Monday, October 6, 2014

There are four proposed amendments to the State constitution on the November ballot.

In less than 30 days Tennesseans will vote on four amendments to the state constitution.  To pass, an amendment must receive a favorable vote of more than 50% of the same number of votes cast for governor.  So, if 200,000 people vote in the governors race, in order for an amendment to pass it would have to get 100,001 votes. Please be sure and vote on the amendments.  I am in favor of all of them. 

Below is a quick summary of the Amendments:

Amendment 1 would insert constitutional language empowering the legislature to enact, amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion. This would not outlaw abortion but would allow the state to impose reasonable limitations on abortion such as licensing requirements or waiting periods. Due to a Tennessee supreme court decision some years ago, it was deemed that the State constitution provided greater rights to abortion than did Federal constitution.  As a result Tennessee has become an abortion destination. This amendment would correct that

Amendment 2  would empower the governor to appoint judges to the supreme court or any other state appellate courts subject to confirmation by the general assembly. The appointed judge would serve an eight-year term. Thereafter, the judge could serve another term via a retention election by voters. Currently we have retention elections. The State constitution says judges will be elected but the State supreme court has ruled that a retention election is an election. If this fails, nothing would change. We would still have retention elections.

Amendment 3 would prohibit the legislature from levying, authorizing or permitting any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income. We do not have an income tax now in Tennessee but at one time, the State legislature came close to passing a State income tax.  This amendment would put into the State constitution that we cannot have a tax on income.

Amendment 4 would empower the state legislature to authorize lotteries via a two-thirds vote for annual events that benefit 501 (c) (3) and 501(c)(19) organizations both nonprofit and exempt from federal taxes. 501(c)(19) organizations are veterans organizations.

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