Statement from Patricia M. Brigham, President, League of Women Voters of Florida
We commend the court for taking swift action to protect the integrity of the ballot by removing a proposal that was blatantly and intentionally misleading.
While all of the bundled proposals have the potential to be confusing, the backers of Amendment 8 took it beyond confusion to intentional deceit.
The backers of this proposal on the CRC went to great lengths to hide the ball because they realized that Floridians would never knowingly forfeit their right to local control over their local public schools.
This case once again illustrates the importance of fair and impartial courts to provide the necessary check against political overreach.
If the backers of this amendment truly wanted this decision to be left to the voters, they would have put it forward as a stand-alone amendment in clear, unambiguous language. They had every opportunity to do just that.
Floridians overwhelmingly support the constitutional requirement to make adequate provision for the education of all children that is ‘uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality.
Amendment 8 is gone, but voters need to understand there are other measures still on the ballot that carry devastating consequences for our public schools.
Lawmakers have consistently expanded tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of adequately funding education and Amendment 5 would lock this unfair system in place.
The supermajority vote required by Amendment 5 would make it virtually impossible to eliminate the tax loopholes and special treatment that legislators have delivered to their corporate donors over the years.
In addition, Floridians are being asked to pass Amendment 1, a so-called ‘tax break’. Amendment 1 is not a ‘tax break’ for most Floridians. It is a ‘tax shift’ which unfairly benefits some of us while crippling the ability of local governments to fund essential services for all of us.
Both Amendments will make it harder, not easier, to help our schools and our communities.