The 2016 election will be the first time a majority of current college students will be able to vote in a presidential election. The drama, scandal and controversy that has plagued this election cycle has overshadowed some of the other issues that first-time voters will see on the ballot. Here is a quick run-down of elements on the Florida Ballot, that you may not have heard of.
Amendment 1: The Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative
The controversy surrounding this amendment can make things a little confusing. It basically will put “the right to produce solar energy” into the State of Florida constitution. Individuals will be able to lease or own solar energy equipment, while those who choose not to participate will not have to aid in funding. The controversy surrounds the electric companies; the amendment would increase the price of solar panels, benefitting utility companies who would come to control the industry.
Amendment 2: Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Amendment 2 would legalize the prescription of medical marijuana for patients with conditions that are included in the amendment. Supporters say that voting Yes for Amendment 2 will provide relief for patients who are suffering and make their fight more bearable. Those opposed argue that you should vote No for this amendment because the outcomes of legalization cannot be undone easily, should the consequences be unintended or detrimental.
Amendment 3: Florida Tax Exemptions for Disabled First Responders Amendment
This amendment would allow for exemptions on property taxes for first-responders who were permanently injured in the line of duty. A vote yes on Amendment 3 would be an act to show gratitude for the people who risk their lives for us. However, making tax exemptions for certain people goes against treating Americans equally. Additionally, it places the responsibility of funding for public schools and institutions in the hands of the rest of taxpayers.
Amendment 5: The Florida Property Tax Exemptions for Senior Citizens Amendment
This amendment would give property tax breaks for senior-citizens whose income is less than $20,000 and who have lived in their home for 25 or more years. The amendment requires the elderly to apply for tax exemptions. Supporters say you should vote Yes because it benefits long-term residents. On the other hand, it would decrease the revenue collected by the government for public institutions.
For many students here at the University of Miami who come from out of state, these amendments may not be of interest to you. However, taxes, energy and the economy could have effects in your future if you choose to live and pay taxes in Florida.
Kylie Saigol is a freshman majoring in International Finance and Marketing and Global Business Studies, a travel enthusiast, and social media addict!