By
Sadaf Knight
|
September 12, 2018

Amendment 5 Would Worsen Florida’s Environmental Crisis and Impede Disaster Recovery

This post was last updated on July 22, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Florida’s natural resources are critical not only for driving tourism and the state economy, but also for maintaining biodiversity in the face of growing threats to the environment. In recent years, Florida has fallen behind in providing adequate resources for a range of investments in the environment, from preserving the state’s coastline to the everyday management of air and water quality. Additionally, as hurricanes continue to increase and become more intense, the state must be able to quickly mobilize a disaster response. 

On November 6, Florida voters will decide on Amendment 5, which would make generating resources to preserve the state’s natural resources and respond to disasters much harder. The measure would require a two-thirds (supermajority) vote of the state Legislature to approve any new state revenues, taxes and fees, or to eliminate tax incentives, loopholes and other such expenditures.

Florida currently has the wrong priorities, giving special tax breaks to big corporations while cutting funds for conservation and resource management. Amendment 5 locks in these failed priorities before the state has a chance to recover from deep cuts following the Great Recession and a supermajority requirement would likely require huge funding cuts in the wake of another fiscal crisis. Amendment 5 would unnecessarily restrict investments in Florida’s future.

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