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October 31, 2016

Election 2016: Constitutional Amendments on Ballot

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There are four amendments to the state constitution up for voter consideration this November.  Amendment 1 would allow for the creation of an Opportunity School District (OSD) to take over the supervision, management and operation of failing public schools.  If approved, the newly formed OSD would be run by a superintendent who reports directly to the governor.  Learn more about how the program would be implemented and for frequently asked questions, visit www.gaopportunity.org

Amendment 2  calls for the establishment of the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, a dedicated source of funding to provide restorative services child victims of sex trafficking.  Services would include safe housing, trauma counseling, medical treatment, and more. A commission appointed by the General Assembly and the governor would direct the allocation of funds to entities whose mission aligns with the Fund’s goals, including agencies, faith-based organizations and non-profits.  Find more details here.

Amendment 3 does away with the current Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) and creates a new commission accountable to the General Assembly.  The JQC is granted the power to discipline, remove and force judges to retire based upon their investigations into alleged misconduct.  For more on how the commission would be reconfigured, click here.

Amendment 4 requires the 5 percent sales tax already collected on fireworks sold in Georgia to be earmarked for trauma care, fire services such as equipment and training and public safety. SB 350 was the enabling bill for this amendment and specifies how the funds are to be used.

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