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Supporters Urge Yes Vote on Amendment 14

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, November 1 2016, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing Amendment 14 and urging voters to vote “no” on the increasingly controversial amendment.

State Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia) said, “I was very disappointed by their actions.”

State Representative John Rogers (D-Birmingham) opposes Amendment 14 and urged the Birmingham City Council to pass a resolution urging the voters to vote “No” on the controversial amendment.

According to original reporting by Weld for Birmingham’s Cody Owens, Rep. Rogers said, “You cannot pass legislation to override a sitting judge.” “The only guarantee in this bill is that the money would go to the General Fund of the county and then to the legislators. I’m the only one fighting this because I think it’s wrong to take school money from the kids.” Rogers also told the Council that a yes vote on amendment 14 would give legislators $120,000 each to spend on pet projects in their districts.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell supports passage of amendment fourteen; but the Council disagrees.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) is also urging that voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 14 which he says would save taxpayers millions of dollars. Zeigler said that defeat of Amendment 14 on the Nov. 8 ballot would “cost taxpayers tens of millions.” Zeigler said that Amendment 14 would correct a questionable procedure the Alabama House used to pass local bills since 1984.

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Rep. Williams said on social media, “Amendment 14 is good for Jefferson County and its good for the City of Birmingham. Because it will lead to major economic development in Jefferson county year after year. If it fails money for economic development is not available.”

Rep. Williams said that, “Amendment 14 provides money for schools in the Jefferson County system as well as schools in Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Trussville, Tarrant, Midfield, Bessemer, Fairfield and Leeds. Amendment 14 will also provide money to the Birmingham School system, money they are not currently receiving.”

Zeigler said, “The only winners in the defeat of Amendment 14 would be the lawyers. If Amendment 14 fails, we face up to 680 lawsuits with taxpayers paying court costs and legal fees. Two local bills have already been struck down by circuit courts based on this procedural issue.”

Williams claimed that, “Everybody wins if Amendment 14 passes, even…especially Birmingham. This election cycle has been way too divisive already. Let’s not fragment things even more by trying to pit Birmingham against Jefferson County. Birmingham makes up less than 1/3 of Jefferson County. Let’s work to help all of Jefferson County, including the City of Birmingham and all of our school systems. Let’s pass Amendment 14!”

Zeigler said, “I will vote ‘yes’ on 14 and encourage all taxpayers to vote ‘yes.’”
“One of the local bills depending on a ‘yes’ vote on Amendment 14 is the new hospital for Chilton County, right in the center of the state.”
“The new hospital is the only hospital serving Chilton County. They need it, and they approved it. Now, they need our statewide approval of Amendment 14 to keep the new hospital.”

Voters get to decide the fate of Amendment 14 when they go to the polls on November 8.


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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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