Love 'em or hate 'em, the Florida constitutional amendments are a fact of life. They're on the Nov. 6 ballot, and they're not going away.
There are 11 amendments in all. Voters will be confronted by pages of confusing explanation.
In an effort to clarify things, the Collier Community Alliance, the League of Women Voters, the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Naples Daily News have joined forces to put on an amendments forum — to be held this evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the North Naples United Methodist Church, 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road.
Some high-powered speakers have been lined up to explain, debate and, hopefully, clarify the amendments:
Former state Rep. Dudley Goodlette; Florida ACLU head Howard Simon; Ave Maria University President Jim Towey; Char Wendel, county director of Planned Parenthood; psychologist and national columnist Dr. Jaine Carter; Ken Ginsberg of Hodges University; Democratic Party major-domo Chuck Mohlke; Carolyn Johnson, statewide manager of Vote Yes for No. 4; and prominent local attorneys Jeff Fridkin, Patrick Neale and Andrew Dickman.
Jeff Lytle, Daily News editorial page editor, will serve as moderator.
Is all of this worthwhile?
It really is. Some of the amendments, if approved, could have lasting effects. Among them, the balance of power between the Legislature and the courts will be changed. State funding of religious schools will be allowed. A whole new blueprint for property taxation will be created. State revenues will be capped.
Pretty important stuff. You should know what you're voting for or against.
So plan to join us this evening. It promises to be a lively and informative session. You won't be bored. And you should come away a better-informed voter.