Alabama State Constitution of 1901/Amendments 501-600

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Amendment 501 ratified[edit]

Fire Protection Districts and Taxes in Monroe County.

The Monroe county commission is hereby authorized in its discretion to establish fire districts within the geographical boundaries of Monroe county. The boundaries of such fire districts may be rearranged at the discretion of the county commission as it deems necessary, from time to time, to maximize fire protection services in the county. The county commission may use the corporate limits of the various towns and municipalities in the county as boundaries for fire districts. In such situations, such town or municipal fire district shall have its own volunteer fire department functioning within its boundaries. Each fire district established in an area located outside of the corporate limits of a town or municipality shall likewise have its own volunteer fire department functioning strictly within its district boundaries.

The county commission is further authorized to enter into agreements with volunteer fire departments within such county for fire protection and services.

Commencing with the levy for the tax year for which taxes will become due and payable on October 1, 1989, there is hereby levied, in addition to any taxes now authorized or that may be hereafter authorized by the Constitution and laws of Alabama, a fire protection tax of three mills. The fire protection tax levied herein shall be based upon the value of real and personal property assessed by affected property owners, as shown on the records of the tax assessor of Monroe county, Alabama, and shall be assessed and collected as are all ad valorem taxes in the county. The amount collected each year from assessment of this fire protection tax shall be paid into the county general fund and used in furtherance of fire protection and for rescue squads within the affected area. Prior to the levy of the fire protection tax in said county, there shall be submitted to the electors of said county, at a special election called for that purpose in said county, the question of whether the said tax shall be levied, and the said tax shall be authorized at such election by a majority of the qualified electors within the said county who vote at such election.

Elections on the question of the levy of a fire protection tax in said county may be held at any time and from time to time, provided, that if any such election held after the ratification of this amendment the proposal to levy the tax so submitted should be defeated then the proposal may not be submitted at another election held in said county within two years from the last election held under this amendment.

Amendment 502 ratified[edit]

Morgan County Sheriff's Posse.

The county commission of Morgan county is hereby authorized to grant moneys to the Morgan county sheriff's posse. Any purchases with said moneys by the Morgan county sheriff's posse shall be the property of the Morgan county sheriff's office.

Amendment 503 ratified[edit]

Pike County Government Modernization.

Any provision of the Constitution or laws of the state of Alabama or local laws to the contrary notwithstanding, in order to modernize the operation of government in Pike county, the legislature may, during the current session of the legislature, provide by local act all of the following:

1. The county unit system in Pike county, for the construction, operation and maintenance of its roads and bridges, with the removal of road districts, effective January 1, 1989; and

2. The abolition of the offices of tax assessor and tax collector of Pike county and the creation of the office of revenue commissioner, and transfer of all duties, authority, records, assets and funds of both offices; and

3. The separation of the offices of judge of probate and chairman of the county commission of Pike county, effective 1994, and setting the compensation for such judge, and providing for the salary for office of chairman of county commission serving full time.

In the event this amendment is approved by a majority of the qualified electors of Pike county who vote thereon in favor of the adoption of all three of the provisions of this amendment when it is submitted, then any law theretofore or thereafter passed, which implements this amendment, may become effective without any other election having been held thereon; in the event this amendment fails and a majority of the qualified voters in Pike county voting thereon vote against its approval, such acts or act shall become null and void, and no one provision of this amendment shall become law unless all provisions are approved, or unless the acts are separately resubmitted to the qualified electorate of Pike county for approval thereof. All three proposals in one act shall not be deemed to contravene Section 45 of the Constitution of 1901.

The ballot on the approval of this amendment shall be substantially as follows:

"Do you approve the Pike County Government Modernization Amendment? Yes ... . No ... ."

The provisions of this amendment are self-executing as herein provided.

Amendment 504 ratified[edit]

Financing Jail in Talladega County.

In addition to any court costs and fees now or hereafter authorized, and notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution, including without limitation Sections 96, 104 and 105 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, there shall be a $10.00 fee assessed on all civil and criminal cases filed in the circuit court, district court or any municipal court in Talladega county. All funds generated from such fee shall be paid into the general fund of Talladega county and shall be used exclusively for the design and construction of a county jail, including the payment of principal and interest on any obligations issued by or on behalf of Talladega county (a) to finance such design and construction and the expenses of issuance thereof, or (b) to refund any such objections and pay the costs of refunding. When the jail is paid for or when all such obligations are paid in full, whichever last occurs, the additional fee levied by this amendment shall be removed from all cases except criminal cases, upon which the said additional fee shall continue to be levied, to be used for operation, upkeep and maintenance of the county jail. This amendment shall be self-executing and shall require no enabling legislation.

Amendment 505 ratified[edit]

Washington County Fire Districts.

The Washington county commission is hereby authorized in its discretion to establish fire districts within the geographical boundaries of Washington county. The boundaries of such fire districts may be rearranged at the discretion of the county commission as it deems necessary from time to time, to maximize fire protection services in the county. The county commission may use the corporate limits of the various towns and municipalities in the county as boundaries for fire districts. In such situations, such town or municipal fire district shall have its own volunteer fire department functioning within its boundaries. Each fire district established in an area located outside of the corporate limits of a town or municipality shall likewise have its own volunteer fire department functioning strictly within its district boundaries.

The county commission is further authorized to enter into agreements with volunteer fire departments within such county for fire protection and services.

There is hereby levied commencing October 1, 1989, in addition to any taxes now authorized or that may be hereafter authorized by the Constitution and laws of Alabama, a fire protection tax of two mills. The fire protection tax levied herein shall be based upon the value of real and personal property assessed by affected property owners, as shown on the records of the tax assessor of Washington county, Alabama, and shall be assessed and collected as are all ad valorem taxes in the county. The amount collected each year from assessment of this fire protection tax shall be paid into the county general fund and used in furtherance of fire protection within the affected area.

Amendment 506 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Etowah County.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations for charitable or educational purposes shall be legal in Etowah county, subject to the provisions of any resolution by the county commission. The county commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the issuance of permits or licenses and for operation of bingo games; provided, however, the county commission must insure compliance pursuant to said law and the following provisions:

(a) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian; nor shall any person under the age of 19 be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo;

(b) No bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless such organization shall have been in existence for at least 5 years immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license except the tax-exempt Etowah county council on aging is exempt from the time requirement;

(c) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises is leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from the operation of bingo games;

(d) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association or corporation to have said individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization, nor shall said nonprofit organization pay consulting fees nor any compensation nor salary to any individual or entity for any services performed in relation to the operation or conduct of a bingo game;

(e) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow its identity to be used by any other person or entity in the operating or advertising of a bingo game in which said nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating said bingo game;

(f) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the legislature, during any bingo session. The legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week.

(g) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition thereof, shall take any expenses for the operation of a bingo game except as permitted by law.

The provisions of this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing, but the legislature shall have the right and power by general, special or local act to adopt laws supplemental to this amendment or in furtherance of the general purposes and objectives herein set forth.

Amendment 507 ratified[edit]

Filing and Service Fees in Russell County for Financing New County Jail.

In addition to any court costs and fees now or hereafter authorized to be collected, the county commission of Russell county is authorized to assess a fee not to exceed thirty dollars ($30.00) upon the privilege of filing any initial complaint in all civil and criminal cases filed in any court, in the county, as well as a fee not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) for the service of all pleadings and other documents in connection with any such action. All such fees shall be paid into the general fund and shall be applied exclusively for payment of the cost of the planning, construction and equipping of a new county jail, or for the payment of the principal of and interest on any bonds, warrants or other obligations issued by or on behalf of the county to finance the costs of a new jail, as well as the expenses of issuance of any such bonds, warrants or other obligations. When the aforesaid costs of planning, constructing and equipping a new county jail shall be fully paid or when all such bonds, warrants or other obligations have been retired, whichever last occurs, the additional fee authorized by this amendment to be collected shall no longer be collected. Provided, however, no additional fee provided herein shall be collected until thirty (30) days after the county commission has signed a contract and or contracts for the construction of a new jail and construction has actually begun.

Amendment 508 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Calhoun County.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in Calhoun county, subject to the provisions of any resolution or ordinance by the county governing body or the governing bodies of the respective cities and towns, within their respective jurisdictions as provided by law regulating such operation. The said governing bodies shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the issuance of permits or licenses and for operation of bingo games, within their respective jurisdictions; provided, however, that said governing bodies must ensure compliance pursuant to said law and the following provisions:

(a) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian; nor shall any person under the age of 19 be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo;

(b) No bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless such organization shall have been in existence for at least 12 months immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license;

(c) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises is leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from the operation of bingo games;

(d) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association or corporation to have said individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization, nor shall said nonprofit organization pay consulting fees to any individual or entity for any services performed in relation to the operation or conduct of a bingo game;

(e) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow its identity to be used by any other person or entity in the operating or advertising of a bingo game in which said nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating said bingo game;

(f) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the legislature, during any bingo session. The legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week;

(g) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition thereof, shall take any expenses for the operation of a bingo game except as permitted by law.

The provisions of this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing, but the legislature shall have the right and power by general, special or local act to adopt laws supplemental to this amendment or in furtherance of the general purposes and objectives herein set forth.

Amendment 509 ratified[edit]

English as Official Language of State.

English is the official language of the state of Alabama. The legislature shall enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation. The legislature and officials of the state of Alabama shall take all steps necessary to insure that the role of English as the common language of the state of Alabama is preserved and enhanced. The legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the state of Alabama.

Any person who is a resident of or doing business in the state of Alabama shall have standing to sue the state of Alabama to enforce this amendment, and the courts of record of the state of Alabama shall have jurisdiction to hear cases brought to enforce this provision. The legislature may provide reasonable and appropriate limitations on the time and manner of suits brought under this amendment.

Amendment 510 ratified[edit]

Deepening, Widening and Extending of Federal Channel at Bayou La Batre and Acquisition, Development, etc., of Cargo Handling Facilities of State Docks at Port of Mobile.

The legislature may by appropriate laws authorize the state to pay a portion of the capital costs of public facilities and works of internal improvement consisting of (a) fulfilling a portion of the requirements of local contribution, participation and cooperation now or hereafter established by the United States in connection with the deepening, widening and extending of the existing federal channel at Bayou La Batre, Alabama and (b) the acquisition, development, construction, improvement, expansion, and modernization (or any of them) of general cargo handling facilities of the state docks at the Port of Mobile.

The legislature may by appropriate laws authorize the state to become indebted and, in evidence of such indebtedness, to sell and issue its interest-bearing bonds, in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $20,000,000, for the purpose of enabling the state to discharge obligations at any time authorized by the legislature to be undertaken in connection with the channel deepening project and the state docks projects. The expenses incurred in connection with the sale and issuance of the bonds may also be paid from the proceeds thereof. The bonds may be sold by the bond commission authorized herein at public or private sale, with or without competitive bidding, at such price or prices and on such terms and conditions as the bond commission shall determine to be in the best interest of the state. Bonds evidencing the herein provided for indebtedness may be issued as direct general obligations of the state, and the state may pledge its full faith and credit to the prompt payment of the principal of the bonds and the interest and redemption premium (if any) thereon. The said bonds may be additionally secured by any special pledges that may be provided for by the legislature. The herein provided for indebtedness shall not be construed to prohibit or limit appropriations from the general fund of the state which from time to time may be made for the purpose of enabling the state to discharge obligations at any time authorized by the legislature to be undertaken in connection with the channel deepening project and the state docks projects.

The legislature may by appropriate laws establish a bond commission and may confer upon it, in addition to all other necessary powers, full power to determine the terms and conditions of the bonds and to provide for the sale and issuance thereof. The legislature may authorize the herein provided for general obligation bonds of the state to be sold from time to time under the supervision of such bond commission. All monies received as proceeds of the sale of the state's bonds, shall be expended, except for reasonable issuance costs and administrative expenses, in discharging obligations that the state is permitted under the foregoing provisions of this amendment to undertake in connection with the channel deepening project and the state docks projects. The legislature shall enact appropriate enabling legislation to carry out the intent and purpose of this amendment.

