By Representative Allan Farley
This is serious. There will be 11 proposed changes to the Alabama Constitution listed on the November 6th ballot. As a registered voter we all have the privilege, and the responsibility, to make the right decisions. We can only do that if we are well informed. I will list the 11 Amendments with a brief description. (Of course, I will have my opinion). But, that is not necessarily how you should vote. I hope my comments will prompt you to do your homework. Prove me right, or wrong. Get informed and vote. (We’re still friends).
Amendment 1: This would extend the state’s Forever Wild Land Preservation Program for 20 years. Since 1992 the Forever Wild Land Trust has been receiving $15 million each year from the Alabama Trust Fund interest to purchase land for public use. This has been a great program. Their website states they have purchased 227,000 acres of land. This Amendment is to continue this land purchase program for 20 additional years. (Let’s hunt and play on the 227,000 acres we’ve already purchased. When our state finances improve we can come back and buy more).
Amendment 2: This would allow for the issuance of general obligation bonds to provide funds for incentives to attract new businesses to Alabama and thereby create more Alabama jobs. We would also be able to refinance existing bonds to save money. Governor Bentley promotes this as a job creating measure. (The state saves money on interest. We bring in employers that create jobs. A no-brainer).
Amendment 3: A Baldwin County issue. (This will not affect Jefferson County. I will pass on this one).
Amendment 4: Removes segregationist language from the Alabama Constitution that dealt with separating schools by race, and paying poll taxes. (A big YES vote for me. This should have been done years ago).
Amendment 5: A Mobile and Prichard issue. (This will not affect Jefferson County. I will pass on this one).
Amendment 6: Prohibits any person, employer, or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system. (A yes vote would prohibit mandatory participation in Alabama of any Obama federal health care system, i.e. OBAMACARE).
Amendment 7: Would provide that the right of individuals to vote for public office, public votes on referenda or votes of employee representation by secret ballot is fundamental. (Labor Unions would have to allow for the use of secret ballots. This does not do away with unions. This protects Alabamians from threats and intimidation while voting on union matters).
Amendment 8: This would repeal the existing provisions for legislative compensation and expenses that were established by the Alabama Legislature in 2007. This amendment would reduce a Legislator’s pay by approximately $11,000 per year. It would set their salary at the level of the median Alabama household income. Currently that is approximately $42,000 per year. Legislators would have to submit signed vouchers for travel expense reimbursement. It would keep future Alabama Legislators from ever setting their own salary. (It is common sense and fair).
Amendment 9: Will continue the authority of the Legislature to pass general laws pertaining to corporations and other entities; to continue the authority of the Legislature to regulate and impose a business privilege tax on corporations and other entities; and to repeal various provisions concerning private corporations, railroads, and canals. This amendment would revise some of the language, and remove some language, that is outdated with today’s current business environment of corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. (It is important that Alabama’s Constitution is updated, concise, and reflects the changes in our businesses over the last 111 years).
Amendment 10: Like Amendment 9, this is a “clean-up” amendment that updates Alabama’s current banking practices. A yes vote would also prohibit the state from becoming a stockholder in any bank or banking corporation.
Amendment 11: A Lawrence County and Decatur issue. (This will not affect Jefferson County. I will pass on this one).
God Bless America!!!
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?