Amendment 1 to be considered by voters on March 5 ballot

Published 9:15 am Saturday, February 3, 2024

Amendment 1 will be the only amendment on the March 5 primary ballot.

The Constitutional amendment is aimed to simplify the process of passing local bills in the legislature.

On March 5, Alabamians will head to the polls and cast their vote on a legislative priority for Alabama’s 67 counties. The only statewide constitutional amendment set to appear on the Primary ballot, Amendment 1 aims to remove a longstanding, and confusing, procedural hurdle for the passage of local legislation.

Since 1984, Alabama’s Constitution has required that no legislation be considered by the state legislature until both annual state budgets are passed and delivered to the governor. But an exception in the law allows the Legislature to consider other matters ahead of the budgets by adopting a Budget Isolation Resolution (BIR) by a vote of “not less than three-fifths of a quorum present.”

The language of this exception has been interpreted in various ways over the years, resulting in much confusion and inconsistency in the approval of local legislation.

If approved by the majority of Alabama voters in March, Amendment 1 will exclude future local bills and proposed local constitutional amendments from the BIR process, and it will ratify all local laws passed prior to March 5, 2024.