Michael Gongora Voting Information

Michael Gongora Voting Information

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Michael C. Góngora, Attorney at Law

Alhambra Towers | 121 Alhambra Plaza, 10th Floor | Coral GablesFL 33134

Tel: 305.260.1014 | Fax: 305.442.2232 |

Dear Friends,

 

By now, you are probably certain of whom you are supporting for President, Senator and Representative.  There are many other items which appear on this ballot.  I have been asked by many regarding whom I am voting for in the general election for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judges.  There are two races on the ballot:

 

CIRCUIT JUDGE, 11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,

GROUP 34

(Vote for One)

XX Mark Blumstein 83 –  Mark has been recommended by the Miami Herald.  He displays the right demeanor and qualifications to serve effectively.

Luis Perez-Medina 84

 

CIRCUIT JUDGE, 11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,

GROUP 52

(Vote for One)

XX Carol “Jodie” Breece 85 –  Jodie has also been recommended by the Miami Herald.  Moreover, she is a long-time director of the Miami Beach Bar Association and I am confident Jodie will be an excellent judge.

Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts 86

Ø  Amendment 1 (Nov. 8 ballot) Solar Energy

 

I will vote NO. It will weaken FPL’s monopoly and let us buy cheaper solar power.

 

Synopsis:  Amendment 1 would enshrine in the state Constitution existing laws on solar energy, which opponents say have blocked solar growth in favor of existing utility companies like Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light by helping ensure their monopoly on the sale of power to Floridians. A central issue is Florida’s current ban on the third-party sale of electricity. In most other states companies are allowed to install solar panels on homes or businesses and then sell the power directly to the consumer, bypassing utilities altogether. Florida is one of only a handful of states that prohibit consumers from buying power directly from third-party solar providers.  

 

A YES vote on Amendment 1 would make it difficult to change future solar energy policy due to the constitutional language adopted.  

 

A NO vote on Amendment 1 would leave in Florida statutes the right for consumers to own or lease solar-power equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use.

 

Supporters: Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light Co.; Gulf Power Co.; Tampa Electric Co.; 60 Plus Association.  

 

Opponents: Floridians for Solar Choice; EarthJustice; Florida Solar Energy Industries Association; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; League of Women Voters of Florida.

 

 

Ø  Amendment 2 (Nov. 8 ballot) Medical Marijuana

 

I will vote YES as I believe patients suffering from debilitating conditions should have access to prescription marijuana and since Medical Marijuana is already allowed in Florida for those that are terminally ill. 

 

Synopsis: Two years after a similar amendment narrowly failed, Amendment 2 is on the ballot to legalize the use of medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of people afflicted with specific diseases and conditions. Amendment 2 differs from the 2014 amendment question by providing more specifics about which “debilitating medical conditions” would qualify for marijuana use by patients, with the approval of a physician. Current state law, passed in 2014, allows the use of non-euphoric cannabis for patients with medical conditions that cause seizures and severe muscle spasms. The Legislature also passed a law this spring that allows terminally ill patients to receive prescriptions for full-strength marijuana. As of mid-April, 24 states had laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical conditions.

 

 

A YES vote on Amendment 2 would create a constitutional right for people with specific “debilitating” conditions – such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis – to use marijuana as long as a physician has certified they have one of the specified conditions.

 

A NO vote on  Amendment 2 would: 

•Not impact the current limited medical marijuana laws in Florida, including those passed in 2014 and 2016.

•Not allow patients with debilitating conditions, and not deemed terminally ill, access to medical marijuana as a prescribed treatment by their doctor.

•Have no effect on current laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana.

 

Supporters: John Morgan, Orlando lawyer; Florida Democratic Party; Service Employees International Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, AFL-CIO, Florida NAACP, Medical Marijuana of Florida, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

 

Opponents: Florida Chamber of Commerce; Drug Free Florida Committee.

 

  

Ø  Amendment 3 (Nov. 8 ballot) Tax Exemption for Disabled First Responders

 

I will vote YES as I believe first responders who are permanently disabled in the line of duty should have a property tax exemption.

 

Synopsis: Florida’s Constitution already grants a property-tax exemption to the spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty. Amendment 3 authorizes the Legislature to extend that exemption to first responders who are “totally and permanently disabled” from injuries they received in the line of duty. First responders are defined under existing law as police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

 

A YES vote on Amendment 3 would authorize the Legislature to grant a property tax exemption on homestead property to first responders who are totally and permanently disabled from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Unfortunately, we will not know what the impact will be on tax revenues.

 

A NO vote on Amendment 3 would not extend property tax exemptions to first responders who became totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty.

 

Supporters: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition.

 

Opponents: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition.

 

  

Ø  Amendment 5 (Nov. 8 ballot) Homestead exemption for low-income seniors

 

I will vote YES to allow low-income seniors to have an additional homestead exemption even if the home exceeds $250K in value.

 

Synopsis: Amendment 5 would ensure that low-income seniors who qualify for an additional homestead exemption as longtime residents do not lose that exemption if the value of their property rises. The exemption to the state Constitution was originally approved by voters in 2012. The law currently provides that seniors who now get the exemption would lose it if their home value tops $250,000.  

 

A YES vote on Amendment 5 would ensure that low-income seniors who qualify for a city- or county-approved property tax exemption do not lose that exemption if the value of their home exceeds the $250,000 limit.

 

A NO vote on Amendment 5 would retain the property tax exemption for low-income seniors who are longtime residents, but not ensure they keep it if property values rise.

 

Supporters: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition.

 

Opponents: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition. 

 

If you have any other questions about this year’s election ballot and/or other suggestions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  Also early voting commenced on October 24th.  For a list of early voting locations and times please click on the following link – http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/vote-early.asp.

 

Now let’s all get out and rock the vote!

Signature of Michael C. Góngora

Michael 

“Only by working together can we achieve success…together!”

“Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.” —Ellen DeGeneres

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