VICTORY: Florida Votes for Solar with Approval of Amendment 4
In a major victory for solar progress, Florida voters took to the polls in favor of Amendment 4, affirming – with 73% of the vote – resounding support for expanding solar development in the state. This change to the state constitution clears the way for the legislature to implement new tax laws that will end prohibitive tax liabilities that Florida businesses and homeowners currently face with solar installations.
“The strong showing of support for Amendment 4 sends a clear message to elected officials at all levels of government that Florida voters want more diversity in our energy market. This amendment will spur growth in solar and renewable energy, and create thousands of clean energy jobs for hardworking Floridians,” said Senator Jeff Brandes (R – St. Petersburg). “The success of this amendment would not have been possible without the hard work of the solar and renewable energy community, as well as our diverse coalition of support from bipartisan groups ranging across the political spectrum. I look forward to continuing the effort to promote common sense, free market energy reform measures like Amendment 4 in the Sunshine State.”
Amendment 4 was placed on the ballot after garnering unanimous support from state policymakers in March. Senator Brandes sponsored the solar development bill in the legislature and has been one of the bills most ardent proponents in the Senate throughout the year.
“The passage of Amendment 4 is a victory for Florida’s taxpayers and businesses. Eliminating high tax barriers will unleash the potential of the “Sunshine State” to become a leader in solar energy production,” said Representative Ray Rodrigues (R – Estero). Floridians will benefit from lower taxes, reduced energy costs and the increased security of a diversified energy portfolio.”
“Tonight, I am proud that Amendment 4 passed. The voters of Florida have spoken and we now enter a new era where renewable energy can be accessible for all and clean energy jobs can be at the forefront of Florida’s economy,” said Lori Berman (D – Boyton Beach). I look forward to seeing the positive environmental and economic impacts this amendment has on our state and thank the voters for taking this significant leap forward.”
“The outpouring of support for Amendment 4 signals a strong desire among Florida voters to put the Sunshine State’s most abundant energy resource to work,” said Scott Thomasson, Director of New Markets at Vote Solar. “This victory would not have been possible without the leadership of state lawmakers like Senator Brandes and Representatives Rodrigues and Berman, who were committed to bringing competitive solar energy options and job opportunities to the state. It’s now up to legislators to act once again on behalf of their constituents, affirm Amendment 4 in law, and let the solar industry know that Florida is open for business.”
In addition to cultivating broad business support for Amendment 4, Vote Solar teamed up with Florida Conservation Voters to launch a major education and outreach campaign aimed at Florida voters.
“Voter approval of Amendment 4 demonstrates once again that, regardless of party affiliation, Florida voters care about protecting a healthy environment for future generations,” said Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director of Florida Conservation Voters. “Voters led the way in 2014 with approval of the water and land conservation amendment, and today they sent another loud message calling on lawmakers to bring more clean solar energy to Florida.”
Amendment 4 drew broad support from business groups, clean energy advocates, and environmental organizations, as well as every major news publication in the state. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Florida Retail Federation, Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Florida Realtors, Florida Conservation Voters, The Nature Conservancy, Vote Solar and others were among the more than two hundred major endorsements for Amendment 4.
Congrats to our many partners – and to the people of Florida who took a big step forward on solar today!