ATLANTA — Georgians have already begun to cast their votes in high numbers, weighing in on significant races such as governor and U.S. Senate.
1Alive is committed to helping you vote confidently by understanding the 2022 election issues that impact you. Our goal is to educate and inform our audience about the election process. We plan to do that by verifying facts, providing context, and explaining the system.
There are two constitutional amendments on the ballot in Georgia this year. Here's what they would do.
First proposed constitutional amendment
- Ballot text: Provides for suspension of compensation of certain State officers and members of the General Assembly.
- Question: Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to suspend the compensation of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, or any member of the General Assembly while such individual is suspended from office following indictment for a felony?
What it means: This one is pretty straightforward. It would amend Article II, Section III of the Georgia Constitution, which lays out what happens for suspending or removing public officials if they are indicted for a felony.
The part of the state constitution currently stipulates: "While a public official is suspended under this Paragraph and until initial conviction by the trial court, the officer shall continue to receive the compensation from his office."
What this amendment would do is simply get rid of that sentence, making it so that anyone who holds the specified public offices in this section of the constitution (seen above in the "Question") would not continue to be paid while they await a trial.
Second proposed constitutional amendment
- Ballot text: Provides for temporary local tax relief after disasters.
- Question: Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the governing authority of each county, municipality, and consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and located within a nationally declared disaster area?
What it means: This would amend Article VII of the constitution, which deals with taxation and finance.
It would add a new subsection to Section 1 that states: "The governing authority of each county and municipality in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and which are located within a nationally declared disaster area."
Basically, local governments would now be empowered - if they're in an area the federal government has declared a disaster area - to suspend taxes or otherwise offer tax relief to properties that have been damaged or destroyed because of the disaster, such as a hurricane.