Amendment 511 ratified[edit]

Finance Charge, Fee or Assessment on Forest Land for Forestry Services and Forest Fire Protection.

(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the legislature may hereafter levy a finance charge, fee or assessment on forest land in this state at a rate of a maximum of twenty (20) cents per acre on a per acre basis of forest land owned and as established by general act of the legislature. The legislature is authorized to provide that the proceeds generated in each county shall be earmarked for use in the respective county where raised to provide for forestry services and forest fire protection within the county. The legislature may provide that this charge, fee, or assessment shall be levied on forest land as is defined by the legislature, and that said charge, fee, or assessment will be assessed and collected as ad valorem taxes in this state.

The legislature may further provide that all revenues or monies collected from said forest land shall be distributed by the office of the county tax collector, or similar office, to the Alabama forestry commission, state of Alabama. The legislature shall provide that the forestry and fire prevention program set forth herein shall be administered by the Alabama forestry commission and that any funds collected but not spent in a particular fiscal year shall be carried into the next fiscal year for the same purposes in that county. The legislature may provide that local laws heretofore enacted relating to forest fire protection, and assessing a local acreage assessment, use tax, finance charge or other fee, tax, charge or assessment, in support thereof, which conflict with the provisions of that act shall be repealed; replaced or superceded by that act at a time to be designated by the legislature.

(B) The legislature may from time to time pass such legislation as may be necessary to further define terms herein or to otherwise implement this amendment or the levying, collecting, distributing or administering of fees, charges or assessments provided for herein. The legislature may provide for and is authorized to provide the procedure whereby owners of forest land may, by referendum held among such owners in this state, levy upon themselves fees, charges and assessments, based upon the amount of acreage of forest land owned. The legislature is authorized to make provisions for nonpayment of such fees, charges or assessments authorized hereunder and to provide penalties for failure to pay same. The legislature may further provide for the withdrawal, disbursement and expenditure by the Alabama forestry commission of any funds received. Assessments, fees, or other charges collected as authorized by any legislative act adopted under authority hereof shall not be considered as a tax within the meaning of this Constitution or any provision thereof. The legislature may further provide for or allow reasonable rules and regulations to be adopted by the Alabama forestry commission to effectively carry out the intent and purposes herein enumerated. Any uniformity requirements of this Constitution shall be satisfied by the application of the program to forest fire protection and similar forestry services.

Amendment 512 ratified[edit]

"Penny Trust Fund" Established for Promotion of Public Health and Public Schools.

(a) There shall be established and maintained the "penny trust fund" within the state treasury to promote the public health and the public schools. Citizens may make voluntary donations to the penny trust fund. All donations and funds received shall be held in perpetual trust and shall not be subject to legislative appropriation or otherwise expended.

(b) Earnings, including accrued interest and dividends, shall be retained in the penny trust fund, not subject to appropriation until the state treasurer certifies that sufficient moneys exist in the Fund or until the fiscal year which begins in 2000, whichever comes first; then and afterward, only 90 percent of the prior fiscal year's earnings to be subject to appropriation. Capital gains taken on the sale of any securities shall revert to the principal of the penny trust fund.

(c) Funds in the penny trust fund are to be managed and invested by the state treasurer who may receive funds from any source not prohibited by law.

(d) Fifty percent of the earnings subject to appropriation shall be dedicated to the programs and projects which promote the public health, and 50 percent dedicated to the public schools.

(e) The legislature shall have power to implement this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 513 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Section 98.

Section 98. The legislature shall not retire any officer on pay, or part pay, or make any grant to such retiring officer; however, the legislature shall have the authority to provide that superintendents of education shall be eligible to participate in the Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama as the legislature may see fit.

Amendment 514 ratified[edit]

Appropriations to Certain Nonprofit Organizations by City of Huntsville.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, the governing body of the city of Huntsville in Madison county is hereby authorized to make a one-time appropriation of money, up to a maximum total appropriation of $2,000,000.00, to one or more bona fide nonprofit organizations, each of which at the time of any such appropriation must have been organized for the purpose of and actively engaged in fostering and coordinating volunteer citizen activity in the field of the literary, visual, and performing arts within the city of Huntsville for a period of more than five years, which said appropriation or appropriations are to be used exclusively for construction of one or more buildings located within said city, to be owned by such organization. The total maximum appropriation herein authorized may, however, at the discretion of the governing body, be made to only one such organization, provided, however, that any such appropriation may be made only upon proof that an amount equal to $1.00 for each $1.00 appropriated has first been raised from nonpublic funds and placed on deposit with a bank or trust company under an agreement, restricting the use of said funds to expenditures for the construction of one or more buildings to be occupied exclusively by one or more organizations engaged in fostering and coordinating volunteer citizen activity in the field of the literary, visual, and performing arts within the city of Huntsville. The city of Huntsville is further authorized to appropriate up to $100,000.00 annually for the general operations of any such organization, or for maintenance of any building which is occupied by any such organization.

No payment may be made by the city of Huntsville under the authority of this amendment except upon the affirmative vote of the qualified electors of the city of Huntsville, in the election called for the ratification of this amendment, or at a subsequent election called for such purpose as hereinafter provided. Provided, however, that if this amendment is ratified, and a majority of the electors of the city of Huntsville do not vote in favor of such amendment, subsequent elections for the purpose of authorizing the governing body to make such appropriations to qualified organizations may be called by the governing body in the same manner and at the same time as any other general or special municipal election, but not more than one such election shall be held during any period of 12 consecutive months.

The provisions of this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing, but the legislature shall have the right and power by general, special or local act to adopt laws supplemental to this amendment or in furtherance of the general purpose and objectives herein set forth.

Amendment 515 ratified[edit]

Winston County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority.

The legislature may, by general or local law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority and financing of a Winston county water coordinating and fire prevention authority in all or in portions of Winston county as a public corporation to provide any one or more of the following local public services: Obtain, treat, and furnish water for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and for any other local service permitted by such general or local law; authorize such authority to fix and collect rates, fees and charges for such services, and to provide penalties for nonpayment and liens upon the property within such public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such public water authority for the purpose of taking property for public use in accordance with Article XII, Section 235, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorize the borrowing of money and the issuance of bonds and other obligations by or on behalf of such public water authority, provided that Winston county shall not be responsible for any such bond or obligation and no such bond or obligation shall be chargeable against the limit on the debt of Winston county; extend the service area into one or more other counties; and provide for fire protection facilities or services. Any law enacted at the 1988 special session of the legislature to authorize the creation of such authority in Winston county and to implement this amendment to the Constitution (whether with or without published notice of intention) shall become effective upon the ratification of this amendment.

Amendment 516 ratified[edit]

Lamar County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority.

The legislature may, by general or local law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority and financing of a Lamar county water coordinating and fire prevention authority in all or in portions of Lamar county as a public corporation to provide any one or more of the following local public services: Obtain, treat, and furnish water for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and for any other local service permitted by such general or local law; authorize such authority to fix and collect rates, fees and charges for such services, and to provide penalties for nonpayment and liens upon the property within such public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such public water authority for the purpose of taking property for public use in accordance with Article XII, Section 235, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorize the borrowing of money and the issuance of bonds and other obligations by or on behalf of such public water authority, provided that Lamar county shall not be responsible for any such bond or obligation and no such bond or obligation shall be chargeable against the limit on the debt of Lamar county; extend the service area into one or more other counties; and provide for fire protection facilities or services. Any law enacted at the 1988 special session of the legislature to authorize the creation of such authority in Lamar county and to implement this amendment to the Constitution (whether with or without published notice of intention) shall become effective upon the ratification of this amendment.

Amendment 517 ratified[edit]

Fayette County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority.

The legislature may, by general or local law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority and financing of a Fayette county water coordinating and fire prevention authority in all or in portions of Fayette county as a public corporation to provide any one or more of the following local public services: Obtain, treat, and furnish water for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and for any other local service permitted by such general or local law; authorize such authority to fix and collect rates, fees and charges for such services, and to provide penalties for nonpayment and liens upon the property within such public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such public water authority for the purpose of taking property for public use in accordance with Article XII, Section 235, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorize the borrowing of money and the issuance of bonds and other obligations by or on behalf of such public water authority, provided that Fayette county shall not be responsible for any such bond or obligation and no such bond or obligation shall be chargeable against the limit on the debt of Fayette county; extend the service area into one or more other counties; and provide for fire protection facilities or services. Any law enacted at the 1988 special session of the legislature to authorize the creation of such authority in Fayette county and to implement this amendment to the Constitution (whether with or without published notice of intention) shall become effective upon the ratification of this amendment.

Amendment 518 ratified[edit]

Franklin County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority.

The legislature may, by general or local law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority and financing of a Franklin county water coordinating and fire prevention authority in all or in portions of Franklin county as a public corporation to provide any one or more of the following local public services: Obtain, treat, and furnish water for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and for any other local service permitted by such general or local law; authorize such authority to fix and collect rates, fees and charges for such services, and to provide penalties for nonpayment and liens upon the property within such public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such public water authority for the purpose of taking property for public use in accordance with Article XII, Section 235, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorize the borrowing of money and the issuance of bonds and other obligations by or on behalf of such public water authority, provided that Franklin county shall not be responsible for any such bond or obligation and no such bond or obligation shall be chargeable against the limit on the debt of Franklin county; extend the service area into one or more other counties; and provide for fire protection facilities or services. Any law enacted at the 1988 special session of the legislature to authorize the creation of such authority in Franklin county and to implement this amendment to the Constitution (whether with or without published notice of intention) shall become effective upon the ratification of this amendment.

Amendment 518 ratified[edit]

Franklin County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority.

The legislature may, by general or local law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority and financing of a Franklin county water coordinating and fire prevention authority in all or in portions of Franklin county as a public corporation to provide any one or more of the following local public services: Obtain, treat, and furnish water for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and for any other local service permitted by such general or local law; authorize such authority to fix and collect rates, fees and charges for such services, and to provide penalties for nonpayment and liens upon the property within such public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such public water authority for the purpose of taking property for public use in accordance with Article XII, Section 235, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorize the borrowing of money and the issuance of bonds and other obligations by or on behalf of such public water authority, provided that Franklin county shall not be responsible for any such bond or obligation and no such bond or obligation shall be chargeable against the limit on the debt of Franklin county; extend the service area into one or more other counties; and provide for fire protection facilities or services. Any law enacted at the 1988 special session of the legislature to authorize the creation of such authority in Franklin county and to implement this amendment to the Constitution (whether with or without published notice of intention) shall become effective upon the ratification of this amendment.

Amendment 520 ratified[edit]

Excavating Human Graves in Madison County.

The Madison county commission is hereby authorized with or without charge to provide for the excavating of human graves.

Amendment 521 ratified[edit]

Fees for Disposal of Solid Waste in Pickens County.

The Pickens county governing body shall levy and impose a fee of not less than sixty dollars per ton on solid waste, as defined by general law, disposed of at any commercial disposal site in the county. Said governing body is hereby authorized to implement such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to impose and collect such disposal fees and the proceeds of such fees shall be deposited in the county treasury to be expended for the general operations of the county.

Amendment 522 ratified[edit]

Taxation of Costs in Pickens County.

In Pickens county, in addition to all other fees, there shall be taxed as costs the sum of $10.00 in each civil or quasi-civil action at law, suit in equity, criminal case, quasi-criminal case, proceedings on a forfeited bail bond or proceedings on a forfeited bond given in connection with an appeal from a judgment or conviction in the circuit court of Pickens county, or the district court of Pickens county, filed in or arising in the circuit court of Pickens county, or the district court of Pickens county, or brought by appeal, certiorari or otherwise to the circuit court of Pickens county, or the district court of Pickens county, which costs shall be collected as other costs in such cases are collected by the clerk, or ex officio clerk, of said courts or the register of the circuit court of Pickens county, as the case may be. Such fees, when collected by the clerks or other collection officers of such court, shall be paid into the county fund to be administered jointly by the sheriff and county commission for salaries, equipment and other expenses of the sheriff's department.

