Sun Sentinel Voter Guide

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Be prepared for Election Day with poll locations, our candidate endorsements and a guide to the amendments!

SUN SENTINEL ENDORSEMENTS

President
Mitt Romney (R)

U.S. Senate
Bill Nelson (D)

U.S. Representative
District 20: Alcee Hastings (D)
District 21: Ted Deutch (D)
District 22: Adam Hasner (R)
District 23: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D)

Broward County
Clerk of Courts: Howard Forman (D)
Commission Dist. 3: Stacy Ritter (D)
Sheriff: Al Lamberti (R)
State Attorney: Michael Satz (D)
School Board District 4:
Abby Freedman
School Board District 5: Rosalyn Osgood
School Board District 8: Donna Korn
School Board District 9: Robin Bartleman

Broward Circuit Court
Judge Group 45
Julio Gonzalez

Broward County Courts
Group 5: Olga M. Levine
Group 10: Robert F."Bob" Diaz

Palm Beach County
Commission District 3:Shelley Vana (D)
Commission District 5: Mary Lou Berger (D)
State Attorney: Robert Gershman (NPA)
Tax Collector: Anne M. Gannon (D)

Question No. 1: YES
Question No. 2: YES

State Senate Races
District 25: Joseph Abruzzo (D)
District 29: Jeremy Ring (D)
District 31: Christopher "Chris" Smith (D)
District 33: Eleanor Sobel (D)
District 34: Ellyn Bogdanoff (R)

State House Races
District 81: Kevin Rader (D)
District 89: Bill Hager (R)
District 90: Lori Berman (D)
District 93: George Moraitis (R)
District 94: Perry Thurston (D)
District 97: Jared Moskowitz (D)
District 98: Katie Edwards (D.)
District 99: Elaine Schwartz (D)
District 104: Doug Harrison (R)

Constitutional
Amendments

No. 1: Vote NO
No. 2: Vote NO
No. 3: Vote NO
No. 4: Vote YES
No. 5: Vote NO
No. 6: Vote NO
No. 8: Vote NO
No. 9: Vote NO
No. 10: Vote NO
No. 11: Vote YES
No. 12: Vote NO

District Court of Appeal
Vote YES Burton C. Conner
Vote YES for Carole Y. Taylor

Supreme Court Retention
Vote YES Fred Lewis
Vote YES Barbara Pariente
Vote YES Peggy Quince

Broward Municipal Races
Cooper City
Mayor: Greg Ross
District 3: Jeff Green

Coral Springs
Mayor: John Arnold
Seat 2: Dan Daley

Dania Beach
At Large: Walter Duke III,
Bruce Hannover, Albert C. Jones

Hallandale Beach
Mayor: Keith London
At Large: Michele Lazarow, Anthony
A. Sanders

Hollywood
Mayor: Peter Bober
District 1: Patricia Asseff
District 2: Peter D. Hernandez
District 3: Heidi O'Sheehan
District 4: Dick Blattner
District 5: Judy Bates
District 6: Ed Holodak

Lauderdale Lakes
Mayor: Barrington A. Russell Sr.
Seat 4: Patricia Hawkins-Williams
Seat 6: Benjamin Williams

Lauderhill
Seat 1: Howard Berger
Seat 3: M. Margaret Bates

Margate
District 1: Frank Talerico
District 2: Frank Messana
District 3: Lesa "Le" Peerman
District 4: Tommy Ruzzano
District 5: Scott Yardley

Parkland
Distric t 4: Mark Weissman

Sunrise
Group A: Don Rosen
Southwest Ranches
Mayor: Jeff Nelson

Weston
Seat 1: Angel Gomez

Wilton Manors
At-Large: Jule Carson, Tom Green

GUIDE TO THE AMENDMENTS

AMENDMENTS
1. Health-care services
2. Veterans disabled from combat
3. State government revenue limitation
4. Property-tax limitations
5. State courts
6. Abortion funding and rights
8. Religious freedom
9. Homestead exemption for spouses of military veteran or first responder
10. Personal property tax exemption
11. Homestead exemption for seniors
12. Appoint student body president to board governors of the university system

AMENDMENT 1
Health-care services
What it says: Prohibit state laws compelling any person or employer to purchase or provide health-care coverage.
Supporters say: It's a Florida response to President Barack Obama's federal health-care changes that will prevent similar mandates at the state level.
Critics say: It will do nothing to unravel "Obamacare" and might actually provide legal cover for Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers to continue resisting its implementation.

