By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
More than OSD on ballot Nov. 8
There are three other constitutional amendments to consider
Sample Ballots backresize

When it comes to ballot initiatives, it seems much of the state’s attention has been focused on Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District, also known as Amendment 1.

But there are three other constitutional amendments on the ballot. Here’s a look of each:

Amendment 2

Amendment 2 seeks to create a dedicated source of funding for victims of human trafficking that supports housing, counseling and medical treatment.

Here’s what the lengthy ballot question asks of voters, who can vote yes or no.

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional penalties for criminal cases in which a person is judged guilty of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude or sexual exploitation of children and to allow assessments on adult entertainment establishments to create and fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative and social services for individuals in this state who have been or may have been sexually exploited?"

If passed, the amendment will allow the state to add a fine of $2,500 for people found guilty of various sex crimes, while adult entertainment establishments such as strip clubs will pay $5,000 or 1 percent of their annual gross revenue, whichever higher, toward the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.

Proponents say this legislation sends the message these crimes will not be tolerated and that Georgia actively cares about victims of human trafficking.

Opponents argue that the amendment’s assessment on adult entertainment unfairly targets reputable strip clubs. They say other venues that sex traffickers may use, such as massage parlors, truck stops, hotels, schools and websites, should also be required to pay into the Safe Harbor fund.

Those in favor of the legislation include the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Georgia NAACP and International Human Trafficking Institute.

Opponents include Doug Craig, 2018 Libertarian candidate for governor.

Amendment 3

Amendment 3 is an effort to abolish the current Judicial Qualifications Commission, which over

sees judicial conduct by the state’s judges, and re-establish the commission under new rules. The JQC is currently composed of two judges, selected by the Georgia Supreme Court, three lawyers appointed by the Georgia state bar and two citizens appointed by the governor. The amendment allows state lawmakers to appoint JQC members instead.

The ballot question is worded this way:

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to abolish the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission; require the General Assembly to create and provide by general law for the composition, manner of appointment, and governance of a new Judicial Qualifications Commission, with such commission having the power to discipline, remove and cause involuntary retirement of judges; require the Judicial Qualifications Commission to have procedures that provide for due process of law and review by the Supreme Court of its advisory opinions; and allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission to be open to the public in some manner?"

Proponents believe the commission needs changes and that current members are not conducting themselves properly.

Those opposed argue the JQC will no longer be an independent oversight agency and appointments by lawmakers will be politically motivated. They also argue the measure will deny the public access to judges’ disciplinary hearings.

In favor of the reforms are a handful of state legislators and Rep. Wendell Williard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Opponents include a number of state lawmakers, the Georgia State Bar, Georgia First Amendment Foundation and Georgians for Judicial Integrity.

Amendment 4

Amendment Four dedicates revenue from existing taxes on fireworks to fund trauma care, fire services and public safety. According to Senate Bill 350, 55 percent will go to the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission, 40 percent to the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council for improving equipment and training for firefighters and 5 percent of revenue will go towards local governments for public safety purposes.

Here’s the ballot question:

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks or consumer fireworks be dedicated to the funding of trauma care, firefighter equipping and training, and local public safety purposes?"

Supporters say Amendment 4 is necessary because fireworks are dangerous.

Opponents believe the funds may need to be moved elsewhere in the future and that the tax will shift more of the burden of funding government to lower income Georgia residents.

Those in favor of the amendment include several senators, including Sen. Ben Watson, R-1, a Savannah doctor whose district includes Liberty County.

Those against using revenue from fireworks tax this way include Rep. Steve Tarvin, R-2, Rep. Stephen Allison, R-8, and the Georgia NAACP chapter.

The Georgia Municipal Association is neutral on this proposal.

Sign up for our e-newsletters