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Commission votes to add a constitutional amendment during the next primary

The proposed constitutional amendment is designed to make local legislation easier to enact.

A section of a sample ballot showing 2022 constitutional proposals and amendments.

On Tuesday, a constitutional amendment designed to make local legislation easier to enact was approved by the Alabama Fair Ballot Commission.

According to the Alabama Reflector, the impetus for this amendment is to address a key procedural step in the legislature known as the budget isolation resolution (BIR). The amendment will be on the ballot during the primary in March. 

A BIR is a procedural step that requires any legislation brought before the state’s two budgets are passed to obtain three-fifths approval prior to debate continuing. Currently under constitutional requirement the Alabama Legislature must vote on the general fund budget and education trust fund prior to any other legislation. 

The states two budgets often are not passed until late in the session meaning many local bills are held up until the end of the session despite being important for individual lawmakers and potential areas in their district.

During the special session the legislature passed a bill that allowed the constitutional amendment to be voted on by Alabama voters. Sen. Clyde Chambliss led the bill and told AL.com that the intent was to remove an “unnecessary hurdle” to legislating.

“It just removes one of those, in my opinion, unnecessary hurdles, that has really had no effect on legislation,” Chambliss stated.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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