The provisions of this constitutional amendment shall be retroactive to April 19, 1982, and any fees or costs collected up to and including the amount of $10.00 per action filed and the revenues therefrom expended pursuant to Act No. 82-291 of the 1982 regular session and Act No. 83-542 of the 1983 regular session of the Alabama legislature are hereby ratified, and no further enabling legislation shall be necessary for the execution of this amendment.

Amendment 523 ratified[edit]

Fee on Disposal of Out-of-State Solid Waste in St. Clair County.

The St. Clair county governing body shall levy and impose a fee of not less than sixty dollars per ton on out-of-state solid waste, as defined by general law, disposed of at any commercial disposal site in the county. Said governing body is hereby authorized to implement such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to impose and collect such disposal fees and the proceeds of such fees shall be deposited in the county treasury to be expended for the general operations of the county.

Amendment 524 ratified[edit]

Validation of Court Charges in Tuscaloosa County.

All general laws, local laws, population based laws and other laws heretofore enacted by the legislature and which are in effect on November 1, 1989, pertaining to or applicable to Tuscaloosa county; including but not limited to Act 80-618 of the 1980 Regular Session (Acts of 1980, p. 1054), as amended by Act 87-399 of the 1987 Regular Session (Acts of 1987, p. 570), Act 80-780 of the 1980 Regular Session (Acts of 1980, p. 1615), as amended by Act 81-1052 of the 1981 2nd Special Session (Acts of 1981 Special Sessions, p. 298), Act 79-751 of the 1979 Regular Session (Acts of 1979, p. 1336), as now codified in the Code of Alabama 1975, Sections 11-25-1 through 11-25-12, and Act 65 of the 1936 Special Session (Acts of 1936 Special Session, p. 34), as amended by Act 1086 of the 1969 Regular Session (Acts of 1969, p. 2021); which in whole or in part regulate costs and charges of courts are hereby in all things ratified, approved, validated and confirmed as of the date of their enactment any provision or provisions of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to the contrary notwithstanding. Any actions taken or payments made in accordance with the provisions of said laws are hereby ratified, approved, validated and confirmed. This amendment shall not be construed as prohibiting the legislature from properly enacting a law to amend or repeal said laws. This amendment shall not be construed to permit the operation of Act 79-751 of the 1979 Regular Session, as now codified in the Code of Alabama 1975 and Act 65 of the 1936 Special Session as amended at the same time unless said joint operation is otherwise authorized by law.

Amendment 525 ratified[edit]

Ratification of Public School Taxes.

Any provision of the Constitution of Alabama 1901, as amended, to the contrary notwithstanding, all ad valorem taxes for public school or education purposes in the state of Alabama which have been approved by a majority vote of the appropriate electorate prior to March 1, 1990, and the levy and collection thereof from the date of the initial levy thereof, are hereby authorized, ratified and confirmed regardless of any statutory or constitutional defects, mistakes, errors or ambiguities in the authorization or levy thereof or the election thereon, or in any act of the legislature with respect thereto; provided, however, that the authorization, ratification and confirmation effected by this amendment shall not be applicable to any tax the validity of which is being challenged in appropriate judicial proceedings in any proper court on the date the act proposing this amendment is adopted.

Amendment 526 ratified[edit]

Court Costs in Cherokee County.

In addition to any court costs and fees now or hereafter authorized, and notwithstanding any other provisions of the Constitution, including without limitation sections 96, 104 and 105 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, there shall be an additional $20.00 fee assessed and taxed as costs on each civil and criminal case hereafter filed in the circuit court, district court, probate court or any municipal court in Cherokee county. The aforementioned $20.00 fee/assessment in no way can be waived by any court unless all other fees, assessments, costs, fines and/or charges associated with said case are waived. Such fees, when collected by the clerks or other collection officers of such courts, shall be paid into the general fund of Cherokee county to be used for the planning, designing, construction, financing and operation of a new county jail. This amendment shall be self-executing and shall require no enabling legislation.

Amendment 527 ratified[edit]

Fire Protection Tax in Choctaw County.

In Choctaw county there is hereby levied, commencing on October 1 following ratification of this amendment, in addition to any taxes now authorized or that may be hereafter authorized by the Constitution and laws of Alabama, a fire protection tax of one mill. The fire protection tax levied herein shall be based upon the value of real and personal property assessed by affected property owners, as shown on the records of the tax assessor of Choctaw county, Alabama, and shall be assessed and collected as are all ad valorem taxes in the county. The amount collected each year from assessment of this fire protection tax shall be set aside in a special fund to be distributed by the county commission to volunteer fire departments in the county and the Choctaw County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments. The revenues generated from this tax will be distributed to all volunteer fire departments meeting the minimum standards and the Choctaw County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Inc. in equal shares on a semi-annual basis on February 1st and August 1st of each year. Prior to any distribution of funds, there must be prepared and filed with the Choctaw County Commission a map setting out the various volunteer fire departments and every portion of Choctaw county must be assigned or designated to one of the respective volunteer fire departments so that every citizen in Choctaw county has fire protection from a designated volunteer fire department. No funds shall be disbursed to any volunteer fire department until the county has full and complete coverage for all citizens. The funds shall be audited annually by the examiners of public accounts or a qualified licensed and registered certified public accountant as to the fire protection taxes received by the county commission, as to the funds appropriated by it and as to how the funds are expended in each volunteer fire department and to be certain that all taxes received are disbursed on an equal basis to the district and countywide organization and to further audit how the funds are expended by each department and the countywide association.

The county commission is further authorized to enter into agreements with volunteer fire departments within such county for fire protection and services.

Amendment 528 ratified[edit]

Fire Districts and Fire Protection Tax in Conecuh County.

The Conecuh County Commission and the Conecuh County Fire Control Association are hereby authorized in their discretion to establish fire districts within the geographical boundaries of Conecuh county. The boundaries of such fire districts may be rearranged at the discretion of the county commission and the Conecuh County Fire Control Association as they deem necessary, from time to time, to maximize fire protection services in the county. The county commission and the Conecuh County Fire Control Association may use the corporate limits of the various towns and municipalities in the county as boundaries for fire districts. In such situations, such town or municipal fire district shall have its own volunteer fire department functioning within its boundaries. Each fire district established in an area located outside of the corporate limits of a town or municipality shall likewise have its own volunteer fire department functioning strictly within its district boundaries.

The county commission and the Conecuh County Fire Control Association are further authorized to enter into agreements with volunteer fire departments within such county for fire protection and services.

Commencing with the levy for the tax year for which taxes will become due and payable on October 1, 1991, there is hereby levied, in addition to any taxes now authorized or that may be hereafter authorized by the Constitution and laws of Alabama, a fire protection tax of three mills. The fire protection tax levied herein shall be based upon the value of real and personal property assessed by affected property owners, as shown on the records of the tax assessor of Conecuh county, Alabama, and shall be assessed and collected as are all ad valorem taxes in the county. The amount collected each year from assessment of this fire protection tax shall be paid into the county general fund and used in furtherance of fire protection and for rescue squads within the affected area. Prior to the levy of the fire protection tax in said county, there shall be submitted to the electors of said county, at a special election called for that purpose in said county, the question of whether the said tax shall be levied, and the said tax shall be authorized at such election by a majority of the qualified electors within the said county who vote at such election.

Elections on the question of the levy of a fire protection tax in said county may be held at any time and from time to time, provided, that if any such election held after the ratification of this amendment the proposal to levy the tax so submitted should be defeated then the proposal may not be submitted at another election held in said county within two years from the last election held under this amendment.

Amendment 529 ratified[edit]

Validation of Court Charges in Lee County.

All general laws, local laws, population based laws and other laws heretofore enacted by the legislature and which are in effect on January 1, 1990, pertaining to or applicable to Lee county, which in whole or in part regulate costs and charges of courts are hereby in all things ratified, approved, validated and confirmed as of the date of their enactment any provision or provisions of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to the contrary notwithstanding. Any actions taken or payments made in accordance with the provisions of said laws are hereby ratified, approved, validated and confirmed. This amendment shall not be construed as prohibiting the legislature from properly enacting a law to amend or repeal said laws.

Amendment 530 ratified[edit]

Court Costs in Macon County.

In addition to any court costs and fees now or hereafter authorized to be collected, the county commission of Macon county is authorized to assess a fee not to exceed $30.00 upon the privilege of filing any initial complaint in all civil and criminal cases filed in any court, in the county, as well as a fee not to exceed $5.00 for the service of all pleadings and other documents in connection with any such action. All such fees shall be paid into the general fund and shall be applied exclusively for payment of the cost of the planning, construction and equipping of a new county jail, or for the payment of the principal of and interest on any bonds, warrants or other obligations issued by or on behalf of the county to finance the costs of a new jail, as well as the expenses of issuance of any such bonds, warrants or other obligations. When the aforesaid costs of planning, constructing and equipping a new county jail shall be fully paid or when all such bonds, warrants or other obligations have been retired, whichever last occurs, the additional fee authorized by this amendment to be collected shall no longer be collected. Provided, however, no additional fee provided herein shall be collected until 30 days after the county commission has signed a contract and or contracts for the construction of a new jail and construction has actually begun.

Amendment 531 ratified[edit]

Municipal Jurisdiction in Madison County.

In Madison county, no police jurisdiction nor any planning or zoning regulation of a municipality located wholly or partially within Madison county shall extend beyond the corporate limits of the municipality.

Amendment 532 ratified[edit]

Fire Fighting Districts and Services in Mobile County.

The county commission of Mobile county is hereby authorized to establish and maintain fire fighting districts within Mobile county. The county commission is further authorized to enter into agreements with volunteer fire departments within the county for fire protection and services. The county commission is hereby empowered to set fees for fire protection and to prescribe the manner of collection and distribution of such fees. The fire fighting districts herein authorized shall not include any corporate municipality of Mobile county unless such municipality requests through resolution of its governing body to be included in such fire fighting program. Any act heretofore enacted regarding said Mobile county fire fighting districts is hereby ratified and confirmed.

Amendment 533 ratified[edit]

Talladega County Budget.

The Talladega County Commission shall prepare and adopt an estimate of the income of the county for the fiscal year beginning on October 1 of the current calendar year for all public funds under its supervision and control, and to estimate for the same fiscal year the expense of operations and to appropriate for the various purposes the respective amounts that are to be used for each of such purposes; provided that the appropriations so made shall not exceed the estimated total income of the county available for appropriations. The county commission shall restrict allotments to prevent an overdraft or deficit in any fiscal year for which appropriations are made by prorating without discrimination against any county program, the available revenues among the various county programs. Such appropriations shall be payable in such proportion as the total sum of all appropriations bears to the total revenues estimates as available in each of the fiscal years.

A refusal to perform any requirement of this amendment or an improper or illegal performance of any requirement of this amendment shall subject the offender to a penalty of $250.00 to be recovered in an action instituted in the circuit court of Talladega county and shall subject such offender to impeachment.

Amendment 534 ratified[edit]

Construction, Repair, etc., of Public Roads, Bridges, etc., in Talladega County.

The legislature shall, by general or local law, provide for the construction, maintenance and repair of public roads, highways, bridges and ferries in Talladega county on the basis of the county as a unit, without regard to any district or beat lines.

Amendment 535 ratified[edit]

Election of Board of Education of City of Tallassee.

This legislature may by local act provide for the election of the members of the board of education of the City of Tallassee in Elmore and Tallapoosa Counties.

Amendment 536 ratified[edit]

Distribution of Oil and Gas Revenues by Escambia County Commission.

The Escambia County commission shall distribute oil and gas revenues as provided in this amendment.

