Organizers explain opposition to Amendment 3

Amendment proposes change to way state revenue caps set

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Organizers from the group "No On 3" are encouraging voters to do vote down the Florida amendment that will appear on ballots in the November election.

Speakers gathered Tuesday to explain why they're calling the amendment a tax scheme that makes people believe it will save the state money and limit spending.

Amendment 3 proposes to change the way state revenue caps are set, using a formula based on population size and inflation rather than personal income growth.

Opponents say the amendment actually leads to massive cuts, affecting schools, seniors, and fire and police departments.

"In the sense of the public safety response, we don't like to ring the bell that much and say, 'Oh, your public safety is getting cut,' but we're already in a situation where we need to tighten our belts, and this is only going to make things worse and affect more safety cuts," said Mark Treglio, vice president of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters.

"Jacksonville had to lay off 48 police officers. That's 48 bodies off the streets," said Nelson Cuba, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "We are now seeing our crime numbers creeping up. You're looking here at the Fire Department, where in Jacksonville this year they're not going to rehire about 30 or 40 firefighters. So you're going to see the numbers of response time creeping up to get Fire and Rescue to you, you know?"

Proponents of Amendment 3 say it will force state lawmakers to spend more wisely.

The Amendment requires a 60-percent margin of victory to become law.

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