Amendment Seven – Local Amendment
This amendment pertains to the local organization of the Etowah County Sheriff’s office and is a prime example of why we need a new Constitution. Unless you live in Etowah County, it’s none of your business.
Amendment Eight – NO
This amendment takes something that’s already state law and tries to make it even more LEGAL by writing it into the state constitution. Specifically, it pertains to the rights of unions to organize, so you know what’s cooking. It’s the brainchild of brain-dead legislators so hostile to unions that they want to gum up the state constitution even more.
This amendment changes absolutely nothing about state labor laws and our (almost non-existent) worker protections. It’s a feel-good vote for anti-worker politicians.
Amendment Nine – Local Amendment
Apparently, someone in Pickens County is trying to
get rid of keep the Probate Judge. It raises the age for qualifying to run as Probate Judge in Pickens County from 70 to 75. Unless you know the guy or gal affected, stay out of it.
Amendment Ten – Local Amendment
This local bill changes law enforcement jurisdictions in Calhoun County and is absolutely nobody’s business but those who live in Calhoun County.
At this point, I’m starting to think back on Amendment 4 and wondering exactly why the Governor, Lt. Governor, AG, Speaker, and SOS thought that any of these local amendments needed a statewide vote.
Amendment Eleven – NO
Good heavens, the last thing we need in this state is even more corporate welfare – much less corporate welfare written into the state constitution. How much of a corporate giveaway is it? YUGE! Not surprisingly, business interests love it.
If a majority of voters vote Yes on Amendment 11, cities and counties would be allowed to sell certain city- or county-owned property for less than its fair market value if the property is located in areas of the city or county specially designated as suitable for certain major manufacturing facilities.
If a majority of voters vote No on Amendment 11, cities and counties would remain required to sell for at least fair market value any city or county-owned property located in areas that have been specially designated as suitable for certain major manufacturing facilities.
Amendment Twelve – Local Amendment
This pertains to toll roads in Baldwin County. It give the Alabama Legislature the authority in the future to approve toll roads in Baldwin County – because surely county residents aren’t smart enough to decide that for themselves.
Amendment Thirteen – NO
This was the Alabama Republican Party establishment’s desperate attempt to get Roy Moore off the state supreme court and off the front pages. Under current law, Moore would be prevented from running again in 2018 due to age restrictions.
This amendment removes age restrictions for all elected & appointed officials except judges. Of course, when Moore was removed from office – again – that threw sand in the gears. He’d much rather run for Governor anyway.
Certainly, you can think that age restrictions for public officials aren’t necessary, but if so, it’s just silly to exempt judges.
Amendment Fourteen – YES
Decades ago, the Alabama Legislature approved the Budget Isolation Resolution (BIR) amendment and it passed overwhelmingly. It requires the legislature to pass budgets first before taking up other legislation. The only way around what was to pass a “Budget Isolation Resolution” that declared the other legislation to be so important, it couldn’t possibly wait its turn. Not surprisingly, legislators routinely pass BIRs for any sort of fluff legislation and we pay for special sessions to get actual budgets passed.
In 2015, a state judge called them on it and voided a law that was passed using a BIR. It was a local law pertaining to Jefferson County, but the ruling affected all bills that has been passed in a similar manner. If Amendment 14 fails, state government could be thrown into even more chaos – and it’s chaos that will affect many local governments too.
Representative Christopher John England released this statement on his Facebook page:
This amendment would ratify all local bills passed prior to November 8th, 2016 that received less than 32 affirmative votes on the Budget Isolation Resolution (referred to as the BIR). There is a lot of misinformation out there about this particular amendment. However, trust me on this one, if this amendment fails, the entire state, almost every county, could potentially suffer significant consequences including jeopardizing funding for schools, court systems, and many other vital local programs. So please vote yes!
Rep. England is one of the few legislators whom I really trust and respect. On that basis, I support Amendment 14.