1. The Escambia County Oil and Gas Severance Trust, established by Act No. 84-576, H. 664 of the 1984 Regular Session (Acts 1984, p. 1198), its corpus and income shall be continued as provided by Sections 1 and 2 of that act.

2. The members of the Escambia County commission, or their successors in office, shall constitute the trustees of the trust. Provided, however, the members of the Escambia County commission, or their successors in office, may in their discretion, appoint one or more trustees or escrow agents for the trust which trustees or escrow agents shall be trust companies or national or state banks having powers of a trust company within or without the State of Alabama. The trustees shall invest the corpus of the trust only in direct general obligations of, or obligations the payment of the principal of and interest on which are conditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the United States of America. Provided, however, that, notwithstanding any legal limitation that might otherwise be applicable, the trustees shall further have the authority in their discretion to invest such trust fund in certificates of deposit of any savings and loan associations or banks whether federally or state chartered whose principal office is located in the state, provided that such funds so invested are fully secured by pledge of eligible United States treasury securities.

Amendment 537 ratified[edit]

Election of Board of Education of City of Attalla.

The legislature may by local act provide for the election of the members of the board of education of the City of Attalla in Etowah County.

Amendment 538 ratified[edit]

Incorporation of Tom Bevill Reservoir Management Area Authority.

Any provision of the Constitution of Alabama or amendments thereto to the contrary notwithstanding, the legislature by general or local law may provide for and authorize in Fayette County the incorporation of a public corporation as a political subdivision of the state to be named The Tom Bevill Reservoir Management Area Authority, for the development of that portion of North River in Fayette County and within the boundaries of The Tom Bevill Reservoir Management Area, its tributaries and watershed area, for the purposes of water conservation and supply, dam construction and reservoir development, for industrial development, flood control, navigation, irrigation, public recreation and related purposes. Any such law may provide for the composition of the board of directors of the authority and specify the powers and duties of the authority and its board of directors, may authorize the authority to investigate the resources of The Tom Bevill Reservoir Management Area, and to determine and implement the requirements for its full development and control, and to carry out a unified comprehensive program of resource development, together with other powers to effectuate the foregoing objective, may authorize the authority to acquire land and interests in land by purchase, construction, lease, condemnation or otherwise, and to hold, manage and sell such land and interests therein, may make provisions respecting the establishment and revision of rates, fees and charges for services rendered by the authority, may provide for the issuance by the authority for any of its corporate purposes of interest-bearing revenue bonds and notes payable solely out of the revenues of the authority or out of the revenues of any particular facilities and other property of the authority, without regard to the specific facilities and other property with respect to which such bonds and notes may have been issued, may provide further for certain taxes, may provide that such bonds and notes shall constitute negotiable instruments, may provide that such bonds and notes may be secured by a pledge of the revenues from which they are payable, by contracts binding the authority for the proper application of its revenues and the proceeds of such bonds and notes and by a nonforeclosable mortgage or deed of trust or statutory mortgage lien on the facilities and other property out of the revenues from which such bonds and notes are payable, and may provide that bonds and notes of the authority may be issued under a trust indenture, may provide for constructive notice of any such statutory mortgage lien, may authorize and make provisions respecting the assumption by the authority of obligations respecting facilities and other property acquired by the authority, may provide for the use of the proceeds of bonds and notes issued by the authority and provide for the refunding by the issuance of bonds and notes of the authority of bonds and notes theretofore issued or obligations theretofore assumed by it, may provide that bonds and notes issued and contracts entered into by the authority pursuant to the act shall not constitute or create a debt of the state or of any county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, may authorize the Fayette County commission and the municipalities located within Fayette County to contribute money to the authority, without the necessity of an election and with or without consideration therefor, may exempt from all taxation in this state, the authority, its property, corporate activities, income, revenues, bonds and notes, the income from its bonds and notes, and conveyances, leases and mortgages and deeds of trust to which the authority is a party, and exempt the authority from payment of certain charges to judges of probate, it grants to the authority the power to levy and collect within the boundaries of the management area certain excise taxes, sales taxes, and ad valorem taxes, may provide that the authority shall have zoning power within the boundaries of the management area, may provide that the authority shall be exempted from regulation and supervision by the public service commission and the state department of finance, may provide for the use of public roads in the state by the authority, and may provide for certain annual reports by the authority.

Amendment 539 ratified[edit]

Business License Taxes in Jefferson County.

In order to allow for the orderly and efficient collection of municipal business license taxes in Jefferson County with respect to corporations, firms, brokers, agents and others in the business of buying, selling, leasing or representing others in the purchase, sale or lease of real property in Jefferson County, the legislature may, by local law, provide for the imposition and collection of such taxes as follows:

a. Any city or town within Jefferson County may fix and collect licenses pursuant to Sections 11-51-90 and 11-51-91 of the Code of Alabama 1975, as amended, for any business, trade or profession relating to the buying, selling or renting of real estate on commission in Jefferson County if such licensee maintains its principal place of business in the corporate limits or police jurisdiction of that municipality.

b. Effective January 1, following the ratification of this amendment and each year thereafter, in addition to the taxes, if any, imposed under a. above, every corporation, firm, broker, agent or other person or entity engaged in the business of buying, selling, managing, leasing or renting of real estate on commission in Jefferson County shall pay an annual business license tax at a rate to be set by the legislature for the privilege of engaging in such business in every other city or town in Jefferson County. Such tax shall be collected by the Revenue Director of Jefferson County and shall be distributed by the Revenue Director of Jefferson County to each city or town within Jefferson County on a pro rata basis based on population. The Revenue Director of Jefferson County shall be entitled to an administrative fee for administering this tax at a rate to be set by the legislature; such fee to be added to the license tax collected hereunder.

c. Effective January 1, following the ratification of this amendment and each year thereafter, except for the licenses permitted or mandated under a. and b. above, no other privilege license tax shall be imposed under Sections 11-51-90 and 11-51-91 of the Code of Alabama 1975, by any city or town within Jefferson County on corporations, firms, brokers, agents or other persons or entities engaged in the business of buying, selling, managing, leasing or renting of real estate on commission in Jefferson County.

Amendment 540 ratified[edit]

Fees, Commissions, Allowances and Salaries of Macon County Officers.

The legislature may hereafter, from time to time, by general, special or local laws, fix, regulate and alter the fees, commissions, allowances or salaries to be charged or received by the judge of probate and other county officers of Macon County, and may put such officers on a salary basis and provide for the operation of their offices on such basis.

Amendment 541 ratified[edit]

Investments of Assets of Class 2 Municipality Police and Fire Fighters Pension Plans.

The capital and income from any Policemen's and Fire Fighters' Pension Fund for a Class 2 municipality, may be invested in such kinds of investments and in accordance with such conditions as shall, from time to time, be authorized by law for the investment of the Alabama Heritage Trust Fund and the Alabama Trust Fund or any of the trust funds of either the Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama or the Employees' Retirement System of Alabama.

Amendment 542 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in St. Clair County.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in St. Clair County, subject to the provisions of any resolution or ordinance by the county governing body or the governing bodies of the respective cities and towns within their respective jurisdictions as provided by law regulating such operation. The said governing bodies shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the issuance of permits or licenses and for operation of bingo games within their respective jurisdictions; provided, however, that said governing bodies must insure compliance pursuant to said law and the following provisions:

(1) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo unless accompanied by a parent or guardian; nor shall any person under the age of 19 be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo;

(2) No bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization unless such organization shall have been in existence for at least 24 months immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license;

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises is leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from the operation of bingo games;

(4) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association or corporation to have said individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization, nor shall said nonprofit organization pay consulting fees to any individual or entity for any services performed in relation to the operation or conduct of a bingo game;

(5) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow its identity to be used by any other person or entity in the operating or advertising of a bingo game in which said nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating said bingo game;

(6) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the legislature, during any bingo session. The legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week;

(7) By whatever name or composition thereof, no person or organization shall take any expenses for the operation of a bingo game except as permitted by law.

(8) A fee of $.10 (ten cents) shall be levied upon each bingo card sold pursuant to the provisions of this amendment or pursuant to any local law. Said fee shall be collected by the nonprofit organization who sold the bingo card and paid to the tax collector or revenue commissioner of St. Clair County on a weekly basis. The tax collector or revenue commissioner shall place the proceeds collected into the treasury of St. Clair County in a special fund. All funds collected shall be expended by the county commission in the following manner:

40% (forty percent) of said funds shall be allocated to volunteer fire departments located in St. Clair County;

30% (thirty percent) of said funds shall be allocated to senior citizens' programs and facilities;

20% (twenty percent) of said funds shall be allocated to youth recreation programs and facilities;

10% (ten percent) of said funds shall be allocated to the St. Clair County sheriff's department.

The tax collector or revenue commissioner of St. Clair County shall have authority to promulgate necessary rules and regulations to implement the procedure for the collection of the fee prescribed herein. The legislature, from time to time, may by local law alter the fee levied herein and alter the method of allocating the proceeds of said fee.

Amendment 543 ratified[edit]

Acquisition, Maintenance and Protection of Unique Lands and Water Areas.

Section 1. Declaration of Purpose.

The Legislature of Alabama finds that Alabama is endowed with a rich diversity of natural areas having unique ecological systems, plant and animal life, geological formations, wildlife habitats, recreational values and scenic beauty. As a part of the continuing growth of the population and the economic development of the state, it is necessary and desirable that certain lands and waters be set aside, managed and preserved for use as state parks, nature preserves, recreation areas, and wildlife management areas. In order to meet the State's outdoor recreation needs and to protect the natural heritage of Alabama for the benefit of present and future generations, it is the policy of the state to:

(a) Protect, manage, and enhance certain lands and waters of Alabama with full recognition that this generation is a trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

(b) Protect, to the fullest extent practicable, recreational lands and areas of unique ecological, biological and geological importance; and

(c) Promote a proper balance among population growth, economic development, environmental protection, and ecological diversity. Accordingly, there is hereby established the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust for the purpose of identifying, acquiring, managing, protecting and preserving natural lands and waters that are of environmental or recreational importance.

Section 2. Definitions.

(1) "Alabama Trust Fund" means the irrevocable, permanent trust fund created by Amendment 450 to this Alabama Constitution of 1901.

(2) "Alabama Trust Fund Board" means the board of trustees of the Alabama Trust Fund as established by Amendment 450 to this Alabama Constitution of 1901.

(3) "Appraised Value" means that price estimated in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell.

(4) "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, as established by Section 4 of this Amendment.

(5) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or any other officer of the state who, by law, shall succeed to his responsibilities.

(6) "Conservation Easement" means a right, whether or not stated in the form of restriction, easement, covenant or condition, in any deed, will, or other instrument executed by or on behalf of the owner of land providing for the retention of properties predominantly in their natural, scenic, open or wooded condition, or as suitable habitat for fish and wildlife, or as recreational lands.

(7) "Dedication" means the transfer to the state of an estate, interest, or right in a natural area to fulfill the purposes of this Amendment.

(8) "Department" means the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or any other department or agency of the state that, by law, shall succeed to its functions and responsibilities.

(9) "Final Approval Committee" means a Committee, as established by Section 6 of this Amendment, to be composed of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(10) "Forever Wild Land Trust" means the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust created by this Amendment.

(11) "Instrument of Dedication" means any written document by which an estate, interest, or right in a natural area is formally dedicated as a natural area preserve.

(12) "Land" or "lands" means real property and any interests therein, including, but not limited to, fee simple titles, ownership interests less than fee simple, leases, easements, licenses, restrictions and use agreements. Such property and interests therein shall also include wetlands, estuarine areas and submerged lands and the waters thereon.

(13) "Natural Area" means any property, whether publicly or privately owned, (a) that retains or has generally reestablished its natural character, though it need not be completely natural and undisturbed, or (b) which is important in preserving rare or vanishing flora and fauna, native ecological systems, fish and wildlife habitats, geological, natural, scenic or similar features of scientific, recreational, or educational value benefitting the citizens of the state.

