The Latest: Alabama voters back local law amendment

Published 11:29 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on Alabama elections (all times local):

11:02 p.m.

Alabamians have approved a constitutional amendment aimed at protecting hundreds of local laws from being overturned during a court dispute.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 14 to validate local laws passed under the now disputed procedure.

Republican Sen. Cam Ward says the amendment was needed to prevent hundreds of local laws — from public safety measures to annexations to draft beer regulations — from being potentially overturned by the courts.

The concern came after a judge struck down a Jefferson County sales tax law, after finding the House of Representatives was misapplying a procedural vote required to pass bills before state budgets are approved. The Budget Isolation Resolution in the Alabama Constitution requires a vote of “three-fifths of a quorum present.” However, the House for years has interpreted it as three-fifths of “members present and voting.”

Ward said they feared a flurry of lawsuits that could overturn local laws passed under the now disputed procedure.


10:22 p.m.

Alabama voters have approved Amendment 2 to allow private entities to run park facilities and to protect state park money.

Voters on Tuesday approved the proposed change to the Alabama Constitution. The measure will prohibit money generated at state parks— as well as tax dollars earmarked for park maintenance — from being transferred to other government functions. It will also allow private entities to run more hotels, golf courses and restaurants at the parks.

Park supporters pushed for the amendment after some lawmakers diverted some money to other government functions during difficult budget years.

Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein has said the amendment would bring funding stability to the park system.

The state had previously been blocked from using outside entities at some parks because of language in a previous bond issue that prohibited privatization.