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Changes Modernizing Alabama Constitution Up for Vote in November

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Two bills renovating the language in the Alabama Constitution of 1901 have passed both House and Senate and are scheduled to be on the ballot in November.

Sponsored by Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood), HB357 and HB358 seek to update old verbiage in the over 100-year-old document.

“In the Alabama Constitution there are different sections that deal with different topics and subject matters,” said DeMarco.

Article 12, addressed in HB357, deals with corporations. He said, “In 1901 there was one corporate entity, ‘corporations.’ Now you have LLCs, LPs, PCs, S corporations, etc.” The language would open up the constitution to address these separately according to statutes regarding the specific type of entity.

The second possible amendment, HB358, is to Article 13 regarding banking. It states:

“…relating to the general power of the Legislature regarding banks and banking, effective January 1, 2014, to include in that section existing provisions concerning unlimited duration, prohibitions on political subdivisions being stockholders or lending credit, and bank examination requirements…”

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DeMarco said, “We have statutes in place that deals with all of that so it gives the flexibility when it comes to amending the business code and that is not something that you find in a charter for a state in the first place. We have had to amend it so many times.”

There are words that no longer pertain to modern-day business transactions. “There is antiquated language such as language as ‘telegraphs’ in the corporate article so obviously that is outdated. It still keeps telephones in there but it takes that antiquated language,” said DeMarco.

DeMarco said he worked on these amendments for six years. “It has been a long time coming and I am looking forward to the public having the opportunity to vote on it in November.

He also said that they will be looking at other renovations of the constitution for next year.

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