(14) "Natural Area Preserve" means a natural area that has been dedicated pursuant to Section 12 of this Amendment.

(15) "State" means the State of Alabama.

(16) "Stewardship" means the maintenance, protection, operation, enhancement, and management of lands acquired for the Forever Wild Land Trust.

(17) "Trustee" means a member of the Board of Trustees of the Forever Wild Land Trust.

(18) "Trust income" means the net income received by the state from the investment and reinvestment of all assets of the Alabama Trust Fund, determined in accordance with the provisions of Amendment Number 450 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.

(19) In dividing the State into geographical regions:

(a) "Central District" means the following counties of the state: Autauga, Bibb, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Elmore, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lee, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, and Tuscaloosa.

(b) "Northern District" means those counties in the geographical region of the state north of the Central District, as defined above.

(c) "Southern District" means those counties in the geographical region of the state south of the Central District, as defined above.

(20) "Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, trust, partnership, or association.

Section 3. Establishment of Forever Wild Land Trust, Lead Management Agency, and Categories of Lands to be Acquired.

(a) For the purposes set forth in this Amendment, there is hereby established the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, which shall be a permanent trust to be funded and administered in accordance with the provisions of this Amendment. Title to all properties acquired for the Forever Wild Land Trust shall be vested in the Alabama Trust Fund for the State of Alabama. The Department shall serve as the lead management agency with respect to all lands acquired and shall have the responsibility of providing to the Board administrative support as necessary.

(b) In order to protect the natural heritage and diversity of Alabama for future generations, the state, acting through the Forever Wild Land Trust, will acquire lands, the title of which shall be held in the Alabama Trust Fund, to ensure their protection and use for conservational, educational, recreational or aesthetic purposes. These lands may include, but shall not be limited to, the following: Wetlands, river corridors, lakes and streams, and the banks and shores thereof, springs, riverine, montane, plain, coastal, and other kinds of terrain, geological systems, areas supporting threatened or endangered species, sensitive and ecologically important lands, unusual habitat types, forests and woodlands, fish and wildlife habitats, wilderness areas, unusual assemblages of wildflowers, natural lands, waters or wetlands that will provide public hunting and fishing, lands having other distinctive natural or recreational characteristics, and lands that will constitute suitable additions to the state's system of parks and fish and wildlife management areas.

(c) Property purchased with Forever Wild Land Trust moneys or which become part of the trust property through dedication or by some other means shall be subject to the condemnation of easements, rights-of-way and other necessary rights and estates in property by or on behalf of corporations that construct, own or operate railroads, pipelines for the transportation of oil, gas, fuel or water, hydroelectric or other electric generating facilities and electric lines, telephone transmission lines and other communication facilities, or any other public utility or method of transportation which serves, or is intended to serve, the public convenience and necessity to the same extent and under the same conditions that such lands, if owned by private persons, would be subject to condemnation by such corporations under federal or state law now in effect or hereafter enacted. No use of any such lands as determined by the Board shall constitute a use thereof for public purposes that will require proof of actual necessity by any corporation seeking to condemn such lands.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Amendment, no property shall be acquired for the Alabama Trust Fund or with moneys from the Forever Wild Land Trust through condemnation or the use of eminent domain.

(e) No funds or assets of the Forever Wild Land Trust derived from any source shall be expended or used to construct or improve buildings, structures or facilities used for human lodging, feeding or entertainment, including, without limitation thereto, hotels and other lodging facilities, restaurants, convention centers and meeting halls, golf courses, dancing or meeting pavilions, tennis courts, recreational dams, exhibition halls, and similar facilities that have a principal purpose not related to the stewardship of properties of the Forever Wild Land Trust, the title of which is held in the Alabama Trust Fund, in their natural state; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit the expenditure of funds allocated to the Stewardship Account for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, culverts, drainage facilities, hiking trails, boat launching ramps and other improvements located on Trust Lands to provide reasonable public access thereto, for the construction and maintenance of visitors' centers and facilities, interpretive displays and other facilities for the guidance and education of visitors, for the construction and maintenance of facilities and the acquisition of equipment necessary or appropriate in connection with the performance of stewardship responsibilities (including housing for custodial personnel), or for any other purpose reasonably related to the stewardship responsibilities of the Board.

Section 4. Establishment of Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust.

(a) There is hereby established the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, which shall consist of fifteen voting members as follows:

(1) One member shall be the Commissioner of the Department who shall also serve as Chairman of the Board.

(2) One member shall be the State Forester.

(3) Three members which shall be appointed by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from Departments of Biology, Zoology, Environmental Sciences and Wildlife Science from eligible four-year institutions of higher education in Alabama. An eligible institution shall consist of a public or private four-year college or university, offering a degree in biology or one of its divisions, and having an enrollment of at least 1500 undergraduate students. There shall be one professional biologist appointed to the Board from eligible institutions in the Northern District of the state, one from such institutions in the Central District of the state, and one from such institutions in the Southern District of the state, as said districts are defined in Section 2 hereof. Each eligible institution in the appropriate geographical region shall be entitled to submit one nomination to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for the professional biologist trustee from that region on the Board.

(4) One member shall be the Executive Director of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium.

(5) There shall be three members from each of the three geographical regions of the state as defined in Section 2 of this Amendment, as follows. Provided, however, at least one appointee by the Governor, at least one appointee by the Lieutenant Governor and at least one appointee by the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be black. If none of the recommending groups recommend a black to the appointing authority, said appointing authority shall appoint a black on his or her own initiative.

(A) One member from the Northern District shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of names presented by Group A and shall serve an initial term of six years. One member from the Northern District shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from a list of names presented by Group B and shall serve an initial term of four years. One member from the Northern District shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from a list of names presented by Group C and shall serve an initial term of two years.

(B) One member from the Central District shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from a list of names presented by Group C and shall serve an initial term of six years. One member from the Central District shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from a list of names presented by Group A and shall serve an initial term of four years. One member from the Central District shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of names presented by Group B and shall serve an initial term of two years.

(C) One member from the Southern District shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from a list of names presented by Group B and shall serve an initial term of six years. One member from the Southern District shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of names presented by Group C and shall serve an initial term of four years. One member from the Southern District shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from a list of names presented by Group A and shall serve an initial term of two years.

(D) Any successor appointments and appointments to vacancies shall be made in the same manner as described in subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) above, and members appointed after the initial term of that office has expired shall serve for six-year terms, except that no member shall serve consecutive six-year terms.

(E) It is the intent of this Amendment that the eastern and western areas of the three geographical regions of the state shall be represented on the Board of Trustees.

(6) Each person appointed to the Board shall be and remain an Alabama resident and shall have a demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to land acquisition for the purposes of conservation and recreation. Organizations making recommendations to the appointing officials shall be Alabama organizations or the Alabama chapter of national organizations in order to ensure that the decisions affecting Alabama's future are made by Alabama residents.

The recommending groups are composed as follows:

(A) "Group A" shall consist of non-profit organizations, each having its principal programs extending generally throughout the State, whose demonstrated primary concerns are environmental protection for the state and its citizens and non-consumptive use and preservation of natural areas, and whose membership exceeds 750 individual residents of Alabama, including, but not limited to, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, the Alabama Audubon Council (comprising the chapters in Alabama of the National Audubon Society), The Alabama Conservancy, the Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club, and their respective successor organizations.

(B) "Group B" shall consist of business, industry, trade associations and professional organizations, each having its principal programs extending generally throughout the state, and having a demonstrated concern for balancing economic growth with protection for the environment and increased recreational opportunities, including, but not limited to, the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Forestry Association, Alabama Forest Resources Center, the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Petroleum Council of Alabama, the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, and their respective successor organizations.

(C) "Group C" shall consist of non-profit organizations, each having its principal programs extending generally throughout the state, whose demonstrated primary purposes are to promote hunting, fishing, camping or other compatible recreational activities or conservation for such purposes, and whose membership exceeds 750 individual residents of Alabama, including, but not limited to, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, the Alabama State Advisory Council of Ducks Unlimited, Bowhunters of Alabama Inc., the Coastal Land Trust, Inc., the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, the Tennessee Valley Waterfowl Association, the Alabama Rifle and Pistol Association, the Alabama Chapter of the Safari Club International (whether or not those named organizations meet the membership requirement), and their respective successor organizations.

(D) In order to qualify as a recommending organization, each organization not specifically listed in this section must file with the Secretary of State and with the named organizations within the same "group", by January 1 preceding the date of expiration of term of office of Trustees hereunder, a written statement of intent to nominate persons to serve on the Board. This statement must include a request for designation of the "group" within which the organization plans to nominate Trustees and information demonstrating that the organization qualifies to make such nominations. It shall also include a copy of the organization's charter, stating its purpose. Should the Secretary of State or any of the named organizations within the same group oppose in writing the eligibility of the new organization to nominate members of the Board or the designation of the "group" within which it proposes to nominate members, then the Secretary of State shall determine the eligibility of the applying organization to submit nominations for membership on the Board and, if determined eligible, the "group" within which it shall submit nominations. In making this decision, the Secretary of State shall give due consideration to the views submitted to him by the organizations in the "group" within which the new organization proposes to submit nominations. An organization, together with its affiliates, cannot recommend names to the appointing officials as a member of more than one "group".

Each organization submitting nominations may submit, to the appropriate appointing official for that position on the Board, the names of not more than two of its members who have the qualifications to serve in the position for which they are being nominated. In the event that no organization within a group recommends names to the appointing official, then that official may appoint a Trustee from that group solely of his own choice.

(E) Terms of office of the initial Trustees shall begin on the January 1 following ratification of this Amendment, or on the first day of the third month following said ratification, whichever shall first occur. Terms of office of successor Trustees shall begin and end on anniversaries of that date. In the case of the initial appointments of Trustees, nominations shall be made to the appropriate appointing officials not later than one month after ratification of this Amendment, and appointments by said officials shall be made by the date of beginning of the initial Trustees' terms of office. Nominations of successor Trustees shall be made to the appropriate appointing officials not later than two months prior to the expiration of the Trustees' terms of office, and said officials shall appoint new Trustees within 30 calendar days after the expiration of said terms. In the event a Trustee resigns or dies, or otherwise vacates his office, the Commissioner or the Secretary of State shall promptly notify the appropriate nominating organizations and shall publish notice of such vacancy once a week for three successive weeks in three newspapers of regional circulation in this state with a request for new nominations from any group that may qualify to do so under the provisions of this Amendment. Nominations for a replacement Trustee shall be made to the appointing official during the 30 calendar days following such death, resignation or other vacation of office, and the appointing official shall appoint a replacement Trustee not later than the end of the next succeeding 30 calendar days thereafter. In the event the appropriate appointing official fails to make an initial appointment or an appointment within said 30-day periods for appointment after expiration of term of office or after death, resignation or other vacation of office, the right to make an appointment to fill that vacancy shall fall to the next appointing official in line of rotation of the Governor to the Lieutenant Governor to the Speaker of the House (with the Governor then to follow the Speaker); and, if that successor appointing official fails to make such appointment within 30 days, then the right to make the appointment shall fall to the next succeeding appointing official, all to the end that there will, as nearly as possible, always be a full complement of Trustees on the Board. Trustees appointed to fill a vacancy other than by reason of expiration of term of office shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term of the Trustee being replaced.

Section 5. Rights, Powers, and Duties of the Board.

