Amendments explained

Published 3:20 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

In addition to voting for president and U.S. Congress on Election Day, Tues., Nov. 8, there will be 14 proposed amendments to the Constitution of Alabama.

The following are summaries of each amendment from information provided by the Fair Ballot Commission.

  • Amendment 1: This amendment would ensure that no more than three of the members of the Auburn University Board of Trustees have terms that expire in the same calendar year and would add two additional at-large members to the board.


  • Amendment 2: This amendment would prohibit any money earmarked from Alabama State Parks being used for any purpose other than the support, upkeep and maintenance of the state parks system unless these revenues exceeded $50 million annually. The Amendment would also allow, but not require, certain state park lands and facilities to be operated and maintained by an entity other than the Department of Conservation and National Resources.


  • Amendment 3: Amendment 3 would replace the existing method for deciding whether a proposed constitutional amendment should be voted on a) by the voters of the affected local community only or b) by the voters of the entire state. Currently, that decision is made by a commission made of us the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House of Representatives, attorney general and secretary of state. If Amendment 3 passes, the commission will be abolished and the final decision on whether a proposed constitutional amendment should be voted on locally or statewide will instead by made by the Legislature. If any single legislator voted against a local vote, any proposed amendment would be placed on the ballot statewide.


  • Amendment 4: Amendment 4 would give counties essentially the same authority granted through the Alabama Limited Governance Act without the need for seeking approval from a majority of voters in the affected area. Under Amendment 4, counties could pass and enforce these laws by vote of the county commission. If passed, county commissions can adopt programs and policies related to county personnel, litter-free roadways and public property, public transportation, safety on roads and emergency assistance without having to ask permission from the Legislature. The amendment would, however, prevent a county from imposing a tax or fee.
  • Amendment 5: This amendment combines parts of the state constitution that deal with separation of powers between the branches of state government — Article III and Amendment 582 — into the same place and deletes outdated language.


  • Amendment 6: The state constitution does not set the number of votes required to impeach the governor or other executive office holders. Amendment 6 would require a two-thirds majority vote of the Alabama Senate for removal from office.

Amendment 7: This amendment is related to Etowah County, and would require most sheriff’s office employees in Etowah County to be under the authority of the personnel board of the Office of Sheriff of Etowah County.


  • Amendment 8: Under current law, the Code of Alabama, but not the state constitution, declares Alabama a right to work state. This amendment would protect a person’s right to work, regardless of membership or nonmembership in a labor union or organization.


  • Amendment 9: This amendment is related to Pickens County and would mandate that a person who is not over the age of 75 years could be elected or appointed to be Pickens County Probate Judge, but, for all other judicial offices in the state, the current statewide constitutional prohibition of electing or appointing a person who has reached the age of 70 years to a judicial office would remain in effect.


Amendment 10: This amendment is related to Calhoun County and would prevent any city or town that is not located completely or partially within Calhoun County from exercising police jurisdiction or planning police jurisdiction over any territory in Calhoun County.


  • Amendment 11: This amendment would allow cities and counties to sell certain city- or county-owned property for less than its fair market value if the property is located in areas of the city or county specially designated as suitable for certain major manufacturing facilities.


  • Amendment 12: This amendment would allow the Alabama Legislature to enact a future law incorporating a toll road and bridge authority of a city or town in Baldwin County.


  • Amendment 13: Under current law, people have reached a certain age are not allowed to run for or be appointed to certain public offices. Amendment 13 does two things. First, except for judicial offices, Amendment 13 eliminates any law that imposes a maximum age restriction on the election or appointment of a public official. Second, Amendment 13 prevents the Legislature from passing a future law that includes a maximum age restriction.


  • Amendment 14: This amendment clarifies Budget Isolation Resolution rules, which requires the legislature to address budgets first, unless they follow specific rules. In addition, a “yes” vote on this amendment will validate 700 local laws that have been passed since 1984 without creating any new taxes. If the amendment fails, it could potentially undo local legislation across the state related to hospitals, fire stations, police departments and school resource officers.