2016 Judicial Candidates, Constitutional Amendments & Charter Amendments

judicial 1There will be many judicial candidates, state constitutional amendments and local charter amendments on the 2016 ballot in Orange County. Here’s a quick recap of all the judicial candidates and amendments which will appear on Orange County ballots as well as a link to their campaign websites and/or online presence.

For all other races on your ballot this year, click here for a candidate list and links to their campaign websites or social media: Know the Candidates: 2016 General Election

Be sure to check out the candidates and amendments before voting:

Supreme Court Retention:
Shall Justice Charles T. Canady of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

Shall Justice Jorge Labarga of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

Shall Justice Ricky L. Polston of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

5th District Court of Appeals Retention:
Shall Judge Jay Cohen of the 5th District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

Shall Judge James A. Edwards of the 5th District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

Shall Judge Brian Lambert of the 5th District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

Shall Judge Vincent G. Torpy, Jr. of the 5th District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

Circuit Judge 9th Judicial Circuit, Group 4
Luis Calderón
Joseph Haynes Davis

County Judge, Group 1
Eric DuBois
Michael Gibson

County Judge, Group 4
David Johnson
Tom Young

County Judge, Group 5
Frank George
Evellen Jewett

Constitutional Amendments:

No. 1 Constitutional Amendment, Article X, Section 29
Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice
This amendment establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do. The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government.
YES – (Yes on 1 for the Sun campaign)
NO – (Vote No on 1 campaign)
VOTE NO if you support Solar Energy in Florida

No. 2 Constitutional Amendment, Article X, Section 29
Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions
Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana. Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory costs and enforcement activities associated with the production, sale, use and possession of medical marijuana. Fees may offset some of the regulatory costs. Sales tax will likely apply to most purchases, resulting in a substantial increase in state and local government revenues that cannot be determined precisely. The impact on property tax revenues cannot be determined.
YES – (Vote Yes on 2 campaign)
NO – (Vote No on 2 campaign)

No. 3 Constitutional Amendment, Article VII, Section 6, Article XII
Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017.

No. 5 Constitutional Amendment, Article VII, Section 6, Article XII
Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-income, Long-term Residents; Determination of Just Value
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017.

Proposed Charter Amendments:

Question #1
Reforming Initiative Process to Provide Clarity, Accountability, and Transparency, and Ensure Equal Treatment of Voters
Reforming the charter initiative process by providing single subject, legal review, Comptroller-prepared financial impact statement, and public hearing requirements; ensuring equal percentage of signatures from all commission districts rather than only the majority of the districts; enhancing disclosure of gatherer’s paid/volunteer status, requiring gatherer’s affidavit and badge, adding signature withdrawal process, deadlines and other procedural reforms; and protecting successful amendments for one year. Comptroller estimated financial impact: $7,000 per proposed ballot question. 

Question #2
Changing County Constitutional Officers to Charter Officers and Providing for Nonpartisan Elections and Term Limits
Amending the Orange County Charter to make the Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of Circuit Court, and Comptroller into nonpartisan, elected charter officers subject to term limits of four consecutive 4-year terms, abolishing their status as constitutional officers, and specifying they are not subject to county commission or mayoral authority and shall have all rights and privileges of corresponding constitutional officers, except as expressly provided by charter. No financial impact.

Question #3
Preserving Term Limits and Nonpartisan Elections for County Constitutional and Charter Officers
Amending the Orange County Charter to provide that if any charter provision specifying term limits or nonpartisan elections for county constitutional or charter officers is or has ever been rendered unenforceable by court action for any reason, and a later court action or legislative enactment renders such provision lawful and enforceable, then such provision shall be immediately revived and enforced to the extent permitted by law. No financial impact.

Don’t forget to vote! Election Day is November 8, 2016.

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