Voters to decide on 5 statewide amendments

Published 12:01 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

Next week, Alabama voters will not only be deciding on the midterm elections, but will be voting on five proposed amendments to the state’s constitution.

The proposed amendments are statewide.

Amendment 1 prohibits courts and other legal authorities from applying foreign law if doing so would violate rights guaranteed to citizens of Alabama; Amendment 2 allows the state to borrow $50 million to build National Guard armories; Amendment 3 gives the right for every citizen to bear arms in defense of him or herself; Amendment 4 makes the requirement for a two-thirds vote or majority of 66 percent rather than a simple 50 percent majority of the Alabama Legislature in order to pass a law that would require local boards of education to cumulatively spend over $50,000 in local funds without providing the funds to pay for the increased expense; and Amendment 5 adds the “Sportsperson’s Bill of Rights” to the constitution, which will give people of Alabama the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife using traditional methods.

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Rep. Charles Newton of Greenville said amendments 3 and 5 are similar in that each protect citizens’ rights to bear arms and hunt and fish.

“Amendment 3 provides that every citizen have the fundamental right to bear arms and be rest assured that they’d suffer no strict scrutiny,” Newton said. “What this is trying to say is that a treaty would not infringe on those rights.”

Newton said Amendment 5 would give people in the state a protected right to hunt and fish wildlife.

Amendment 2 is an amendment relating to capital improvement, Newton said.

“This amendment would allow us to issue bonds from the trust fund,” he said. “The money from the bonds can be used for construction and maintenance of Alabama National Guard armories.”

Newton added that Greenville is hoping to get a National Guard Armory and that the money allowed by the amendment would be certainly used for that purpose.

Amendment 4 pertains to schools spending money. It would accomplish a mandate can’t be passed without a two-thirds vote.

Newton said he’s heard from teachers who are in support of the amendment.

Amendment 1 proposes prohibiting giving a full faith and credit if those are violating rights in the country.

Newton explained the amendment in terms of if someone from out of the country violates a law here that’s legal in their home country.

Newton will be the representative of District 90 until next Tuesday, when either Chris Sells, a republican, or Walton Hickman, a democrat, is elected to fill the post.