(a) The Board is to meet at least quarterly each year for the transaction of its business and to review the progress of the Forever Wild Land Trust. It shall review written requests from state agencies, private organizations, and private citizens proposing that certain properties or interests therein be acquired. For purposes of establishing a quorum, there must be present at least three-fifths (3/5) of the members of the Board then in office at any Board meeting in order to conduct business; provided, however, that in absence of a quorum, the members present, by majority vote, may adjourn the meeting from time to time until a quorum shall attend. Any Board action or recommendation must be approved by at least three-fifths (3/5) of the members of the entire Board then in office, unless specified otherwise in this Amendment. Using its own knowledge and expertise, as well as the knowledge and expertise of the scientific community and state and federal agencies, the Board shall adopt a priority list of properties to be considered for acquisition. Recognizing that real estate transactions must involve willing sellers and may involve complicated procedures that could affect the availability of property, the Department shall, to the extent practicable, follow the directions of the Board in acquiring lands or waters. Provided, however, the Forever Wild Land Trust may only purchase or acquire an interest in property from the priority list of properties adopted by the Board.

(b) In addition to the site-specific management and allowable use guidelines referred to in Section 9, the Board may recommend to the Department rules, regulations and management criteria, which the Board feels would be beneficial to carrying out the goals and purposes of this Amendment.

(c) The Board shall assist the Department in developing and maintaining an inventory of areas and sites which through acquisition become state natural and/or recreational areas and shall make public as desirable information regarding their location, management, regulation, and permissible public uses.

(d) The Board shall prepare and submit to the Governor and the state Legislature, on or before February 1 of each year, a report which shall describe and account for all expenditures and acquisitions by the Forever Wild Land Trust for the preceding fiscal year, as well as plans for the current fiscal year. The Board shall present this annual report to the public at a public meeting to be held within ten days after February 1 of each year. The public meeting shall be an informal process to present information on the Forever Wild Land Trust to the public and give the public an opportunity to have a dialogue with the Board regarding its future plans and operations.

(e) Before purchasing or acquiring any interest in lands with moneys from the Forever Wild Land Trust, the Board, acting through the Commissioner, or the Commissioner on his own initiative, shall obtain at least two appraisals from certified real estate appraisers. In no event shall the Board expend more than the "appraised value", as defined in Section 2 of this Amendment, in purchasing such lands; provided, however, that by affirmative vote of at least three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the Board, the Board may expend up to 125 percent of the appraised value for such purchase where such action is necessary to accomplish the purposes and goals of this Amendment.

(f) The Board may assume indebtedness on behalf of the Forever Wild Land Trust that may be owed with respect to real or personal property given, donated, contributed or devised to the Forever Wild Land Trust, or that may be secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or security interest covering such property, and to agree to pay such indebtedness from current assets or future revenues of the Forever Wild Land Trust; provided that the present value of all installments of principal and of interest on such indebtedness at the time of the assumption thereof, determined in accordance with accepted principles and using a discount rate equal to the rate of interest payable on such indebtedness, shall be less than 80% of the fair market value of such property as determined by an active public market for such property or an appraisal performed by an independent, professionally qualified appraiser.

(g) The Board may contract for the purchase of tracts or parcels of land in which the purchase price shall be payable in future installments, together with such rate of interest on the unpaid balance of such purchase price as the Board shall determine to be reasonable, and to secure the payment of such installments, together with the interest thereon, by purchase money mortgages on the land so acquired and by a pledge of future revenues committed to the Forever Wild Land Trust, including, without limitation thereto, any portion of the trust income allocated to said trust by Section 7 of this Amendment; provided that such installments shall in no event exceed 80% of the fair market value of such property determined as set forth in the preceding subsection and provided further that the total cumulative indebtedness assumed each year under the preceding sub-section (f) together with the total cumulative indebtedness incurred each year by purchase money mortgages as provided in this sub-section (g) shall be limited to no more than 25% of the trust income allocated to said trust for the preceding year.

(h) The Board may enter into contracts with any person, nonprofit organization, corporation, governmental entity or other entity concerning tracts or parcels of land that constitute desirable acquisitions for the Forever Wild Land Trust pursuant to which such person, nonprofit organization, corporation, governmental entity or other entity will agree to acquire and hold such land, or to hold such land if theretofore acquired by such person, nonprofit organization, corporation, governmental entity or other entity and to sell or donate such land to the Forever Wild Land Trust at some future date, in the interim preserving and managing such land in its natural state subject to such conditions, including the reimbursement of expenses, as the Board shall deem advantageous for the ultimate acquisition and preservation of such land.

(i) The Board may sell, lease or exchange specific properties or interests therein acquired or held by the Alabama Trust Fund for the Forever Wild Land Trust. Any such sale or exchange shall be made at not less than the "appraised value", as defined in Section 2 of this Amendment; provided, however, that by affirmative vote of at least three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the Board, the Board may authorize and direct the Commissioner to sell or exchange property of said trust for not less than 85 percent of the appraised value where such action is necessary to accomplish the purposes and goals of the Amendment. All moneys received from any such sale or lease shall be paid into the Forever Wild Land Trust.

(j) The Board shall establish a technical advisory committee, consisting of the State Forester, the President of the Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society, the State Geologist, and any other person whom the Board may desire to appoint, for the purpose of obtaining advice and assistance in performing the Board's functions and duties under this Amendment.

(k) In addition, the Board is authorized at its discretion:

(1) to establish procedures relating to the confidentiality of information where necessary to accomplish the purposes and goals of this Amendment;

(2) to cooperate or contract with any federal, state or local government agency, private organization, or individual to accomplish any of the purposes and goals of this Amendment, paying any reasonable fees or expenses in connection with such cooperation or contracts from moneys held under or within the Forever Wild Land Trust;

(3) to recommend that moneys paid into the Forever Wild Land Trust be allowed to accumulate, with only the income thereon being spent, or that the corpus or principal of the Forever Wild Land Trust be expended in whole or in part;

(4) to do any and all things necessary to take advantage of federal, state, or local government or private funds donated or obtainable through the use of the Forever Wild Land Trust; and

(5) to adopt, alter and repeal bylaws, regulations and rules in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act for the regulation and conduct of its affairs and business in accordance with the provisions of the Alabama Administrative Procedures Act.

(l) Members of the Board and the technical advisory committee shall be entitled to receive the per diem allowance and travel expenses provided by law to state employees. These expense payments shall be for the sole purpose of travel to and from their places of residence to meetings and for travel involving official business of the Forever Wild Land Trust. Those members who are state officials or employees shall serve without compensation or expense allowances other than that to which they are otherwise entitled in the positions they hold.

(m) The Commissioner and the Department are hereby specifically authorized and empowered to carry out all directions and recommendations of the Board made hereunder to accomplish the purposes of the Forever Wild Land Trust and this Amendment.

Section 6. Final Approval Committee.

There is hereby established a Final Approval Committee to be composed of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Before purchasing or leasing any property, or acquiring any interest therein, with any funds from the Forever Wild Land Trust or selling any properties previously purchased from the Forever Wild Land Trust, the Board shall submit to the Final Approval Committee a written proposal of the purchase, lease, sale or acquisition of any other interest in property. Said proposal shall include a legal description of the property to be purchased, leased or sold; the proposed purchase, lease or sale price; and any additional terms of the sale, purchase, lease or other interest therein. The Final Approval Committee shall approve or disapprove the proposal by a majority vote of the full membership of said Committee within 30 days after the date of submission of the proposal. Failure of the Committee to act within 30 days of submission shall constitute approval of said proposal.

Section 7. Source of Funds.

(a) Beginning with the state's 1992-1993 fiscal year, there shall be allocated and paid into the Forever Wild Land Trust the percentage of trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund that would have been reinvested in the Alabama Trust Fund under Section 4(c) of Amendment Number 450 to this Alabama Constitution of 1901. Notwithstanding Section 4(c) of Amendment Number 450 to the Alabama Constitution of 1901, the percentage of trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund shall be allocated to the Forever Wild Land Trust as follows:

(1) For the 1992-1993 fiscal year, four percent (4%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(2) For the 1993-1994 fiscal year, five percent (5%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(3) For the 1994-1995 fiscal year, six percent (6%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(4) For the 1995-1996 fiscal year, seven percent (7%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(5) For the 1996-1997 fiscal year, eight percent (8%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(6) For the 1997-1998 fiscal year, nine percent (9%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund.

(7) Thereafter, ten percent (10%) of the trust income earned from the Alabama Trust Fund; provided, however, that in no event shall such trust income paid to the Forever Wild Land Trust exceed $15 million in any one fiscal year.

(b) The Alabama Trust Fund Board shall provide the Board of Trustees of the Forever Wild Land Trust with advice and assistance in the investment of funds in the Forever Wild Land Trust.

(c) Title to the property acquired from funds in the Forever Wild Land Trust shall be held in the Alabama Trust Fund for the State of Alabama. Provided, however, the Alabama Trust Fund Board shall not have any responsibility for nor any control over the approving or disapproving of the acquisition, disposition or use of any such property. Nothing in this Amendment or Amendment 450 to this Alabama Constitution of 1901 shall be construed so as to require the Alabama Trust Fund Board to have a fiduciary responsibility for the investment of Forever Wild Land Trust funds or the production of income from property acquired by the Board of Trustees of the Forever Wild Land Trust.

(d) The amounts allocated to the Forever Wild Land Trust shall be included in determining whether the trust income received by the state from the Alabama Trust Fund equals or exceeds $60,000,000 for the purposes of the County Government Capital Improvement Act (codified at Sections 11-29-1 through 11-29-7 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended) and the Municipal Government Capital Improvement Act (codified at Sections 11-66-1 through 11-66-7 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended). In no event shall any provision hereof serve to decrease the amount of income from the Alabama Trust Fund which is to be appropriated to the Municipal Government Capital Improvement Fund and the County Government Capital Improvement Fund under the above-referenced acts.

Section 8. Donations of Property.

Any person making a donation of any property or any interest therein, to the state for the purposes of this Amendment, shall receive, irrespective of any other provisions of the income tax laws of the state, twice the ordinary deduction for state income tax purposes for the taxable year in which the property or interest is donated. Provided, however, the value of any such property or interest therein, subject to this double deduction, shall be limited to the actual value of the property, or any interest therein, donated to the state which shall not include any indebtedness, encumbrances or liens assumed by the Forever Wild Land Trust or the value of any interests or rights retained by the donor.

For the purposes of this section, the "actual value" of property shall be the appraised value for ad valorem taxation purposes, averaged over the preceding five years.

Section 9. Stewardship Account.

The Alabama Trust Fund Board shall establish a separate account within the Alabama Trust Fund to be known as the Forever Wild Land Trust Stewardship Account. When the Forever Wild Land Trust acquires property or an interest in property pursuant to this Amendment, the Board of Trustees of the Forever Wild Land Trust shall set aside an amount from the Forever Wild Land Trust equal to fifteen percent (15%) of the appraised value of the land acquired, or the land affected if less than a fee interest was acquired. The Alabama Trust Fund Board shall provide for the investment of the Stewardship Account. The Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust may authorize the Department to expend any interest income generated from the investment of funds within the Stewardship Account by the Alabama Trust Fund Board. Provided, however, the Commissioner shall notify the Board of Trustees in writing if he determines that the interest income projected to be generated from the Forever Wild Land Trust Stewardship Account for the next fiscal year will be insufficient to properly manage property acquired by the Forever Wild Land Trust. The Board may authorize by a three-fifths (3/5) vote that funds within the corpus of the Forever Wild Land Trust Stewardship Account be expended by the Department for management purposes for the next fiscal year, provided that funds from the Stewardship Account may not be expended to purchase additional property or interests therein. Within one year after the Forever Wild Land Trust acquires any properties pursuant to this Amendment, the Board of Trustees of the Forever Wild Land Trust shall develop management and allowable use guidelines which shall be followed by the Department in the administration and stewardship of that piece of property. The Lands Division of the Department shall, in accordance with such general directions as may be given by the Board of Trustees, coordinate management of properties acquired pursuant to this Amendment and expenditures from the Stewardship Account. All lands will be managed under the multiple-use management principle; to insure that all resource values including recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, aesthetics, soil, water, forest management and minerals are protected or enhanced. No use will be allowed that is not compatible with the primary purpose for acquiring the land. In coordinating such management within the Department, the Game and Fish Division of the Department shall manage wildlife and fisheries programs; the State Parks Division of the Department shall manage parks programs; the Lands Division of the Department shall manage natural areas programs through its Natural Heritage Program; and the Lands Division of the Department shall manage other activities and programs relating to Forever Wild Land Trust properties. The Forestry Commission shall serve as consultant to the Department for the purpose of managing the forest and forestry resources programs. Any income that may be generated from the property or from any use of said property acquired through the Forever Wild Land Trust shall be treated as interest income of the Alabama Trust Fund and shall accrue to the credit of the general fund of the State of Alabama.

