Tag Archive for: Amendment 4

Florida Voters Back Abortion Amendment and Trump

A new poll is reporting that nearly half of voters in the Sunshine State plan to support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a “right” to abortion. An Emerson College survey released on Thursday found that 42% of Florida voters intend to vote “Yes” on a “Amendment 4” this November, enshrining a right to abortion into the state’s constitution. Twenty-five percent of voters intend to vote “No,” and 32% of voters are unsure which way they will vote. The ballot initiative requires at least 60% support in order to pass.

A majority (56%) of Democrats and a plurality (44%) of Independents plan to vote “Yes.” Following former President Donald Trump’s recently-announced opposition to federal pro-life protections, Florida Republicans are more divided on the issue: 36% plan to vote against the abortion amendment, 30% plan to support it, and 34% are unsure.

Additionally, nearly 60% of Florida voters reported that the pro-life law banning abortion after six weeks — slated to go into effect next month after the state’s Supreme Court upheld a related 15-week abortion ban — is “too strict,” 28% said the law is “about right,” and 15% said it’s “not strict enough.” The previous 15-week ban enjoyed marginally more support, with only 43% saying it’s “too strict,” 36% saying it’s “about right,” and 21% saying it’s “not strict enough.”

Election data analyst Michael Pruser posted on social media, “I don’t think a pro-Republican position has a chance of clearing 60% in Florida, let alone an anti-Republican one. What wouldn’t pass in Kansas and Ohio during off-year special turnout will almost assuredly not pass in Florida during a Presidential year [with] Trump on the top of the ticket.”

Anticipating nearly 11 million voters (4.5 million Republicans, 3.55 million Democrats, and 2.85 million Independents) to turn out in November, Pruser explained, “To make 60% work, you’ll need a share of about 23% Republican[s]/95% Democrat[s]/77% Independent[s] to vote YES (which is always harder than NO). This gives you a total of 6,554,500 votes and a winning percentage of 60.13%.” He added, “You can also bet that [Florida’s Republican governor Ron] DeSantis will do what [Democratic Kansas governor] Laura Kelly and [Republican Ohio governor] Mike DeWine didn’t — use his office’s full weight against the amendment.”

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, argued before the Florida Supreme Court in favor of pro-life laws. In comments to The Washington Stand, he warned that “Amendment 4” would be challenged even if passed, saying, “There are constitutional challenges that I think are available.”

In addition to questions of both fraudulent signatures in putting the proposed amendment on the ballot and fraudulent votes in potentially passing the amendment this November, Staver noted, “The Florida legislature has — for many, many years — used the terms ‘unborn child’ and ‘unborn person.’” For example, Florida law dictates that if a woman is killed and her unborn child dies as a result, the killer could be charged with double homicide. Similarly, if a will leaves an estate to the deceased’s children or grandchildren, Florida law understands that to include unborn children or grandchildren. “In all these other areas of law,” Staver said, “unborn children have been recognized as legal persons. Consequently, if this were to pass, we would bring a case to the Florida Supreme Court to recognize the rights of an unborn child which already exist in the constitution which supersede this abortion amendment.”

Referring to Republicans who have begun backing away from pro-life messaging in the wake of Trump’s announcement earlier this week, Staver said, “Politicians should stand for life, not run from it. The right to life is the right of all rights, without which there is no other right. Politicians need to stand for life, not run from it.” He continued, “There are some things that transcend geographical boundaries and political parties and time, and the right to life is fundamental among those.” Staver also compared the issue of abortion to the issue of slavery, saying that neither was a matter of “states’ rights” but of universal morality.

The Emerson College survey also found that a majority (51%) of Florida voters back Trump for president, while only 38% support incumbent Joe Biden, with 11% undecided. When undecided voters were asked which candidate they lean toward supporting, Trump’s support shot up to 56% and Biden’s to 44%. Emerson College explained, “Among Biden voters, 32% support him because they dislike Trump, 24% because they like Biden, 19% care about an issue, and 14% support their party’s candidate. Among Trump voters, 31% support him because they care about an issue, 28% because they like Trump, 16% because they dislike Biden, and 14% support their party’s candidate.”

Florida voters ranked the economy as their top issue of concern (27%), followed by housing (16%), immigration (14%), and abortion (10%). Emerson College noted, “The percentage of voters who marked abortion access as their top issue is four points higher in Florida than in the most recent national poll (6%).”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

A review of Florida Constitutional Amendment 4 — Solar Devices by James Lampe

As you consider your vote remember this is a Constitutional Amendment, and once passed the chances of changing it are slim and none.  Before we change the Constitution, shouldn’t the Amendment be clearly beneficial to most Floridians?  Unfortunately, the vast majority of Floridians will be hurt if Amendment 4 is passed.  The Amendment will raise electric rates and ad valorem taxes.  Vote NO on this Amendment.

amendment 4 ballot language

Summary:  This Amendment will exempt solar devices installed on homes or businesses from ad valorem taxes, until 12-31-2037.

First of all, homeowners who install Solar-Electric systems already get a 30% federal tax break!

This financial assistance from the federal government, has been around for years.  Secondly, Florida state government has helped by exempting “solar energy systems or any component thereof” from sales tax.  And now we have this amendment, a third gilded gift to prop-up the failing solar industry.

Nonetheless, let’s see how many people this Amendment will help.  A review of the US Census Fact Finder data on the table below, shows that 30% (2,166,215) of all Floridians live in “Rental Occupied” units, and therefore, no-one in that group would invest in solar-electric systems.  As shown in the “Owner-occupied” category, that leaves 4,986,629 potential customers.

amendment 4 survey

In addition, even if you own a house you may not be able to afford to invest in a solar-electric system.  People who own lower valued housing units valued at $50,000-$150,000, are not likely to invest $30,000 (cost estimate to buy, install, and connect a solar-electric system to the electric grid) for solar system.  So of the 4,986,629 total housing units, we can subtract 1,593,957 for the lower valued houses.  That gives 3,392,697 as the remaining moderate to higher priced housing units that would be the target market for solar-electric systems.

However, there are about 1,000,000 condominiums in Florida, whose owners would also be prevented/impeded from modifying or otherwise changing their common roofs, so the total possible number of housing units for solar falls to 2,392,697, or ~34% of all housing units.

With only ~34% of housing units available for solar-electric systems, how can this Amendment be considered fair?  Worse yet, many snow-birds and residents have mobile homes that are included the housing units, but there is no itemized number for them.  So the 34%, would be even lower if mobile home units were subtracted from the total number of units.

florida solar amendment

In 2015, the Nevada PUC changed the rules for “net metering,” which allows homeowners to sell their excess solar generated electricity to their utility at retail rather than wholesale rates.  But because that arrangement was too costly, the PUC changed the rule.

The Nevada scenario seems like a no brainer, but apparently there was enough grant money to make up for the losses, until one day when the math didn’t work, and the people in Nevada realized that the more electric generated by solar, the less profits the utilities collect.  The utilities need profit to pay staff to restore power after storms, sustain street lighting, and maintain the electric grid, etc.  In addition, utilities work on economies of scale, and their efficiency is reduced when customers convert to solar, because it costs more to generate a KW of electricity.

This Amendment is an obvious attempt by state bureaucrats to boost the heavily subsidized, yet nearly bankrupt solar industry.  It’s not fair or prudent, to let the state pick winners and losers in a free market economy, and we should not let this cronyism go unnoticed.

Vote NO on Amendment 4.