State needs rewrite of constitution

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014


State voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether or not to provide new protections for the state’s public schools against unfunded laws adopted by the state lawmakers.

The specific requirement, contained in the amendment, which is No. 4 on the ballot next Tuesday, would require that such laws which provide for expenditures of more than $50,000 must be approved by at least a two-thirds vote. It would not apply to compensation or benefits of teachers or employees. The law would basically provide that the legislature can’t adopt costly measures without providing the funding.

It is Amendment 4 the ballot in the upcoming election.


The other amendments

Amendment 1 would give full faith and credit to the laws of other states if they don’t violate the laws of Alabama.

Amendment 2 would end the assessment refund for cotton producers who do not participate in the assessment program.

Amendment 3 protects the right to bear arms and requires strict scrutiny of any restriction on the right.

Amendment 5 would clarify that the people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to reasonable regulations that promote conservation and management of fish and wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.

Now, if you are thinking that we already have the rights contained in proposals three and five, you are absolutely correct. Three is a very fundamental right in our federal constitution, and even if some dictator took over the country and stripped all of us of our rights, it wouldn’t matter what the Alabama Constitution required.

This is should give us all a clear indication that the state’s constitution desperately needs a total rewrite as a streamlined constitutional document and everything else can be enacted either as local or general laws.


Political graveyards

The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Boston Globe recently.

The Globe learned of the awards after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service. In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor.

Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. Email him at