The right of the public to hunt and fish on the lands and easements acquired under the provisions of this act shall not be abridged or restricted, subject to such rules, regulations, seasons and limits as are established by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Section 10. Enforceability of Conservation Restrictions; Recordation; Acquisition and Disposal of Interests.

(a) No conservation restriction or easement as defined in Section 2 of this Amendment held by any governmental body shall be unenforceable on account of lack of privity of estate or contract or lack of benefit to particular land or on account of the benefit being assignable to or being assigned to any other governmental body with like purposes. All such restrictions and easements shall be duly recorded and indexed in the manner of other conveyances of interests in land, and shall describe the land subject to the restrictions or easements by adequate legal description or by reference to a recorded plat showing its boundaries.

Such conservation restrictions are interests in land and may be acquired by any governmental body which has power to acquire interests in land, in the same manner as it may acquire other interests in land. Such a restriction or easement may be enforced by injunction or proceeding in equity, and shall entitle the holder of it to enter the land in a reasonable manner and at reasonable times to assure compliance. Such a restriction or easement may be released in whole or in part, by the holder for such consideration, if any, as the holder may determine, in the same manner as the holder may dispose of land or other interest in land, subject to such conditions as may have been imposed at the time of creation of the restriction.

This section shall not be construed to imply that any restriction, easement, covenant or condition which does not have the benefit of this section shall, on account of any provision hereof, be unforceable. Nothing in this Amendment shall diminish the powers granted by any law to acquire by purchase, gift, eminent domain or otherwise as restricting the use of an existing or future easement, express or implied, in favor of any utility or other holder of an easement for public purpose. The existence of conservation easements or restrictions shall not of itself be proof of value as a measure of damages in any eminent domain proceedings.

(b) When a conservation restriction or easement is held by public body under the program established by this Amendment, the real property subject thereto shall be assessed for taxation purposes on the basis of the true cash value of the property or as otherwise provided by law, less such reduction in value as may result from the granting of the conservation restriction or easement. The value of the interest held by the public body shall be exempt from property taxation to the same extent as other public property.

Section 11. Alabama Natural Heritage Program.

(a) The Alabama Natural Heritage Program is hereby established as a part of the Lands Division of the Department, or its duly designated successor, and shall be funded from the Forever Wild Land Trust or the Forever Wild Land Trust Stewardship Account as provided by the Board, and from private donations.

(b) For purposes of this program, the Department, subject to approval by the Board, shall:

(1) Produce an inventory of Alabama's natural heritage resources, including their location and ecological status.

(2) Maintain a natural heritage data bank of inventory data and other relevant information for ecologically significant sites supporting natural heritage resources. Information from this data bank may be made available to public agencies and to private institutions or individuals for environmental assessment and land management purposes.

(3) Develop a Natural Heritage Plan which suggests priorities for the protection, acquisition and management of dedicated natural area preserves.

(4) Establish procedures relating to the confidentiality of data and inquiries for information in order to protect natural resources and encourage use by public agencies and private organizations and individuals in planning or conducting their activities.

Section 12. Dedication of Natural Area Preserves.

(a) The Department shall, in the name of the State and upon the recommendation of the Board, accept the dedication of natural areas on lands deemed by the Board and the Commissioner to qualify as natural area preserves under the provisions of this Amendment. Natural area preserves may be offered for dedication by voluntary act of the owner. The owner of a qualified natural area may transfer fee simple title or other interest in land to the State. Natural area preserves may be acquired by gift, grant or purchase.

(b) Dedication of a natural area preserve shall become effective only upon acceptance of the instrument of dedication by the Board and the Commissioner.

(c) The instrument of dedication may:

(1) Contain restrictions and other provisions relating to management, use, development, transfer, and public access, and may contain any other restrictions and provisions as may be necessary or advisable to further the purposes of this Amendment;

(2) Define, consistent with the purposes of this Amendment, the respective rights and duties of the owner and of the state and provide procedures to be followed in case of violations of the restrictions;

(3) Recognize and create reversionary rights, transfers upon condition or with limitations, and gifts over; and

(4) Vary in provisions from one natural area preserve to another in accordance with differences in the characteristics and conditions of the several areas.

(d) Public departments, commissions, boards, counties, municipalities, corporations, colleges, universities and all other agencies and instrumentalities of the state and its political subdivisions may dedicate suitable areas within their jurisdiction as natural area preserves in accordance with the powers and authorities granted to such organizations by existing state legislation.

(e) The Board may enter into amendments to the instrument of dedication upon finding that such amendments will not permit an impairment, disturbance, use, or development of the area inconsistent with the provisions of this Amendment. If the fee simple estate in the natural area preserve is not held by the state under this article, no amendment may be made without the written consent of the owner of the other interests therein.

Section 13. Sunset Provision.

Beginning with the state's 2012-2013 fiscal year and each succeeding fiscal year, all moneys to be paid into the Forever Wild Land Trust shall be paid to the Alabama Trust Fund in the event the Legislature has not provided for the continuation of payments into the Forever Wild Land Trust Fund as provided for in this section, provided that 2.5% of the trust income earned from the investment of funds in the Alabama Trust Fund shall continue to be paid to the Forever Wild Stewardship Account established in Section 9 of this Amendment until such time as the Legislature, by legislative act, determines that interest income earned from the investment of funds within the corpus of the Stewardship Account is sufficient for the proper administration and stewardship of properties acquired from the Forever Wild Land Trust. And provided further, that the Legislature, by legislative act, or by the enactment of a constitutional amendment may continue payment of the revenues provided in Section 7 hereof, or at any time provide for the payment of other revenues, into the Forever Wild Land Trust. At such time as the payment of trust income into the Forever Wild Land Trust shall cease, the percentage of trust income accruing to said trust fund shall be paid into the Alabama Trust Fund each year to become a part of the corpus of the Alabama Trust Fund.

Section 14. Amendment Self-Executing.

This Amendment shall be self-executing, but the Legislature shall have the right and power to enact laws supplemental hereto and in furtherance of the purposes and objectives hereof, provided that such laws are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Amendment.

Section 15. Severability.

If any provision of this Amendment, or the application of any provision to any entity, person, or circumstance is for any reason adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the remainder of this Amendment and its application shall not be affected.

Amendment 544 ratified[edit]

Election of Board of Education for City of Pell City.

This legislature may by local act provide for the election of the members of the board of education of the City of Pell City in St. Clair County.

Amendment 545 ratified[edit]

Industrial Development Board of Lawrence County.

The Legislature may provide by local law, from time to time, for the consolidation of the power and authority granted to Lawrence County pursuant to Amendment No. 190 of the Constitution of 1901, or to any public authority or corporation created by Lawrence County pursuant to Amendment No. 190 into the Industrial Development Board of Lawrence County George C. Wallace Airpark Authority, which shall have all of the power and authority and assume all of the obligations of Lawrence County pursuant to Amendment No. 190, or any public authority or corporation created by Lawrence County pursuant to Amendment No. 190. The Legislature may in addition provide by local law for the organization and membership of the board of directors of the public authority or corporation. Any taxes currently levied pursuant to Amendment No. 190 shall remain in full force and effect. Any action currently required to be approved by a vote of electors shall be approved by a vote of the electors of the county.

Amendment 546 ratified[edit]

Sales and Use Tax in Limestone County.

Section 1. There is hereby levied, in addition to all other taxes of every kind now imposed by law, and shall be collected as herein provided, a privilege or license tax against the person on account of the business activities and in the amount to be determined by the application of rates against gross sales, or gross receipts, as the case may be, as follows:

(a) Upon every person, firm, or corporation, (including the State of Alabama, the University of Alabama, Auburn University and all other institutions of higher learning in the state, whether such institutions be denominational, state, county or municipal institution, and any association or other agency or instrumentality of such institutions) engaged, or continuing within Limestone County in the business of selling at retail any tangible personal property whatsoever, including merchandise and commodities of every kind and character, (not including, however, bonds or other evidences of debts or stocks, nor sale or sales of material and supplies to any person for use in fulfilling a contract for the painting, repair or reconditioning of vessels, barges, ships and other watercraft and commercial fishing vessels of over five (5) tons load displacement as registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and licensed by the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the gross proceeds of sales of the business except where a different amount is expressly provided herein. Provided, however, that any person engaging or continuing in business as a retailer and wholesaler or jobber shall pay the tax required on the gross proceeds of retail sales of such business at the rates specified, when his books are kept so as to show separately the gross proceeds of sales of each business, and when his books are not so kept he shall pay the tax as retailer on the gross sales of the business.

(b) Upon every person, firm or corporation engaged, or continuing within Limestone County, the business of conducting, or operating, places of amusement or entertainment, billiard and pool rooms, bowling alleys, amusement devices, musical devices, theaters, opera houses, moving picture shows, vaudevilles, amusement parks, athletic contests, including wrestling matches, prize fights, boxing and wrestling exhibitions, football and baseball games, (including athletic contests conducted by or under the auspices of any educational institution within Limestone County, or any athletic association thereof or other association whether such institution or association be a denominational, a state, or county, or a municipal institution or association or a state, county, or city school, or other institution, association or school), skating rinks, race tracks, golf courses, or any other place at which any exhibition, display, amusement or entertainment is offered to the public or place or places where an admission fee is charged, including public bathing places, public dance halls of every kind and description with Limestone County, an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the gross receipts of any such business. Provided, however, not withstanding any language to the contrary in the prior portion of this subsection, the tax provisions so specified shall not apply to any athletic event conducted by a public primary or secondary school. The tax amount which would have been collected pursuant to this subsection shall continue to be collected by said public primary or secondary school but shall be retained by the school which collected it and shall be used by said school for school purposes.

(c) Upon every person, firm or corporation engaged or continuing within Limestone County in the business of selling at retail machines used in mining, quarrying, compounding, processing and manufacturing of tangible personal property, an amount equal to one-half percent (1/2 %) of the gross proceeds of the sale of such machines; provided, that the term "machines," as herein used, shall include machinery which is used for mining, quarrying, compounding, processing, or manufacturing tangible personal property, and the parts of such machines, attachments and replacements therefore which are made or manufactured for use on or in the operation of such machines and which are necessary to the operation of such machines and are customarily so used.

(d) Upon every person, firm or corporation engaged or continuing within Limestone County in the business of selling at retail any automotive vehicle or truck trailer, semi-trailer, house trailer or mobile home set-up materials and supplies including but not limited to steps, blocks, anchoring, cable pipes and any other materials pertaining thereto an amount equal to one-half percent (1/2 %) of the gross proceeds of sale of said automotive vehicle, truck trailer, semi-trailer, house trailer or mobile home set-up materials and supplies, provided, however, where a person subject to the tax provided for in this subsection withdraws from his stock in trade any automotive vehicle or truck trailer, semi-trailer or house trailer for use by him or by his employee or agent in the operation of such business, there shall be paid, in lieu of the tax levied herein, a fee of $0.00 per year or part thereof during which such automotive vehicle, truck trailer, semi-trailer, or house trailer shall remain the property of such person. Each such year or part thereof shall begin with the day or anniversary date, as the case may be, of such withdrawal and shall run for the twelve succeeding months or part thereof during which such automotive vehicle, truck trailer, or house trailer shall remain the property of such person.

