Florida

Florida

Truth in Governance

Wed, Jul 14 by Anonymous

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Miami Beach voters could cast ballots for Mary Jane come November should a budding effort to decriminalize marijuana possession in the city gain traction. In front of City Hall Wednesday evening, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy announced a drive to gather signatures in support of a proposed amendment that would make “personal” possession of marijuana in Miami Beach a civil code violation punishable by a mere fine.

Read the story from the Miami Herald

Now that Flagler County commissioners have agreed to place an economic development tax referendum on the November ballot, proponents of the plan have their work cut out for them. “They have to come up with a much more concrete, more specific proposal to put before the voters,” said Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts. “Right now you have a very amorphous proposal.” Netts, who supported the idea of placing the referendum on the ballot for voters to decide, said he has not formed an opinion on the issue.

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature’s answer to a pair of citizen initiatives on redistricting is set for a vote in the House. A partisan roll call is likely Monday on the proposed state constitutional amendment (HJR 7231). If also approved by the Senate, the measure would go on the Nov. 2 ballot. There it would join the citizen initiatives, Amendments 5 and 6. One is for legislative and the other for congressional redistricting.

Republican lawmakers drove a proposed constitutional amendment through a House council Thursday, saying the measure is needed to expand on a pair of Democratic-backed redistricting proposals already set for the November ballot. But Democrats said the real intent of the late-developing measure is to confuse voters who polls show are expected to support the FairDistricts Florida amendments set to go before voters this fall. Amendments 4 and 5 ask voters to bar legislators from drawing legislative or congressional district lines that benefit political parties or incumbent lawmakers.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, recently joined with the Brechner First Amendment Project, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and other organizations in filing an amicus curiae (Latin for “friend of the court”) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Citizens for Police Accountability Political Committee v. Browning, a Florida case concerning the right to petition voters leaving a polling place.

Expect debate over Amendment 4 to help heat up Florida’s already-hot summer. The amendment will be on the ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2. If approved by a 60-percent majority statewide, the constitutional amendment will allow Floridians to veto changes to their community-growth master plans that have been approved by local officials.

Read the story from the West Volusia Beacon

The way officials throughout Florida, often at developers’ behest, trample local growth plans is maddening. So, it’s no wonder Hometown Democracy, a grass-roots movement, got enough public support for a 2010 ballot to alter that landscape. It would require public votes on any changes to local growth plans. Something’s needed to get officials to honor growth-management plans. And Hometown Democracy appears an earnest, provocative and intriguing way of making them do so.

Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi filed suit Monday seeking to undo controversial requirements imposed almost three years ago that make it harder to bring voter ballot initiatives in a move that — if successful — could pave the way for a recall effort of embattled Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. The suit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, comes a day after a Miami Herald/CBS 4 poll found 58 percent of registered voters favor the recall of Alvarez.

A nationwide anti-abortion group launched an effort in Florida today to outlaw all abortions and certain types of birth control, including oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill. The religion-infused movement, called “Personhood Florida,” would define conception in Florida’s constitution at the “biological beginnings,” supporters said — when the sperm meets the egg. The group, Virginia-based American Life League, filed its amendment today but the exact ballot language is still going through the approval process, said Secretary of State Spokeswoman Jennifer Krell-Davis.