In this tense election season, some of the important ballot measures happening in states and cities nationwide might not have made it onto your radar, but there are some important ones to watch. One of the biggest fights is taking place in Florida, where anti-solar utilities have proposed a very tricky and confusing measure called Amendment 1, which appears to be pro-solar but would actually make solar power more expensive and harder for average people to install on their homes or businesses.
The Florida Professional Firefighters have withdrawn our endorsement of Constitutional Amendment #1, Rights of Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice. Our support for the initiative was solely based on the proposed constitutional protection of local government’s right to regulate the safety of solar energy production. We continue to believe that fair and reasonable safeguards are vital to firefighter safety during fire/rescue operations on properties with multiple electricity sources and particularly retrofitted alternative energy sources such as solar power. As a member-driven organization, our leadership has communicated with hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters over the last few weeks regarding their concerns with Amendment 1 and the real firefighter safety issues related to solar energy systems. It is clear to the elected Executive Board of this organization that our membership would prefer to pursue any future firefighter safety regulations related to the still developing alternative energy industry through legislative or rulemaking action, as opposed to a constitutional amendment that many believe to be misleading. We have requested that Consumers for Smart Solar stop broadcasting advertisements featuring firefighters and/or the logo of the Florida Professional Firefighters.
Advocates against Amendment 1 in Florida tried the Florida Supreme Court route previously to block the Constitutional amendment being allowed on the ballot. In a one vote difference with a dissenting argument that labeled the amendment as deceptive as a wolf in sheep's clothing, the utility backed amendment prevailed.
Expanded fishing on Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving weekend
The recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters will remain open for seven additional days this November, including Nov. 5 and 6; Nov. 11 and 12, which is Veteran’s Day holiday; and Nov. 25, 26 and 27, which is Thanksgiving weekend. The Nov. 26 date is also a saltwater license-free fishing day.
Proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment on Solar Power Facing a Changed Landscape Among Voters, New Saint Leo Poll Finds
Likely Voters Continue to Support Medical Marijuana and Property-Tax Ballot Measures
A new Florida survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) found continued strong support for all the proposed amendments to the Florida state constitution, with the notable erosion of popularity for the measure concerning consumers and solar energy. Controversy erupted over this measure on social media, and as the election has drawn closer, major newspaper editorial boards across the state have opposed the measure and termed it misleading.
Proposed solar amendment one of the most expensive in Florida history
As last week’s financial filings confirm, Florida’s monopoly utilities are getting desperate in their attempt to trick voters and have poured another $3.5 million into their deceptive campaign to pass Amendment 1. These newest funds solidly place Amendment 1 as one of the most expensive ballot campaigns in Florida history.
The utility coalition behind Amendment 1 may be fracturing as the new funds came only from the two largest utilities – Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy – with TECO and Gulf Power taking a step backwards.