AMENDMENT 2
Veterans disabled due to combat injury
What it says: Expands a property-tax discount on homesteads of combat-disabled veterans to include those who were not Florida residents when they enlisted.
Supporters say: It helps more injured veterans.
Critics say: It makes a convoluted property-tax system full of benefit carve-outs even more confusing.

AMENDMENT 3
State government revenue limitation
What it says: Replaces an existing state revenue cap based on personal-income growth with one tied to inflation and population changes.
Supporters say: It puts a tighter cap on government revenue growth, while allowing enough flexibility for the Legislature to suspend the limit in emergencies.
Critics say: It will hamstring state government in the future and could force big cuts to education, road-building and debt reduction.

AMENDMENT 4
Property-tax limitations
What it says: Creates a five-year homestead exemption equal to 50 percent of assessed value for new homeowners and changes from 10 percent to 5 percent the cap on annual changes in assessments of businesses and second homes.
Supporters say: It provides a needed kick-start to home sales and tax stability for businesses.
Critics say: It will create a property-tax disparity between commercial properties similar to the residential disparity caused by "Save Our Homes" and could cost local governments $1.68 billion through 2016.

AMENDMENT 5
State courts
What it says: Lets the Legislature repeal court rules by majority, rather than two-thirds vote; requires Senate confirmation of Supreme Court appointments; and gives the House access to judicial investigation files.
Supporters say: It brings more checks and balances to Florida's three branches of government, particularly the courts.
Critics say: It is part of a Republican attack on the judiciary over a series of rulings in recent years that have blocked some GOP-backed policies.

AMENDMENT 6
Prohibition on public funding of abortions; construction of abortion rights
What it says: Bans public funds from paying for any abortion or for health benefits that include abortion coverage. It also repeals "right to privacy" language used by the courts to uphold abortion rights.
Supporters say: It mirrors federal law on abortion funding and would allow lawmakers to pass stronger parental-consent laws for minors seeking abortions.
Critics say: No state dollars go to fund abortions now. But the language could restrict public-employee health-insurance benefits and lead to even broader abortion restrictions.

AMENDMENT 8
Religious freedom
What it says: Deletes the ban on public funds going directly or indirectly to any church, sect, or religious denomination or to aid any sectarian institution.
Supporters say: It repeals century-old anti-Catholic language.
Critics say: It is a back-door way to allow religious groups to start drawing taxpayer dollars for schools and services.

AMENDMENT 9
Homestead exemption for surviving spouse of military veteran or first responder
What it says: Provides property-tax relief to the surviving spouses of soldiers or first-responders who died in the line of duty.
Supporters say: It is a way to help spouses in danger of losing their homes.
Critics say: Not much. Some say such tax breaks make Florida's system more complicated and unfair.

AMENDMENT 10
Tangible personal property tax exemption
What it says: Doubles to $50,000 the exemption on equipment subject to the "tangible personal property" tax paid by businesses.
Supporters say: It would take thousands of small businesses off the tax rolls.
Critics say: Not much. It will shave only $20.1 million from $1.7 billion in local government revenue.

AMENDMENT 11
Additional homestead exemption for low-income seniors
What it says: Allows counties and cities to in effect exempt from the property-tax rolls homes worth less than $250,000 owned by low-income seniors for more than 25 years.
Supporters say: It is a low-cost way to help low-income seniors stay in their homes.
Critics say: The requirements are so strict there aren't likely to be many who qualify.

AMENDMENT 12
Appointment of student body president to board of governors of the state university system
What it says: Replaces the president of the Florida Student Association with the chair of the council of state university student body presidents as the student member of the Board of Governors of the State University System.
Supporters say: It is unfair for public universities to have to pay dues to join the FSA.
Critics say: It is an unnecessary change prompted by Florida State University students, who aren¹t FSA members.

--- By Aaron Deslatte, Tallahassee Bureau Chief, Tribune Newspapers

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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