Florida's Amendment 3: 10 News takes a closer look

10:10 AM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - One of the proposed constitutional amendments Florida voters will decide next month would put a cap on state spending.

We continue our breakdown of the November ballot with a closer look at Amendment 3, which would prohibit Florida's budget from increasing more than the annual growth of population and inflation rate.

The measure was one of the main priorities of Senate President Mike Haridopolos last year. He called it a smart cap that would force future lawmakers to spend money wisely.

Under Amendment 3, if the state collected more tax money than allowed by the cap, the extra cash would have to go into a "rainy day fund." And if that savings account surpassed 10 percent of the previous year's budget, then the cash would be used to give tax breaks or lower property taxes.

Political Science professor Seth McKee says your "yes" vote means, "I think they're kind of voting symbolically for this notion that our state legislatures are going to spend less, but it also is another question a lot of people say, 'We'll spend less on what?' And that would upset a lot of people, because we need to spend more on things like schools, on infrastructure, on firefighters, law enforcement. It's about prioritizing needs and amounts."

Opponents to Amendment 3 have rallied at the state Capitol. They say it may sound like a good idea, but it would cause more harm than good.

"What it's going to do is make it tough times even tougher for Floridians in the state that are already hurting. It's going to make deeper cuts already into cuts in our schools, our senior programs as well as in our public safety," says Rev. Errol Thompson.

See the sample ballot.

10 News has more on other Amendments on the 2012 ballot:

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