienable rights. It is the State’s duty to protect those rights for each individual equally.
6. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.
7. We oppose immunities for any public officials or employees for illegal acts or omissions.
8. We support complete transparency and believe it should apply to all public employees. Sunshine laws should apply to all public employees working in any public place. With modern technology virtually every person has the ability to record and report on the actions of our public officials and workers. There should be no laws prohibiting or limiting the electronic recording and reporting using any means of any public official, including law enforcement officers, while performing their duties.

DISCUSSION

Currently, former Legislators and other state officials are prevented from lobbying their colleagues for at least two years after they leave office. This Amendment would expand that term to six years. It would also expand lobbying restrictions to include many other elected city, county, and school members, along with many unelected senior officials.
We recommend NO because this would dramatically decrease private individuals’ rights to promote causes. We would like to see much greater transparency in lobbying so we all know who and what influences participation in the state’s lawmaking process. This is not the correct way to accomplish this.
> By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 17, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

Amendment 9, if approved, would ban both offshore drilling and indoor vaping as though they have anything to do with each other! The “Florida Ban Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Ban Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces Amendment” is perhaps the best example of what is wrong with the November ballot. Different subjects are combined forcing many voters to choose between things they like and things they do not. In this case, we like neither and suggest a NO vote. We’ll look at both proposals individually, even though we cannot vote on them separately.

Ban Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces (Proposal 65:) 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE
Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

V. VICE LAWS
1. Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.
2. Voluntary communities may enforce rules that prohibit certain activities to which all members subscribe, such as substance-free dorms.

X. ENVIRONMENT
2. We call for the restoration of every individual’s ancient, common law standing to sue for trespass any individual, business, government or other group that pollutes his or her property.
4. We support efforts to hold all individuals, businesses and governments accountable for the pollution they cause.

XI. HEALTH CARE
1. The most fundamental property right is an individual’s right to own and control his or her own body. All individuals have the right to determine their own health care needs and treatment. Government has no constitutional authority to interfere with the practitioner/patient relationship.

DISCUSSION

Florida voters banned smoking of tobacco products indoors with some exclusions such as bars in 2002. This proposal would include electronic tobacco “vaping” to that prohibition. Evidence of vaping harm is inconclusive and there is no evidence of the harm of “second-hand vaping.” We believe this is a choice for each establishment and its patrons to make. We do not believe such personal choices as smoking in public should be enforced in the state Constitution. We would vote NO on this proposal.

Ban Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling (Proposal 91:) 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
5. State government should be removed entirely from the licensing process, including occupational licensing. It has produced no better results than private licensing and amounts to another tax.4

III. COURTS
2. We support restitution for victims of crimes or civil infractions at the expense of the perpetrator. The victim should have the right to pardon the perpetrator, provided the victim is not threatened or coerced.

X. ENVIRONMENT
2. We call for the restoration of every individual’s ancient, common law standing to sue for trespass any individual, business, government or other group that pollutes his or her property.

DISCUSSION

This proposal would permanently ban exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas drilling in the state’s territorial coastal waters. State law now bans oil drilling within a mile offshore of any submerged land within a bay, estuary, rivers, state parks, etc. In part it attempts to block federal authority to permit drilling in Florida’s coastal areas. This proposal also eliminates the ability of the Legislature to respond to a critical need or even safer drilling technology. We certainly want our beautiful state to remain beautiful, but we do not believe this is the best way to do it. We would vote NO on this proposal if we could.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— xxx —

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 17, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

The seventh ballot proposal Florida voters will consider this November is the impossibly-named “Florida First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits, Supermajority Board Votes for College Fees, and State College System Amendment.” Even though we agree with one of the three proposals, because they are combined we recommend a No vote. Let’s take a look at each component.

Supermajority Board Votes for College Fees (Proposal 44:) 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
6. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.
VI. TAXES
1. The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.

DISCUSSION

This proposal assures there must be strong backing to approve state college and university fee hikes. It requires nine of the 13 members of a state college’s Board of Trustees to propose a new fee or a fee increase. If the fee is also subject to Board of Governors approval, 12 of those 17 BOG members would also have to approve increase.
We absolutely agree it should always be difficult to raise any public fee or tax. If we could, we’d vote YES for P44, but unfortunately, we will not be able to do so.

