A Guide to the
Amendment #1 Amendment #4 Continued
whether to engage in gambling, so long as they are trusted to bear the conse-
Parental Notiﬁcation of a Minor’s Ter-
quences of their decisions. So-called “societal costs” of problem gambling—
mination of Pregnancy such as private-sector creditor losses or dependence on a government safety
Would authorize the Legislature to require by net—are largely a factor of collective risk assumption rather than individual
law for notiﬁcation to a parent or guardian of responsibility.
a minor before the termination of the minor’s Analysis in Opposition: Amendment 4 would allow government-sanc-
pregnancy. tioned gambling, a vice that could increase destruction of the family, orga-
Comment: This subject matter does not fall nized crime, and addiction in Florida. Those in opposition to Amendment 4
within the purview of the mission of The James Madison Institute. We do, believe that casino gambling imposes a negative economic impact on society.
however, encourage you to use information from other independent, nonpar-
tisan organizations in making your decision.
Florida Minimum Wage Amendment
Amendment #2 Would establish a state minimum wage of $6.15 per
Constitutional Amendments Proposed by hour ($1.00 above the federal minimum wage), which
Initiative would be indexed for inﬂation each year.
Would change the signature deadline for initiative Analysis: By arbitrarily increasing the minimum
petitions from 91 days before a general election to wage, the unintended consequences of Amend-
February 1 of that year. Would also require an April ment 5 will signiﬁcantly harm Florida’s low and middle wage earners and the
1 deadline by which the Florida Supreme Court must businesses that employ them. Small business owners—who employ a major-
render an advisory opinion addressing the petition’s validity. ity of Florida’s minimum wage workers—may be forced to pass increased
Analysis in Favor: Many believe that Florida’s constitution is too easily payroll expenses on their customers, or on to employees by decreasing health
amended by moneyed special interests that clutter our founding document care and fringe beneﬁts, or they may eliminate some employees altogether.
and saddle taxpayers with costly government projects. Amendment 2 would
provide voters more time to learn about proposed amendments, and would Amendment #6
allow an intervening legislative session where legislators can choose to ad-
Repeal of High Speed Rail Amendment
dress the amendment if considered beneﬁcial to the state.
Would repeal an amendment in the Florida Constitu-
Analysis in Opposition: Costly boondoggles aside, Florida’s citizen ini-
tion that requires the state to proceed with the develop-
tiative process has imposed powerful restraints on government—such as
ment and operation of a high-speed ground transporta-
term limits (1992), state revenue limitation (1994), and 2/3 requirement
tion system by the state and/or private entity.
for tax increases (1996)—that legislators refused to implement themselves.
Analysis: If the high-speed rail project is not
Amendment 2 and other government attempts to regulate the process will
repealed, its cost to Florida taxpayers would be
give the legislature greater power over lawmaking—and will not serve our
at least $53 billion—almost enough to run state government for one year.
interests as well as lawmakers who face competition from a sovereign people.
High-speed rail will require endless taxpayer subsidies and tax increases, and
would do little to relieve highway congestion.
The Medical Liability Claimant’s Com- Amendment #7
pensation Amendment Patients’ Right to Know About Adverse
Would entitle a medical liability claimant who enters
into an attorney contingency fee agreement a cer-
Would give patients the right to review records of health
tain level of compensation—at least 70% of the ﬁrst
care facilities’ or providers’ adverse medical incidents,
$250,000 in all damages received, and 90% of dam-
provided that patients’ identities are not disclosed.
ages in excess of that amount—exclusive of “reason-
Current Florida law restricts this information.
able and customary” costs.
Analysis: Requiring health care providers to
Analysis: Skyrocketing medical malpractice premiums caused by excessive
disclose adverse medical incidents may seem to be a reasonable cost in ex-
damages have forced some doctors—including specialists in high-risk ar-
change for the beneﬁts for state licensure, and better information might help
eas—to limit or shut down their practices. Amendment 3 would help weed
patients make better choices. But it is only fair to ask whether any business
out frivolous lawsuits by eliminating the ﬁnancial incentive that fuels these
should be required to reveal to potential customers the complaints of past
cases. As believers in the free market, we do respect the right of private
dissatisﬁed customers. On balance, Amendment 7 denies an element of
parties to negotiate fee arrangements without government interference or
basic fairness to health care providers.
regulation. Although it may be an imperfect solution, Amendment 3 is a
well-intentioned step in achieving sorely-needed state-level tort reform.
Amendment #4 Public Protection from Repeated Mal-
Authorizes Miami-Dade and Broward practice
Would prohibit medical doctors who have been found
County Voters to Approve Slot Machines
to have committed three or more incidents of medical
in Parimutuel Facilities malpractice from being licensed to practice medicine in
Would authorize Miami-Dade and Broward County Florida.
voters to decide whether existing, licensed parimutuel Analysis: Amendment 8 is similar to the “three
facilities (thoroughbred and harness racing, greyhound strikes and you’re out” laws that apply to criminal activity, but an important
racing, jai alai) located in those counties should be difference is that criminals choose to violate the law, whereas incidents
allowed slot machines that may be taxed by the Legislature to fund public education of medical malpractice are typically accidental. A check of the records at
statewide. the Florida Department of Health shows that some physicians do lose their
Analysis in Favor: Amendment 4 would afﬁrm two free-market prin- licenses—and although the current process doesn’t weed out all incompetent
ciples: local control and individual liberty. It would allow Miami-Dade and physicians, neither would this amendment do so. On balance, Amendment
Broward to decide what is best for their communities. Similarly, Florid- 8 would impose penalties on many good doctors, and an element of basic
ians themselves—not those claiming “the public interest”—should decide fairness would be denied to health care providers.