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Florida’s ‘super-majority’ amendment would lock us into failed priorities

Florida’s ‘super-majority’ amendment would lock us into failed priorities

LWVFL President Patricia Brigham and and former LWVFL President Deirdre Macnab address the history, challenges and faults of Amendment 5 in columns in the Sun Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel:

LWVFL President Patricia Brigham:

When it comes to providing for our students, Florida lawmakers fail the test. And now — rather than working to improve those failing grades — lawmakers have put an amendment on the ballot that would assure our education system never rises to the top of the class.

Amendment 5 is a proposal that may seem eerily familiar to Florida voters. That’s because it’s a retread of an idea that they overwhelmingly rejected just six years ago. The amendments would require a two-thirds (super-majority) vote of the state Legislature to raise state revenues, taxes and fees. It might sound appealing on first read, but it would not bode well for anyone except wealthy residents and corporations.

Currently the state of Florida gives away more in tax breaks and credits than it spends on K-12 and higher education combined.  To continue reading this op-ed in the Sun Sentinel, click here.

LWVFL Former President Deirdre Macnab:

Very soon you will have “déjà vu” on another long Florida ballot: Not only will Florida voters once again face important decisions on leadership, but also a dizzying list of constitutional amendments. And now, out of the mist, the Legislature is trying once again to get voters to approve an amendment similar to one that 58 percent rejected in 2012.

Amendment 5 may look as appealing as the turkey on your Thanksgiving table, requiring a “supermajority” for tax changes, but be forewarned: This turkey is sure to give Florida a serious case of permanent indigestion.  

Continue reading this guest column in the Orlando Sentinel.

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