Voters in Georgia and South Carolina will have several items on which to vote in addition to all the political offices. Both states have proposed constitutional amendments, and Georgia has several referendum requests on the November 7 ballot. The ballot questions are below; much more detail is available online:
Amendment 1: Eminent Domain--Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to prohibit the use of eminent domain by certain nonelected authorities and to prohibit the contested use of eminent domain except for public use as defined by general law?
Amendment 2: Fishing & Hunting--Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good?
Amendment 3: License Plates--Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide for special motor vehicle license plates and dedicate the revenue from such plates for stated purposes, including dedications for the ultimate use of agencies, funds, or nonprofit corporations where it is found that there will be a benefit
to the state?
Referendum A: Farm Exemption--Shall the Act be approved which expands the ad valorem tax exemption for agricultural products and equipment to include certain additional farm equipment held under a lease purchase agreement?
Referendum B: Veterans Exemption--Shall the Act be approved which expands the ad valorem tax exemption for veterans organizations to include certain additional nonprofit veterans organizations which refurbish and operate historic
military aircraft for educational purposes?
Referendum C: Charitable Exemption--Shall the Act be approved which grants an exemption from ad valorem taxation on property owned by a charitable institution which generates income when that income is used exclusively for the operation of such charitable institution?
Referendum D: Seniors Exemption--Shall the Act be approved which provides a homestead exemption for senior citizens in an amount equal to the actual levy for state ad valorem tax purposes on the homestead?
Referendum E: Spouse Exemption--Shall the Act be approved which provides a homestead exemption for the full value of the homestead with respect to all ad valorem taxes for the unremarried surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter
who was killed in the line of duty?
Referendum F: Spouse Continuation--Shall the Act be approved which provides that, with respect to base year assessed value homestead exemptions, the surviving spouse of a deceased spouse who has been granted such a homestead exemption shall receive that exemption at the same base year valuation that applied to the deceased spouse so long as that surviving spouse continues to occupy the home as a residence and homestead.
Amendment 1: Define Marriage--Must Article XVII of the Constitution of this State be amended by adding Section 15 so as to provide that in this State and its political subdivisions, a marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized; that this State and its political subdivisions shall not create, recognize, or give effect to a legal status, right, or claim created by another jurisdiction respecting any other domestic union, however denominated; that this amendment shall not impair any right or benefit extended by the State or its political subdivisions other than a right or benefit arising from a domestic union that is not valid or recognized in this State; and that this amendment shall not prohibit or limit the ability of parties other than the State or its political subdivisions from entering into contracts or other legal instruments?
Amendment 2a: Legislative Sessions--Shall Article III, Section 9 of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that the annual session of the General Assembly shall commence on the second Tuesday in January at the State Capitol Building in the City of Columbia, but that each body shall be authorized by majority vote to recede for a period of time not to exceed 30 consecutive calendar days at a time, or by two-thirds vote to recede for a time period of more than 30 consecutive calendar days at a time, and to sit in session at the State Capitol Building in the City of Columbia, and to provide for meetings as each body shall consider appropriate, and to provide for an organizational session for the Senate in those years in which the membership of the Senate is elected and to delete obsolete language relating to earlier sessions of the General Assembly?
Amendment 2b: Legislative Adjournment--Shall Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended by deleting Section 21 which provides that neither house of the General Assembly shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it shall be at the time sitting?
Amendment 3a: Retirement Investments--Must the first sentence of the fourth paragraph of Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to the equity securities investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to delete the restrictions limiting investments in equity securities to those of American-based corporations registered on an American national exchange as provided in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or any successor act, or quoted through the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotations System or similar service?
Amendment 3b: Investment Panel--Must the second through the seventh sentences of the fourth paragraph of Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to the establishment and membership of the State Retirement Systems Investment Panel be amended by deleting these sentences thereby abolishing this constitutionally established panel?
Amendment 4: Limit Increases--Must Article III and Article X of the Constitution of this State be amended to authorize the General Assembly to establish the method of valuation for real property based on limits to increases in taxable value, adjusted for improvements and losses, of no more than fifteen percent over a five-year period, unless an assessable transfer of interest occurs; to provide that for purposes of calculating the limit on bonded indebtedness of political subdivisions and school districts, the assessed values of all taxable property within a political subdivision or school district shall not be lower than the assessed values for 2006; and to provide that the General Assembly, by general law and not through local legislation pertaining to a single county or other political subdivision, shall provide for the terms, conditions, and procedures to implement the above provisions?
Amendment 5: Eminent Domain--Must Section 13, Article I of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, private property shall not be condemned by eminent domain for any purpose or benefit, including, but not limited to, the purpose or benefit of economic development, unless the condemnation is for public use; and to further provide that for the limited purpose of the remedy of blight, the General Assembly may provide by law that private property, if it meets certain conditions, may be condemned by eminent domain without the consent of the owner and put to a public use or private use if just compensation is first made for the property; and must Section 17, Article I of the Constitution of this State be amended to delete undesignated paragraphs that give slum clearance and redevelopment power to municipalities and housing or redevelopment authorities in Sumter and Cherokee Counties; and must the Constitution of this State be amended to delete Section 5, Article XIV, which provides slum clearance and redevelopment power over blighted properties to municipalities and housing or redevelopment authorities in Spartanburg, York, Florence, Greenville, Charleston, Richland, and Laurens Counties?