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Read our current and previous coverage of the 2018 election season as you prepare to cast your ballot. You'll find information on important races, explanations of constitutional amendments and details of local referendums.

What Will The 2018 Florida Amendment Proposals Do?

Voting sign at Jimmie B. Keel Library in Hillsborough County.

Voters have a lot to consider in this midterm election. There are races for governor, U.S. senator, and a dozen amendment proposals to the Florida Constitution. But if these amendment proposals pass, what will they actually do? And how might it affect you?

The non-partisan Florida Taxwatch has put together this voter guide to help Floridians navigate the many amendment proposals.

For example, Amendment 1, would increase the homestead exemption for homes valued between $100,000 and $125,000. The shift could save some homeowners a couple hundred dollars. But local governments could also lose more than half a billion dollars a year in taxes. Many would likely scramble to find the money elsewhere.

Dominic Calabro is with the nonprofit Taxwatch group.

"It's more of a tax shift than it is a real genuine tax cut. It's going to cost us $640 million dollars, largely in a tax shift, and in fact most of the homesteads are not going to actually enjoy it," Calabro said. "So a lot of homesteaders are going to wind up paying for the benefit by wealthier homesteaded property."

Amendment 4 would restore voting rights to ex-felons who have served their time, with the exception of those who have committed crimes like murder or sex offenses.

"These are men and women who have already largely repaid their debt to society and victim's rights," Calabro said. "The main concern here is now that they have, why shouldn't we give them the full rights of citizenship?"

Other amendments on the ballot range from giving voters the right to decide whether or not to authorize expansion of casino gambling in Florida or wther to create a "bill of rights" for crime victims.

For a guide to the 2018 Constitutional Amendment proposals  click here

I love telling stories about my home state. And I hope they will help you in some way and maybe even lift your spirits.
Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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