Election Day is just around the corner, so make sure to vote!
This year, it will be on November 8th, but polls in North Central Florida are already open. Bloggers, social media and the news media give us daily information about the presidential candidates. But there are also many state and local elections which are important.
In Florida, there are races for the U.S. Senate and for the Florida Senate
Personally, I think that these races have a larger impact on us than the presidential election. They have a more direct impact on us, especially when it comes to the Florida legislature. Those are the officials who determine our State budget, which directly impacts our State court system.
There are many proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution!
(Florida 2016 Ballot Measures)
Amendment 1: Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use
This amendment is proposed by the energy and electric utilities, seeks a right for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property for their own use. This proposal has been criticized for actually limiting a person’s access to solar power. Go to www.mytimetovote.com for more information.
Amendment 2: Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization
A licensed doctor would have to recommend medical marijuana, and the Florida Dept. of Health would regulate centers that produce marijuana for medical purposes.
This proposed amendment was denied two years ago, but it may pass this year. For an unbiased review of this proposal, see this blog from the James Madison Institute.
Amendment 3: Florida Tax Exemptions for Disabled First Responders
The third proposal would provide tax relief for any first responders (police or firefighters) who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries from the line of duty. Of all the proposed amendments, I like this one the best. Law enforcement and firefighters risk their lives daily. They deserve a break where needed.
Amendment 5: Florida Property Tax Exemptions for Senior Citizens
Another proposal would provide a tax exemption for certain senior, low-income residents who have lived in Florida for a long time. This is a worthy cause, given the high number of senior citizens who live in Florida.
These and the local elections have a direct impact on us. However, the presidential election will have a long term impact on other important items, such as U.S. Supreme Court nominations. Of course, the President is also our leader in international relations, and sets the tone for U.S. policy.