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Financial Impact Estimating Conference

Cost of Voting Restoration Amendment? Experts unsure

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A panel of state economists haven’t been able to figure out how much the Voting Restoration Amendment would cost the state. The proposed change to the state constitution would automatically return voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference is tasked with estimating costs of constitutional amendments. This one gave them a struggle. “It is probable that the amendment will result in increased costs to state and local governments due to the higher volume of felons registering to vote (but) the specific…

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Panel finds no easy answers on costs of voter rights restoration

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A state panel struggled Monday to figure out a price tag for the proposed Florida Voter Restoration Amendment, which would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference heard testimony from a variety of state criminal justice agencies indicating it might be hard to nail down what the amendment would cost. The panel planned to reconvene next week for additional study. Amy Baker, coordinator for the Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research, the…

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Economists uncertain of gambling amendment’s effect

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It’s not clear whether a proposed gambling-control amendment will help or hinder the state’s finances. A panel of state economists stalemated this week on the financial impact of the Voter Control of Gambling amendment. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference’s final report was hand-delivered to Attorney General Pam Bondi and Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Thursday. A summary reads: “The amendment’s impact on state and local government revenues and costs, if any, cannot be determined at this time because of its unknown effect on gambling…

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Economists puzzle over proposed gambling amendment

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If it’s approved, would a proposed constitutional amendment outlaw currently legal kinds of gambling? A panel of state economic analysts debated the question on Tuesday. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference, a slate of economists for the Legislature and executive branches, held a public workshop in Tallahassee on the Voter Control of Gambling amendment. It would “ensure that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling,” the ballot summary says. It’s aiming to get on the 2018 statewide…

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State economists confirm estimate “Smart Solar” amendment will not increase public spending

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A panel of state economists and analysts estimated Monday one of two dueling ballot initiatives dealing with solar energy voters may consider will not have any affect on state or local government spending should it pass. The meeting was the panel’s second on the topic, and confirmed the estimate as well as drafted a definitive statement on the issue endorsed by each of the conferees on a petition put forth entitled “Rights of Electricity Consumers Concerning Solar Energy Choice.” The…

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State economists say “Smart Solar” amendment unlikely to have fiscal impact

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A panel of state economists and analysts estimated Monday one of two dueling ballot initiatives dealing with solar energy voters may consider on the November 2016 elections will not have any impact on state spending should it pass. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference, a slate of economists for the Legislature and executive branch, held a workshop in Tallahassee to hear from principals representing the group supporting the amendment – a group calling itself Consumers for Smart Solar – and to make changes…

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State panel: Medical pot can be taxed

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If Florida ever approves medical marijuana for sale in the state, expect to pay tax on it. Medical pot is “tangible personal property” that is “subject to sales and use tax,” a state economics panel has found. “Annual state and local government sales tax revenues could increase by an estimated $67 million after taking into account lawful consumption of medical marijuana,” according to a summary of its report posted online this week. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference also determined that marijuana “is…

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