JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Standing in front of a large fire engine in Riverside, Jacksonville's firefighters union, the police union, local clergy, and voters talked about what they consider to be the perils of passing Amendment 3.
Mark Treglio, with the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters said, "Amendment 3 is a constitutional amendment on the November 6th ballot, brought on by out of state special interests, designed with tricky math and fuzzy arithmetic."
Amendment 3 would change the way state revenue caps are set, using a formula based on inflation and population growth rather than personal income. Basically, any extra money collected in excess of the cap would go into a type of rainy day fund, or a budget stabilization fund.
Supporters of the amendment, which include the Florida Chamber of Commerce, say it would prevent lawmakers from over-spending in times of economic growth.
Protesters say it sounds good on paper, but in reality, it would severely restrict local government's spending on public education, public safety, and health care.
Pastor R.L. Gundy with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said, "The amendment impacts health. It impacts public education. It impacts personal income. It impacts prenatal care."
Jim Tolly with Florida Professional Firefighters said, "Local government should decide how the taxes are collected amongst their people and decide how it's spent to service their people."
Action News asked the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Nelson Cuba, "You're basically saying this could cost police jobs?" He replied, "It's not a doubt. It's already shown. It happened in Colorado."
Protesters say a similar amendment passed in Colorado in 1992 led to economic devastation there. In 2005, that amendment was repealed. And the wonder why a failed experiment in Colorado is now being considered here in Florida.
"This is a gimmick that causes more problems than it solves," said Treglio. "It doesn't do anything to keep the state's fiscal house in order, doesn't eliminate wasteful spending."
The Supervisor of Elections office has explanations for Amendment 3, and all the others on the ballot, on its website. Just visit, www.duvalelections.com.
The election is November 6th.