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VOL. 38 | NO. 44 | Friday, October 31, 2014

Constitutional amendments on Nov. 4 ballot

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There are four amendments to the Tennessee Constitution on the Nov. ballot. Here is the language of each amendment and what a "yes" or "no" answer would signify:

Amendment 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.

A ‘Yes’ vote means: You want to give state lawmakers the complete state ability to regulate abortion, removing that right from Tennessee’s constitution.

A ‘No’ vote means: You want Tennessee’s laws on abortion to remain as they are.

Amendment 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.

A “Yes’’ vote means: You want state Supreme Court and appellate court judges to be appointed by the governor, confirmed by the state legislature, then retained or rejected by voters in a general election.

A “No’’ vote means: You do not want to change how Supreme Court and appellate judges are appointed.

Amendment 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 Jan. 1, 2011, or adjustment of the rate of such tax.

A ‘Yes’ vote means: You want the state constitution to forbid a state or local payroll or income tax.

A ‘No’ vote means: You want the state constitution to remain as it is.

Amendment 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 prohibit- ed 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.

A ‘Yes’ vote means: You want veterans-related organizations to be able to seek legislative approval for annual lottery or games-of-chance fundraisers like other charitable organizations can.

A ‘No’ vote means: You do not want veterans organizations to have the ability to hold lotteries or games of chance as fundraisers.

– State of Tennessee

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