Voters to consider twelve amendments for election

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The original Section 256 required a “liberal system of public schools,” but also required separate schools for white and black students. Amendment 111, adopted in 1956, contained three paragraphs amending this section. The first called for promoting education but removed any right to education at public expense. The second authorized the Legislature to provide for schools as it saw fit. The third allowed the Legislature to authorize parents or guardians to choose segregated schools for their children.

The proposal in this amendment would eliminate the third paragraph, which specifically authorized segregated schools. The proposal also would repeal Section 259 and associated amendments, which authorized poll taxes to be levied on the privilege of voting.

Statewide Amendment 5 – This proposal seeks to dissolve the Water Works and Sewer Board of the city of Prichard and transfers its assets and liabilities to the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners of the city of Mobile. The terms of this amendment would require the approval in the area served by each utility, as well as statewide. The rates of Mobile customers are not to increase as a result of the merger.

Statewide Amendment 6 – This proposal would add to the Alabama Constitution language to prohibit any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system. The apparent intent is to overturn in Alabama the requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance and other federal mandates adopted in the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress in 2010.

Statewide Amendment 7 – This proposal would add a paragraph to Section 177 of the Alabama Constitution, which governs elections and voting. The new paragraph would guarantee individuals the right to vote by secret ballot whenever state or federal law requires voting to elect public officials, approve ballot issues or designate employee representation by unions in the workplace.

The purpose of this proposal is to preserve the requirement for secret ballots in the authorization and designation of employee representatives in the workplace.