Below is the language that appears on the ballot, along with a brief description of what it means.
Click here for the text of the proposed changes to the state constitution and the Georgia code.
Allows competitive contracts to be enforced in Georgia courts.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?”
What it means: The amendment addresses non-compete agreements that prohibit a former employee from doing the same job for a different company for some period of time after leaving the first company.
Jason Lewis, a past president of the Rome Bar Association who specializes in employment law, said Georgia courts often refuse to enforce such agreements if the terms seem to violate the constitutional prohibition on contracts that defeat or lessen competition in the marketplace. If passed, the amendment would presumably compel the courts to more strictly enforce such agreements.
Adds $10 tag fee on private passenger vehicles to fund statewide trauma care expansion.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to impose an annual $10.00 trauma charge on certain passenger motor vehicles in this state for the purpose of funding trauma care?”
What it means: Kurt Stuenkel, president and CEO of Floyd Medical Center, is part of a coalition working in support of the amendment. If it passes, he said, the estimated $80 million a year raised from the tags would be constitutionally earmarked to stabilize and expand the state’s trauma care network.
Allows the State to execute multiyear contracts for long-term transportation projects.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to enter into multiyear construction agreements without requiring appropriations in the current fiscal year for the total amount of payments that would be due under the entire agreement so as to reduce long-term construction costs paid by the state?”
What it means: State Transportation Board member David Doss of Rome said the amendment would let the GDOT resume its practice of spreading the cost of major, multi-million dollar road projects over a number of years. The constitution currently requires the state to have all the money in hand before a contract can be signed.
Allows the State to execute multiyear contracts for projects to improve energy efficiency and conservation.
“Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide for guaranteed cost savings for the state by authorizing a state entity to enter into multiyear contracts which obligate state funds for energy efficiency or conservation improvement projects?”
What it means: This is essentially the same concept as Amendment 3, applied to projects that would retrofit state facilities with energy- or water-conservation systems. Doss said passing the amendment would eliminate the constitutional restriction against state contracts that extend beyond a single fiscal year.
Allows owners of industrial zoned property to choose to remove industrial designation from their property.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the owners of real property located in industrial areas to remove the property from the industrial area?”
What it means: The amendment affects only specific industrial areas in Chatham and Jeff Davis counties that were created via statewide constitutional amendments. Rome-Floyd County Planning Director Sue Hiller said constitutional amendments that don’t affect the entire state were no longer allowed after 1983.
Provides for inventory of businesses to be exempt from state property tax.
“Shall the Act be approved which grants an exemption from state ad valorem taxation for inventory of a business?”
What it means: The referendum, if passed, would eliminate only the state levy — a quarter-mill — on a business’ personal property. The exemption would be on items such as stock, furniture and fixtures but would not affect the tax on land or buildings.
Click here for the My Voter page to see your sample ballot.