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November 5, 2012

Statewide amendments roundup

What you need to know about amendments

(Continued)

CULLMAN — Amendment 5

This amendment is another strictly local issue affecting  only those who live in  the city of Mobile or the Prichard area.

The amendment specifically calls for the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System to acquire the assets, liabilities, and infrastructures of the Water and Sewer Board of the city of Prichard. A yes vote would dissolve Prichard’s current water and sewer board. The amendment has no effect on taxes or services in Cullman County or anywhere in the state outside of Mobile and Prichard.

Amendment 6

Aimed at providing Alabamians with an “opt out” alternative to Obamacare, Amendment 6 prohibits any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system.

The amendment also says that no one, an individual or employer, would face penalties or fines for choosing not to participate in health care system.

“I think this comes down to a constitutional issue. It doesn’t prevent anyone from participating, but it also says that no one can be forced into a health care system,” Bussman said.

Amendment 7

Known as the secret ballot amendment, this one targets union activity where union members may be forced to publicly vote for or against a measure. The amendment is aimed at protecting an individual’s privacy in voting whether to accept or reject unionization.

Amendment 8

Many of the current lawmakers, who came into office two years ago, were upset by past legislators who were empowered to vote themselves a pay raise, no matter what economic conditions affected the state.

Amendment 8 takes the power away from lawmakers to randomly vote themselves pay raises and ties compensation to the median household income in Alabama. The amendment also requires tracking of expenses by lawmakers.

“I’m exicted about this amendment,” Bussman said. “We’ve needed this as a means of being accountable to the public. I’m hoping this will pass and put an end to some of the practices  we’ve seen in past years.”

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