2017 Archives
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November 5--  There are five amendments to the Georgia constitution on the general election ballot Tuesday.

Monday on NewsTalk WVOP's Southeast Georgia Today morning show, State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia discussed the amendments and noted each of them would require enabling legislation by the legislature if approved by voters.

Amendment One okays up to 80 percent of sales taxes on sporting goods would go to a conservation fund for state lands and Representative Morris said, "That one I like.  It's putting an emphasis on maintaining our parks and wildlife management areas and maybe the possibility of expanding them.  It can be used to purchase new land."

Amendment Two creates a statewide business court, "Is to try and get an environment where if the litigants decide they want to move out of Superior Court, you would have judges appointed by the Governor hear their case.  In the House, it passed by one single vote because some folks didn't like the idea of a new level of judiciary or having the Governor make the appointment," Morris noted.

Amendment Three extends a tax break to timber land dedicated for conservation use and Morris believes, "This would be good for the timber industry and where it does cause a little bit of heartburn in some counties which haven't followed the rules exactly, they would have some time to adjust their budgets for it."

Amendment Four extends rights to felony crime victims, "It gives a victim of a crime notification of everything going through the process of criminal and court proceedings and advance notice of any parole hearings so they can be at these meetings and hearings to express their concern about an individual being back out on the street, " Morris explained.

Amendment Five deals with education sales tax referendums and in counties with more than one school system, favors the district with the greatest number of students, "The problem you have is when you have an independent city system and a county school system, and they can't come to an agreement on distribution of the sales tax collections, you can have the smaller system hold the bigger system hostage for more, more and more of the revenue," Morris said.