We've gone from the capitol to the coast to get expert opinions on the amendments. They all have the potential to affect Florida's future. Here's part one of our series, "Making Law."
The first of six new amendments on the 2008 ballot is the "Declaration of Rights" amendment. The summary proposes changing the law which authorizes the Legislature to regulate or prohibit the right for ineligible aliens to own real property in Florida.
Representative Curtis Richardson says Florida has not enforced this provision for some time and that the constitution needs to be updated. "Florida is the remaining lone state to not do that and so it's time for us to move into the 21ST century and just remove that obsolete language from our founding document." said Richardson.
Next on the ballot is Amendment 2, "Florida Marriage Protection."
The amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman. Opponents ask--does this go beyond defining marriage between a man and woman?
Gary Yordon, a Political Consultant and host of WCTV's Usual Suspects said, "The fact it already exists means that this amendment is just piling on and the collateral damage is going to have some unintended consequences for senior citizens and for a lot of other folks who are in domestic partnerships for financial reasons, not because of sexuality, are going to be punished for this sort of thing, so it's just a shame."
Supporters say this amendment only focuses on the definition of marriage and nothing more. Nathan Dunn, with Yes On 2 said, "If Amendment 2 was going to take away benefits and affect seniors in some manner, we wouldn't be here discussing this because the Florida Supreme Court would have struck down the language. The Florida Supreme Court said amendment 2 is about one thing and one thing only."
Each measure will require 60% approval by voters to pass. In part two of our series, we'll tackle the amendments three and four on Wednesday night's 11 p.m. news cast.