Florida voters will face amendment changes as they head to the polls for the last time before the next U.S. President is decided Tuesday.
Along with the presidential, congressional and local political races, voters in the Sunshine State will have eight separate constitutional amendment proposals to decide on by Nov. 2.
Three of the eight amendments that will be brought before voters will have a huge effect on the lives of FAMU students and all Floridians.
Amendment 1 on the ballot deals with parental notification of a minor’s termination of pregnancy. Voters will be asked whether the parent or guardian of a minor should be officially notified before the minor is allowed to have an abortion.
This is an issue that has been a hot topic all around the country for the better part of the last decade.
However, few states have taken the step to make parental notification a constitutional amendment.
The American Civil Liberties Union has taken a strong stance against the proposed amendment.
Larry Spalding of the ACLU said this amendment will in no way improve communication between parents and their teens where good communication does not already exist.
“If parent and child do not already have a stable relationship where they can openly discuss that child’s unplanned pregnancy, this amendment will do nothing to change that,” Spalding said.
“It may even worsen the situation.”
Another argument for opponents is that such an amendment would lead to a higher percentage of illegal abortions among minors.
Proponents of the amendment argue that the proposal will in no way restrict the constitutional abortion rights of minors.
Sheila Hopkins a representative of the Florida Catholic Conference said the amendment will simply make it a law that parents must be notified before an abortion can be performed.
“It (Amendment 1) simply gives the parents the opportunity to bestow words of wisdom onto their child, advise them and help them through what is the biggest, hardest decision of their young lives,” Hopkins said.
Amendment 5 would create a statewide minimum wage of $6.15 per hour.
The national minimum wage of $5.15 per hour has been in place since the mid ’90s.
The increase would take effect six months after enactment
Opponents of the proposed amendment argue that the minimum wage increase could lead to the largest loss of jobs in Florida’s history.
The ripple effects of Amendment 5 could lead to increased prices to consumers that would hurt Florida’s poor the most, which they say is the exact same people that the amendment is trying to help.
Supporters of the proposal said by increasing the minimum wage by a dollar over 300,000 Floridians would immediately benefit.
Today in the state of Florida a full-time worker making the current minimum wage brings home approximately $10,700 a year.
With the cost of living in Florida on steady rise, proponents argue that a minimum wage increase is a vital move for the state.
Getting quality healthcare is always a concern for FAMU students and their families, and has become a national issue that has been discussed throughout the presidential campaigns.
If passed, Amendment 8 would prohibit medical doctors who have committed malpractice on three different occasions from being licensed to practice in the state of Florida.
Every year in America an estimated 195,000 people are killed due to medical mistakes, and in the state of Florida 31 people are killed on a daily basis for the same reason.
This amendment is an attempt by Florida lawmakers to lower those rates in the state.
The proposed amendment would also combat a trend of doctors, whose licenses were suspended in one state, moving to Florida and opening a practice.
The primary argument of dissenters is that this amendment would drive doctors who practice in high risk fields of medicine out of the state.
Supporters of the amendment want for doctors to be able to pay for malpractice without a cap on the amount in which they can be sued.
Contact Anthony Moore at email@example.com.