Explaining the constitutional amendments on Nov. ballot - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Explaining the constitutional amendments on Nov. ballot

When you step into the booth to cast your ballot in November, you'll find a large list of amendments to the Alabama Constitution. Here's a breakdown of each amendment.

Environment (Amendment 1i)

Extend payments to the Forever Wild Land Trust for the next 20 years, ending with fiscal year 2031-2032. Forever Wild buys land to increase the size of state parks, wildlife management areas, and creates new recreational trails and nature preserves. Forever Wild receives the majority of its funding from distributed interest from natural gas royalties and matching federal grants.

Bond Issues (Amendment 2iii)

Allow the State to refund and repurchase general obligation bonds at a lower interest rate, which could result in savings for the State. Amendment 2 will also allow the State to issue more general obligation bonds as the bond obligations are paid, with a cap of $750 million in outstanding debt. 

Administration of Government (Amendment 3iv)

Define the Stockton Landmark District within Baldwin County and also prohibit local lawmakers from agreeing to any annexation of property within the district into a municipality. The historical landmark community of Stockton wants to preserve its historic nature. Under the Amendment, parts of Stockton may still be annexed through the unanimous consent of land owners. 

Civil Rights (Amendment 4v)

Remove language in the Alabama State Constitution relating to racial segregation in schools and the imposition of poll taxes. 

Natural Resources (Amendment 5vi)

Provide the transfer of assets and liabilities of the Water Works and Sewer Board of the City of Prichard to the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners of the City of Mobile. This move may lower prices for citizens who are currently served by the Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board, and could ease the fiscal burden on the Prichard Municipal government.  

Health Care (Amendment 6vii)

Prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system. Prohibit, through state law, the imposition of fines or penalties upon health care providers for accepting direct payment for lawful health care services. Amendment 6 is Alabama's attempt to reject the mandates contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). 

Labor (Amendment 7viii)

Guarantee the right of individuals to vote for public office, public votes on referenda, or votes of employee representation by secret ballot. Amendment 7 is designed to protect Alabamians from threat or coercion when deciding how to best represent their interests. 

Legislative Pay (Amendment 8ix)

Repeal existing laws regarding the compensation and expense reimbursement of the members of the Alabama State Legislature. Tie the annual basic compensation of every member of the Legislature to the median annual household income in Alabama. Amendment 8 is a muchneeded clarification of legislative pay and will ensure that all legislators' pay rises and falls with that of the people they represent. 

Taxes (Amendment 9x)

Replaces outdated language concerning the categorization of certain corporations. Continues the authority of the Legislature to pass general laws pertaining to corporations and other entities and to regulate and impose a business privilege tax on corporations and other entities. Amendment 9 is one of two "clean up" amendments on the ballot and does not impose or authorize any new taxes.

Administration of Government (Amendment 10xi)

Revise and recompile the sections of the Constitution concerning banks and banking. Amendment 10 is the other "clean up" amendment and updates Alabama's current banking practices. This amendment will prohibit the state from becoming a stockholder in any bank or banking corporation.

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