Five statewide amendments will be on the ballot Nov. 4th

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(WHNT) - When you step in the voting booth on November 4th, you'll notice five state amendments on the ballot.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.48.00 PM

Amendment One:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to prohibit the State of Alabama from giving full faith and credit to public acts, records, or judicial proceedings of another state that violate the public policy of the State of Alabama and to prohibit the application of foreign law in violation of rights guaranteed natural citizens by the United States and Alabama Constitutions, and the statutes, laws, and public policy thereof, but without application to business entities.

If passed, Amendment One  will "have in place a Constitutional provision that says Alabama citizens will not be subject to foreign law if application of the foreign law would violate Alabama law or result in a violation of their rights," according to the Fair Ballot Commission ballot statements.

That statement says if defeated, "courts and legal authorities may choose to refuse to apply foreign law if the foreign law would result in a violation of Alabama law and/or deprive a citizen of his or her rights, even though there is no statute or Constitutional Amendment requiring them to do so."

 

Amendment Two: 

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, relating to the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, to increase the amount of the General Obligation Bonds authorized herein; to provide for additional payments from the Alabama Trust Fund to fund any bond issued; to provide for competitive bidding of the bonds; and to provide for the distribution of the proceeds for plans, construction, and maintenance of Alabama National Guard armories

Amendment Two is co-sponsored by State Senator Bill Holtzclaw of north Alabama. It asks voters to allow the state to borrow up to $50 million from the state's Capital Improvement Trust Fund to improve National Guard armories.

If passed, the loan would be paid back within 20 years.

"The thinking is if Alabama doesn't take the initiative to repair these armories, the National Guard commander in Washington might start to consolidate units and we won't have so many national guard armories around the state," explained WHNT News 19 political analyst Jess Brown. "You may ask why does that matter? Because then the men and women in Alabama's National Guard may have to travel much farther for their training."

According to the Fair Ballot Commission, Amendment 2 will have no direct impact on taxes, but would redirect the distribution of income from the Alabama Trust Fund.

 

Amendment Three: 

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny; and to provide that no international treaty or law shall prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with a citizen's fundamental right to bear arms.

Amendment Three, if passed, would elevate the right to bear arms under the State Constitution to a fundamental right and would be given the highest possible protection. It would also offer "additional protection from potential interference by international treaty or foreign law."

If defeated, Alabamian's right to bear arms would remain intact.

In fact, Brown says the amendment doesn't change much from the existing amendment already in the State Constitution.

"The right to bear arms in Alabama as of a result of section 26 of the state’s current constitution is as well protected as you can protect it under state law," said Brown.

He goes on to explain, the idea of strict scrutiny is a certain legal test applied by the courts when a right is deemed fundamental. But it is simply an additional layer of protection.

'It says the government should not interfere with that [fundamental] right, unless the government can demonstrate a compelling social interest that is served by limiting that right," explained Brown.

 

Amendment Four:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to prohibit a general law, whose purpose or effect is to require a new or increased expenditure of at least $50,000 of local funds annually, from becoming effective with regard to a city or county board of education without enactment by a 2/3 vote.

Currently in Alabama, legislators can pass unfunded mandates on local school systems. If passed, Amendment four would require more votes for the legislature to pass unfunded mandates, except for legislation that addresses compensation, benefits, or due process rights of any employee of a board of education.

They would need a two-thirds vote to pass a law that would require local boards of education to cumulatively spend more than $50,000 in local funds, without money from the state.

"Local school boards, local superintendents, say at least if you're going to mandate something on us, put a check in the mail! Pay for it! Don't mandate that we do something then expect us to get that accomplished using existing funds or local funds," said Dr. Brown.

If defeated, the lawmakers can continue to pass bills that impose unfunded mandates by a simple majority vote of the Legislature.

 

Amendment Five: 

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to amend Amendment 597, now appearing as Section 36.02 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, to clarify that the people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to reasonable regulations that promote conservation and management of fish and wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.

If passed, this amendment would clarify that Alabamians have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. However, it would still be subject to reasonable regulations to conserve wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing. It would not affect current laws relating to eminent domain, trespass, or property rights.

If Amendment Five is defeated nothing would change. However, it leaves the door open for hunting to potentially be limited by future laws and regulations.