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Oct 23

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Constitutional Amendment and County Resolution Voter Guide

Florida Constitution

Florida Constitution

November 4, 2014, voters in the state of Florida will vote on three proposed constitutional amendments and in counties that have a Children’s Services Council, voters will vote on whether to reauthorize the Children’s Services Council or not. Since the FL Constitution is the supreme law of Florida subject only to the US Constitution, voters have a duty to research carefully the proposed amendments. Our vote will have a lasting impact on our state for generations to come.

The following is a voter guide that will first provide recommendations and then further explanation of the rational behind the recommendations. You will also hear a sermon preached by Pastor Bryan Longworth covering the proposed constitutional amendments and county resolution.

Constitutional Amendment and County Resolution Voter Guide

Amendment 1 – Water and Land Conservation

Recommendation: Vote No

Amendment 2 – Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions

Recommendation: Vote No

Amendment 3 – Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Recommendation: Vote Yes

County Referendum – Reauthorization of the Children’s Services Council (in select counties)

Recommendation: Vote No

Voter Guide with Explanation

Amendment 1 – Water and Land Conservation

Recommendation: Vote No

A YES VOTE places this legislative budget issue into the Florida Constitution and mandate that for 20 years, thirty three percent (33%) of public funds from tax dollars of existing excise taxes on documents will be dedicated to buying new and improving existing water and land conservation properties through the power of eminent domain.1

A NO VOTE allows the state government through the legislative process to continue to allocate budgeted funds for the purposes of buying and improving land and water conservation properties. Currently there is no requirement that 33% of tax revenues from excise taxes on documents be used for this purpose.1

1 Samuel 8:14 & 17b-18 – “And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. . . And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” (NKJV)

According to MikeHofstee.com, “The total land area for the state of Florida is approximately 34,721,280 acres while the total of non -submerged lands in government conservation is 9,382,809 acres or 27% while other government land holdings push that number over 30%.”

According to Dan Peterson, Executive Director of the Orlando based Coalition for Property Rights, the State of Florida has not been able to produce a current and accurate inventory for years and that the government cannot currently afford to maintain the lands it owns.

Amendment 2 – Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions

Recommendation: Vote No

A YES VOTE legalizes the smoking of marijuana in all 67 Florida counties for “any condition”, which could include fatigue, depression, body aches, nausea, pain, and headaches. Any person at least 21 years of age could be considered a “caregiver” and sell the drug without a prescription. There are no age restrictions or parental consent requirements, so minor children would be eligible to buy and smoke marijuana without their parents’ permission.1

A NO VOTE allows Florida’s current law against buying, selling and smoking marijuana to remain in effect. Voting against this amendment will not affect the 2014 law which was passed in the state legislature and allows for a special strain of non-euphoric medical marijuana in a pill to be prescribed by physicians to treat children with certain seizures and to be used for other debilitating medical conditions.1

Romans 13:13-14 – “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (NKJV)

The Importance of Personal Responsibility in the Law of God

Amendment 3 – Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Recommendation: Vote Yes

A YES VOTE allows the Governor of Florida to begin the process of reviewing and selecting a new judge to replace an existing judge (who must resign because of the mandatory retirement age or ineligibility) during the time that the existing judge is still in office and not wait until after the date of retirement to replace the judge.1

A NO VOTE requires the Governor to wait until the date that an existing judge’s term expires and an actual vacancy in the court occurs before he/she could start the process of finding a new judge. Currently, a vacancy on the court occurs for a period of time after an existing judge retires because the Governor is not allowed to begin the process of replacing the existing judge until after the date of his/her retirement.1

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 – “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (NKJV)

If amendment 3 passed, it will make it even more important to choose a governor who will appoint judges who will not pervert justice. If amendment 3 passes, the next governor will appoint four supreme court justices. Charlie Crist appointed the other three in his previous term as governor. Given Crist’s move to the left in the last four years which includes vetoing prolife legislation and supporting Obamacare, can we trust him to replace the remaining supreme court justices?

St Lucie County Referendum 4 – Reauthorization of the Children’s Services Council

Recommendation: Vote No

A YES VOTE allows reauthorizes the Children’s Services Council to continue to collect taxes from property owners to distribute to organizations that provide care for children. A portion of that money will fund Children’s Services Council buildings and staff and will not reach the intended recipients, the children.

A NO VOTE would end the Children’s Services Council in your county. A no vote would allow private citizens to choose which groups receive donations. A no vote would not prohibit other government agencies such as the county commission from funding organizations that help children.

Luke 10:25-37 — The Good Samaritan

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816 — “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”2

James Madison, 4 Annals of Congress 179, 1794 – “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”2

In the Bible, charity is command by God but is also voluntary. Our nation’s founding fathers agreed with this principle. Today, some individuals prefer to use government agencies to take money from you to do what they are unwilling to do with their own money.

Such is the case with the Children’s Services Council (CSC). CSC’s are independent taxing authorities that collects money through property tax and then distributes that money to agencies that help children. They operate in the following counties: Broward, Charlotte, Highlands, Lake, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St Lucie. (Other FL counties handle funding of programs that benefit children through private donations and/or assistance from the county commission.) Since CSC boards are not elected, voters have no say in how the money is spent. Voters in each of these counties will vote on whether to reauthorize the CSC in their county or not.

There is nothing wrong with many of the programs funded by the CSC. The problem is that taxpayers are forced to pay for these services. The result is that agencies that are funded don’t need to work as hard to obtain donations. They also have more money to spend and spend a larger portion of that on salaries and buildings than organizations that are funded solely by charity. The CSCs also have buildings and staff. Consequently, a sizable percentage of the money collected never reaches the children who need help.

Sadly, the CSC can fund programs that are in opposition to the values of voters. A case in point is the funding of Planned Parenthood programs by certain CSC’s including those in St Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach Counties. Thankfully after years of protest, citizens in St Lucie and Martin counties were successful in defunding Planned Parenthood, but the Palm Beach County Children’s Services Council continues to give over $2,000,000 per year to Planned Parenthood. Moreover, the St Lucie County Children’s Services Council continues to fund that same type of graphic condom ed that Planned Parenthood used to provide.

I urge you to vote no on the County Referendum to Reauthorize the Children’s Services Council.

1Text for Yes and No paragraphs for each amendment comes from The Florida Family Policy Council 2014 State Legislative Voter Guides.

2http://motls.blogspot.com/2008/10/founding-fathers-on-redistribution-of.html

Permanent link to this article: http://www.flvotesvalues.com/2014/10/23/constitutional-amendment-and-county-resolution-voter-guide/

2 comments

  1. Ralph

    I believe that voting yes for Amendment 3 is very short term thinking.

  2. sudomakeme

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for information like this.

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