Voters to consider twelve amendments for election

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Statewide Amendment 2 – This proposal seeks to restate the terms of the existing $750 million cap on general obligation bonds for economic development.

The limit currently applies to the “aggregate principal amount” of bonds issued and not to the aggregate principal amount of bonds outstanding at any time.

The proposal has two parts: it permits the state to refinance existing debt, which should have been permitted by the original authorizing amendments, and it permits the state to issue new debt as old debt is retired, not to exceed the cap of $750 million.

The effect of the proposal is both to correct an error in the original amendment and to expand the state’s ability to issue debt for economic development. It is normal for bonds to be refinanced when interest rates fall in order to reduce debt service payments, and refinancing bonds normally do not count against the total of bonds issued under a cap because they just replace bonds that already counted. The language in the original amendments did not allow for this adjustment in the calculations.

Statewide Amendment 3 – This proposal seeks to define the boundaries of the Stockton community in northern Baldwin County, designate the area as a “Landmark District,” and prohibit the Legislature from passing a local act that annexes any property in the district into an existing municipality.

This is a local issue, but one legislator voted against the proposal, which landed it on the statewide ballot.

Statewide Amendment 4 – This proposal seeks to remove certain obsolete and discriminatory language currently found in Sections 256 and 259 of the Alabama Constitution, and related amendments.