Amendments focus on abortion, court, taxes
When voters head to the polls in November they will find four proposed amendments to the state’s constitution on the ballot.
As a convenience to voters, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office has posted the four proposed amendments on the office’s website.
“Although these amendments will not appear on the ballot until November, voters are starting to debate their merits,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a released statement. “Now these amendments are readily accessible on our website to give people the opportunity to learn about them so they can make well-informed decisions at the ballot box.”
The amendments are available by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.tn.gov/sos/election/.
Voters will have the opportunity vote “yes” or “no” on each of the amendments. For any of the amendments to be approved, they would need a majority of “yes” votes from more than half the total number of people who vote in this year’s governor’s race, which will appear on the same ballot as the amendments.
Below are the proposed amendments:
• AMENDMENT No. 1
Shall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:
Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
• AMENDMENT No. 2
Shall Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by deleting the first and second sentences and by substituting instead the following:
Judges of the Supreme Court or any intermediate appellate court shall be appointed for a full term or to fill a vacancy by and at the discretion of the governor; shall be confirmed by the Legislature; and thereafter, shall be elected in a retention election by the qualified voters of the state. Confirmation by default occurs if the Legislature fails to reject an appointee within sixty calendar days of either the date of appointment, if made during the annual legislative session, or the convening date of the next annual legislative session, if made out of session. The Legislature is authorized to prescribe such provisions as may be necessary to carry out Sections two and three of this article.
• AMENDMENT No. 3
Shall Article II, Section 28 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentence at the end of the final substantive paragraph within the section:
Notwithstanding the authority to tax privileges or any other authority set forth in this Constitution, the Legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting any tax in effect on January 1, 2011, or adjustment of the rate of such tax.
• AMENDMENT No. 4
Shall Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by deleting the following language:
All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) organization located in this state, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code or as may be amended from time to time.
AND by substituting instead the following language:
All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(19) organization, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code, located in this state.