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Central Florida, Jacksonville, Pinellas urban leagues back solar power amendment

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The solar power amendment scored the backing of three more organizations. Consumers for Smart Solar announced Wednesday the Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League were endorsing the 2016 solar power initiative. In a joint statement released by the campaign, the three organizations said they believe the amendment “provides an effective hammer for breaking down these barriers while providing regulators with the tools to protect low-income consumers who still rely entirely on the…

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Consumers for Smart Solar raises $300K during first week of October

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Add another $300,000 to Consumers for Smart Solar’s coffers. State records show Consumers for Smart Solar, the group backing the solar power amendment, raised $300,000 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7. Records show the committee received two contributions for $150,000 each from the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy and the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition. The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy is a Montgomery, Alabama-based coalition of “working people, business owners, environmentalists, and trade organizations who are fighting for fair, responsible energy…

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Florida firefighters say solar Amendment 1 ‘protects first responders’

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As solar energy expands across Florida, firefighters say uniform rules on the installation and maintenance of solar panels are necessary to keep first responders safe in case of emergencies at places producing solar energy. That’s why the Florida Professional Firefighters are the latest group supporting the constitutional amendment to promote solar energy production throughout the Sunshine State. On Monday, the organization announced its endorsement of Consumers for Smart Solar — the campaign group of business, civic and faith leaders behind…

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Consumers for Smart Solar spends more than $500K on advertising in one week

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The group backing the solar power amendment spent more than $760,000 in one week. State records show Consumers for Smart Solar spent $761,758 between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23, the most recent campaign finance reporting period. Records show the organization spent $507,400 on advertising and $202,349 on direct mail during the one-week reporting period. Consumers for Smart Solar launched a direct mail campaign in September. The mailers encourage Floridians to support the solar amendment and call it a “straightforward plan…

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Polling shows voters support solar Amendment 1, without understanding what it does

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Most Floridians say they are backing a solar amendment on the ballot this November, even though they may not be entirely sure what it will do. POLITICO Florida is reporting on a new St. Leo University poll that voters are strongly behind the solar ballot initiative Amendment 1, which claims to give Florida residents the right to own solar devices, while barring utilities from subsidizing those who own those devices. “Despite the lack of knowledge about what the amendment would…

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Joe Henderson: For solar energy supporters, Amendment 1 raises red flags

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In the Aug. 30 primary, Florida voters made it unmistakably clear how they feel about solar energy. Nearly 73 percent of them voted to approve an amendment providing a tax break for businesses that convert to solar power. That was just what backers of clean energy in Florida wanted, of course. Now they have a new request for voters: When Amendment 1, otherwise known as Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, comes up in November, those same…

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Amendment 4 wins — measure would expand solar power in Florida

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A constitutional amendment intended to expand the use of solar power in Florida has passed. The measure is won statewide by a huge 73 percent to 27 percent margin. The measure needed 60 percent to win. Amendment 4 exempts solar devices and equipment from being subject to the personal tangible property tax. A business that currently has solar panels is now being taxed on the panels or devices in addition to their building. The new amendment will now exempt businesses with solar panels from paying…

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