Florida First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits (Proposal 49:) 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
In the absence of a declaration of war by the United States Congress, for any purpose other than natural disaster relief, we oppose any use of Florida troops by the federal government without the approval of both the Florida Legislature and Governor.

VI. TAXES
The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.

DISCUSSION

This would assure state-funded death benefits for any first responder killed in the line of duty. This includes state employees, such as corrections officers and Florida National Guard Members but would also include city and county firefighters and law enforcement officers. It would include all active duty Armed Forces members whether Florida residents or even those stationed in Florida at the time of their death. If applicable, the benefit would be payable to surviving spouse, children parents or estate. Benefits range from $50,000 to $150,000 and include significant waivers to state college tuition.
We agree wholeheartedly society should certainly honor its fallen public servants, but we must oppose such a tremendous increase in both taxpayer expense and government bureaucracy to be established in our state Constitution. Analysts have not been able to put a dollar value on the cost to state and local taxpayers. There were 55,862 active military members and 36,387 reservists stationed in Florida at the time of the staff analysis of this proposal. That is in addition to all state, county and city first responders.
We believe health, life and death Insurance benefits are part of employer / employee negotiations. If a town’s taxpayers cannot, or are unwilling, to pay a competitive benefit then sure, desirable prospects may go elsewhere. That’s how the workplace works, but not this proposal. If we could, we’d vote No for this one.

State College System (Proposal 83:) Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
6. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.

DISCUSSION

This proposal would institutionalize the state college system (which were known as “community colleges,”) by placing the entire system into the Constitution. Local priorities may be lost due to state-wide standards which must be established by this proposal. The amendment would also perpetuate the current governor-seated local college boards.
While there may be a place for state universities, we disagree the state should also control local education choices: choices taxpayers must pay for. For this reason, we would vote No for this proposal if we could.
– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer
— xxx —

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 17, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

Once again, the Constitutional Revision Commission “bundled” three unrelated topics into one, the “Repeal Prohibition on Aliens’ Property Ownership, Delete Obsolete Provision on High-Speed Rail, and Repeal of Criminal Statutes’ Effect on Prosecution Amendment.” However, we would vote YES on all three, especially the third.

Let’s take a brief look at each one.

Repeal the Florida Alien Land Law (P 3) – Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE
Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.
People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

I. STATE GOVERNMENT
4. We support Equality under the Law, and condemn any law that either rewards or punishes any individual based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other group identification. Each person has the same inalienable rights. It is the State’s duty to protect those rights for each individual equally.

DISCUSSION

This proposal would repeal the 1926 Alien Act Law and allow foreign nationals to own land in Florida. While this law would eliminate the 100-year-old bias against Asians owning land in Florida, voters defeated a similar proposal in 2008. The United States Supreme Court systematically struck down laws that did not provide “equal protection” in other states but the Florida law remained on the books. We support this provision so any peaceful person can own land in Florida.

Delete Obsolete Provision on High-Speed Rail (P 12) – Removes obsolete language repealed by voters.

 

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

N / A

DISCUSSION
In 2004, Florida voters repealed the High Speed Rail Amendment which required construction of a 120+ mile per hour rail system connecting the state’s largest urban areas. However, the original wording wasn’t removed from the Constitution. This proposal removes it. We agree this cleanup language is a good idea

Repeal of Criminal Statutes’ Effect on Prosecution (P 20) – 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE
(See above)
I. STATE GOVERNMENT
4. (See above)

DISCUSSION
Florida’s Constitution has a 133-year-old “Savings Clause” which prevents the Legislature from reducing a criminal sentence even if it subsequently changes or even does away with that crime. This proposal would remove that prohibition. Unfortunately, what this Amendment doesn’t do is require reduction of current convictions.

We believe everyone convicted of a crime should be treated equally if penalties for that crime change. We will urge the Legislature to commute all sentences should they modify sentencing in the future if this proposal passes. We support this Amendment because of this proposal.