This amendment is by far, the most wordy and potentially confusing on the ballot. Basically, the wording surrounding the death penalty changes allows for the punishment to be designated by the Legislature. If the amendment passes, any method of execution may be used unless prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. A decision that a method is cruel and unusual will not reduce the sentence.
This amendment will create a law that forces all future amendments created by citizen initiative to provide a public statement clearly laying out the costs if the amendment were to be voted into action.
Miami-Dade County will be affected by this amendment. If it passes, the county, ruled by home charter, will see its powers redefined. The state legislature will be able to suggest home rule changes to the county, but those changes must be approved by election.
Public records and public meetings requirements, if this amendment passes, may only be exempted if both houses of the state legislature approve by a two-thirds vote. Therefore, records and meetings cannot be closed to the public except in the case of a two-thirds vote.
This amendment, following a decision by the First District Court of Appeals, has been removed from the ballot.
One of the more controversial amendments, if passed, No. 6 will prohibit smoking at indoor workplaces. Exceptions are tobacco shops, smoking rooms in hotels and bars that do not serve food. The amendment states that it was formed to “protect people from the health hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke.”
If a resident must construct living quarters for parents or grandparents 62 years of age or older, this amendment allows counties to grant an exemption from homestead property taxation. The exemption would be given for the value of the added quarters or 20 percent of the total value of the improved property.
If Amendment 8 passes, the state must offer free pre-kindergarten education to 4-year-olds by 2005. Each child’s attendance will be optional. Funds for the program must be created without using funds set aside for education, health and development programs.
Pigs, if this amendment passes, may no longer be confined in tight pens while pregnant. The pigs may not be held in cages, crates or be tethered. The pig must be able to turn around freely.
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