What is to come of Amendment 1?
WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) —
The Florida Supreme Court is considering removing the solar energy initiative from Tuesday’sballot after two lawsuits, filed this week, claim the wording of amendment one is confusing to voters and is unconstitutionally misleading.
Across the state environmentalists are holding events asking citizens to vote no on Amendment 1.
"I am furious that they are tricking us," said Lake Worth resident Annie Bussinger.
Bussinger is joining those voting against Amendment 1. She says the measure is deceptively worded and fears voters like herself are unaware of the changes that could take affect if the amendment were to pass.
"The wording, if you are not doing your homework and you look at the wording and you say, ‘yeah I want solar,’" said Bussinger. "If you go in there without doing your homework, you are going to be voting the wrong way and regretful of that."
Opponents of the controversial solar energy ballot initiative, part of the grassroots campaign "VoteNoOn1" gathered along the city dock at the end of Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, questioned why an amendment meant to protect people's rights is being backed with millions of dollars from energy companies such as Florida Power and Light.
"We are here to tell voters that Amendment 1 is really a wolf in sheep's clothing," said State Representative Lori Berman. "It pretends like it is supporting solar, but the effect actually is counterproductive to the solar energy."
Supporters of Amendment 1 say the change promotes solar energy use while protecting consumers. Critics say there is a backdoor intention of helping established utilities control Florida's solar market and punish electric consumers for using solar panels.
"The utilities are banking on the voter being uninformed. It sounds like a very good amendment on paper, but we are finding that when you talk to the average voter and give them more information, they are smart enough to know that voting no on this amendment is what they should do," said Colleen Castille, CEO of EarthSTEPS, a Tallahassee-based consulting firm, specializing in helping customers increase their use of green technology while reducing their use of natural resources.
A spokesperson for FPL released the following statement, "Read it for yourself. It's a straightforward measure that protects both the rights of those who choose to go solar and the rights of those who do not or cannot."
To pass, Amendment 1 needs the approval of more than 60 percent of Florida voters.