Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vote No on Amendment 3

Former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos was running for the U.S. Senate. Haridopolos wanted to show the tea party set how much he hated taxes. Haridopolos proposed limiting how much tax revenue Florida could collect. The Republican controlled Florida legislature and the Constitution Revision Commission. Haridopolos succeeded in getting Amendment 3 on the Florida ballot.

STATE GOVERNMENT REVENUE LIMITATION.—This proposed amendment to the State Constitution replaces the existing state revenue limitation based on Florida personal income growth with a new state revenue limitation based on inflation and population changes. Under the amendment, state revenues, as defined in the amendment, collected in excess of the revenue limitation must be deposited into the budget stabilization fund until the fund reaches its maximum balance, and thereafter shall be used for the support and maintenance of public schools by reducing the minimum financial effort required from school districts for participation in a state-funded education finance program, or, if the minimum financial effort is no longer required, returned to the taxpayers. The Legislature may increase the state revenue limitation through a bill approved by a super majority vote of each house of the Legislature. The Legislature may also submit a proposed increase in the state revenue limitation to the voters. The Legislature must implement this proposed amendment by general law. The amendment will take effect upon approval by the electors and will first apply to the 2014-2015 state fiscal year.

Voters are up in arms over Gov. Rick Scott's education cuts. Teachers have gathered protest the cuts. Haridopolos only wants the "minimum financial effort" spent on schools. If lawmakers decide more spending is needed for schools, it would have to be approved by a super majority vote. The short answer is Haridopolos' amendment would make it nearly impossible school spending to increase.

The U.S Census Report found Florida is next to last in education spending per pupil.

Lowest per-pupil spending Utah - $6,064 Idaho - $7,106 Arizona - $7,848 Oklahoma - $7,896 Tennessee - $8,065 Mississippi - $8,119 North Carolina - $8,409 Nevada - $8,483 Florida –$8,741 Texas - $8,746

Florida has passed tax cuts under governors Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist and Rick Scott. There is no state income tax. Florida taxpayers are hardly spending too much on education. Vote no on Amendment 3.

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