Where any used automobile vehicle or truck trailer, semi-trailer or house trailer is taken in trade or in a series of trades, as a credit or part payment on the sale of a new or used vehicle, the tax levied herein shall be paid on the net difference, that is, the price of the new or used vehicle sold less the credit for the used vehicle taken in trade.

(e) Upon every person, firm or corporation engaged or continuing within Limestone County in the business of selling at retail any machine, machinery or equipment which is used in planting, cultivating and harvesting farm products, or used in connection with the production of agricultural produce or products, livestock or poultry on farms, and the parts of such machines, machinery or equipment, attachments and replacements therefore which are made or manufactured for use on or in the operation of such machine, machinery, or equipment, and which are necessary to and customarily used in the operation of such machine, machinery or equipment, an amount equal to one-half percent (1/2 %) of the gross proceeds of the sale thereof. Provided, however, the one-half percent (1/2 %) rate herein prescribed with respect to parts, attachments, and replacements shall not apply to any automotive vehicle or trailer designed primarily for public highway use, except farm trailers used primarily in the production and harvesting of agricultural commodities.

Where any used machine, machinery or equipment which is used in planting, cultivating, and harvesting farm products, or used in connection with the production of agricultural produce or products, livestock and poultry on farms is taken in trade or in a series of trades as a credit or part payment on a sale of a new or used machine, machinery or equipment, the tax levied herein shall be paid on the net difference, that is, the price of the new or used machine, machinery or equipment sold, less the credit for the used machine, machinery or equipment taken in trade.

(f) Upon every person, firm or corporation engaged or continuing within Limestone County in the business of selling through coin-operated dispensing machines, food and food products for human consumption, not including beverages other than coffee, milk, milk products and substitutes therefore, there is hereby levied a tax equal to one percent (1%) of the cost of such food, food products and beverages sold through such machines, which cost for the purpose of this subsection shall be the gross proceeds of sales of such business.

Section 2. (a) An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County of tangible personal property (not including materials and supplies bought for use in fulfilling a contract for the painting, repairing, or reconditioning of vessels, barges, ships and other watercraft and commercial fishing vessels of over five (5) tons load displacement as registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and licensed by the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) purchased at retail on or after the effective date of this amendment for storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County, except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), at the rate of one percent (1%) of the sales price of such property.

(b) An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County of any machines used in mining, quarrying, compounding, processing, and manufacturing of tangible personal property purchased at retail on or after the effective date of this amendment at the rate of one half percent (1/2 %) of the sales price of any such machine; provided, that the term "machine" as herein used, shall include machinery which is used for mining, quarrying, compounding, processing, or manufacturing tangible personal property, and the parts of such machines, attachments and replacements therefore, which are made or manufactured for used on or in the operation of such machines and which are necessary to the operation of such machines and are customarily so used.

(c) An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County of any automotive vehicle or truck trailer, semi-trailer, house trailer or mobile home set-up materials and supplies including but not limited to steps, blocks, anchoring, cable pipes and any other materials pertaining thereto purchased at retail on or after the effective date of this amendment for storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County at the rate of one half percent (1/2 %) of the sales price of such automotive vehicle, truck trailer, semi-trailer, house trailer or mobile home set-up materials and supplies. Where any used automotive vehicle, truck trailer, semi-trailer or house trailer is taken in trade, or in a series of trades, as a credit or part payment on the sale of a new or used vehicle, the tax levied herein shall be paid on the net difference, that is, the price of the new or used vehicle sold less the credit for the used vehicle taken in trade.

(d) An excise tax is hereby levied and imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County of any machine, machinery, or equipment which is used in planting, cultivating, and harvesting farm products, or used in connection with the production of agricultural produce or products, livestock, or poultry on farms, and the parts of such machines, machinery, or equipment, attachments and replacements therefore which are made or manufactured for use on or in the operation of such machine, machinery, or equipment, and which are necessary to and customarily used in the operation of such machine, machinery, or equipment, which is purchased at retail after the effective date of this amendment, for the storage, use or other consumption in Limestone County at the rate of one half percent (1/2 %) of the sales price of such property; regardless of whether the retailer is or is not engaged in the business in this County. Provided, however, the one half percent (1/2 %) rate herein prescribed with respect to parts, attachments, and replacements shall not apply to any automotive vehicle or trailer designed primarily for public highway use, except farm trailers used primarily in the production and harvesting of agricultural commodities. Where any used machine, machinery or equipment which is used in planting, cultivating, and harvesting farm products or used in connection with the production of agricultural produce or products, livestock, and poultry on farms is taken in trade or in a series of trades as a credit or part payment on a sale of a new or used machine, machinery, or equipment, the tax levied herein shall be paid on the net difference, that is, the price of the new or used machine, machinery, or equipment sold, less the credit for the used machine, machinery, or equipment taken in trade.

Section 3. The tax shall be collected by the State Department of Revenue at the same time and in the same manner as state sales and use taxes are collected. On or prior to the date the tax is due, each person subject to the tax shall file with the department a report in the form prescribed by the department. The report shall set forth, with respect to all sales and business transactions that are required to be used as a measure of the tax levied, a correct statement of the gross proceeds of all the sales and gross receipts of all business transactions. The report shall also include items of information pertinent to the tax as the department may require. Any person subject to the tax levied by this act may defer reporting credit sales until after their collection, and in the event the person defers reporting them, the person shall thereafter include in each monthly report all credit collections made during the preceding month, and shall pay the tax due at the time of filing the report. All reports filed with the department under this section shall be available for inspection by the county commission, or its designee.

Section 4. Each person engaging or continuing in a business subject to the tax levied by this amendment, shall add to the sales price or admission fee and collect from the purchaser or the person paying the admission fee the amount due by the taxpayer because of the sale or admission. It shall be unlawful for any person subject to the tax to fail or refuse to add to the sales price or admission fee and to collect from the purchaser or person paying the admission fee the amount required to be added to the sale or admission price. It shall be unlawful for any person subject to the tax levied to refund or offer to refund all or any part of the amount collected or to absorb or advertise directly or indirectly the absorption or refund of any portion of the tax.

Section 5. The tax shall constitute a debt due Limestone County. The tax, together with any interest and penalties, shall constitute and be secured by a lien upon the property of any person from whom the tax is due or who is required to collect the tax. The department shall collect the tax, enforce this amendment, and have and exercise all rights and remedies that the state or the department has for collection of the state sales and use tax. The department may employ special counsel as is necessary to enforce collection of the tax levied by this amendment and to enforce this amendment. The department shall pay the special counsel any fees it deems necessary and proper from the proceeds of the tax collected by it for Limestone County.

Section 6. All provisions of the state sales and use tax statutes with respect to the payment, assessment, and collection of the state sales and use tax, making of reports, keeping and preserving records, penalties for failure to pay the tax, promulgating rules and regulations with respect to the state sales and use tax, and the administration and enforcement of the state sales and use tax statutes which are not inconsistent with this amendment shall apply to the tax levied herein. The state Commissioner of Revenue and the department shall have and exercise the same powers, duties, and obligations with respect to the tax levied under this amendment that are imposed on the commissioner and department by the state sales and use tax statutes. All provisions of the state sales and use tax statutes that are made applicable by this amendment to the tax levied under this amendment, and to the administration and enforcement of this amendment, are incorporated by reference and made a part of this act as if fully set forth herein.

Section 7. The department shall charge Limestone County for collecting the tax levied under this act in an amount or percentage of total collections as may be agreed upon by the commissioner and the Limestone County Commission. The charge shall not exceed five percent of the total amount of the tax collected in the county. The charge may be deducted each month from the gross revenues from the tax before certification of the amount of the proceeds due Limestone County for that month. The Commissioner of Revenue shall pay into the State Treasury all amounts collected under this act, as the tax is received by the department on or before the first day of each successive month. The commissioner shall certify to the State Comptroller the amount collected and paid into the State Treasury for the benefit of Limestone County during the month immediately preceding the certification. The State Comptroller shall issue a warrant each month payable to the County Treasurer of Limestone County in an amount equal to the certified amount which shall be paid into the county general fund to be divided between the Athens City Board of Education and the Limestone County Board of Education based on the average daily attendance of the two school systems.

Section 8. Effective date of this tax should be the first day of the second month following approval by the qualified electors of Limestone County.

Amendment 547 ratified[edit]

Compensation of Probate Judge of Pickens County.

Effective the beginning of the next term of office after ratification of this amendment, the Judge of Probate of Pickens County shall be compensated on a salary basis. The judge shall receive in equal monthly installments from the General Fund of Pickens County such salary as provided by general law, unless provided otherwise by local law. The salary shall be the entire compensation received by the judge for services in any official or ex officio capacity. The salary shall be in lieu of all fees, commissions, allowances, percentages, and other charges previously paid to the Judge of Probate of Pickens County.

All fees, commissions, allowances, percentages, and other charges heretofore collected for the use of the Judge of Probate of Pickens County shall continue to be collected but shall be paid into the General Fund of Pickens County.

The County Commission of Pickens County shall provide the Judge of Probate with such office personnel, equipment, and supplies as the County Commission may consider necessary for the proper and efficient conduct of the office. Compensation of any personnel so provided shall be fixed by the County Commission and shall be paid in equal monthly installments out of the General Fund of Pickens County.

Amendment 548 ratified[edit]

Election of Talladega City Board of Education.

The Legislature may by local act provide for the election of the members of the Talladega City Board of Education.

Amendment 549 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Walker County.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal outside of the corporate limits of the City of Jasper in Walker County, subject to any resolution by the county governing body as provided by law regulating the operation of bingo. The governing body may promulgate rules and regulations for issuing permits or licenses, and for operating bingo games, within its respective jurisdiction. The county governing body shall insure compliance pursuant to any ordinance and the following:

(1) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo.

(2) No bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless the organization shall have been in existence for at least 60 months and owned real property at least five years immediately prior to issuing the permit or license.

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises are leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from operating the bingo games.

(4) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have the individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization. No nonprofit organization may pay consulting fees to any individual or entity for any services performed relating to operating or conducting any bingo game.

(5) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow any other person or entity to use its identity in operating or advertising a bingo game in which the nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating the bingo game.

(6) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization for playing bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the Legislature, during any bingo session. The Legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week.

(7) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition, shall take any expenses for operating a bingo game except as permitted by law.

Amendment 550 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in City of Jasper.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in the corporate limits of the City of Jasper in Walker County, subject to any resolution or ordinance by the city governing body as provided by law regulating the operation of bingo. The governing body may promulgate rules and regulations for issuing permits or licenses, and for operating bingo games, within its respective jurisdiction. The governing body of the City of Jasper shall insure compliance pursuant to any ordinance and the following:

(1) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo.

(2) No bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless the organization shall have been in existence for at least 60 months and owned real property in the City of Jasper five years immediately prior to issuing the permit or license.

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises are leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from operating the bingo games.

(4) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have the individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization. No nonprofit organization may pay consulting fees to any individual or entity for any services performed relating to operating or conducting any bingo game.

(5) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow any other person or entity to use its identity in operating or advertising a bingo game in which the nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating the bingo game.

(6) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization for playing bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the Legislature, during any bingo session. The Legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week.

(7) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition, shall take any expenses for operating a bingo game except as permitted by law.

Amendment 551 ratified[edit]

Special Ad Valorem Taxes for Fire Protection and Emergency Services in Montgomery County.

The Legislature declares that all volunteer fire departments, including volunteer fire departments that have emergency medical technicians that are members, are organizations that are public in nature and serve to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Montgomery County.

In addition to all ad valorem taxes levied for fire protection, the Montgomery County Commission may levy and collect a special ad valorem tax, not to exceed two and one-half mills in any year on each dollar of assessed value of the property taxed, on property in the unincorporated area of Montgomery County for the purpose of providing fire protection in the unincorporated area of Montgomery County.

The tax provided in this act shall be levied, collected, administered, and enforced at the same time, in the same manner, and under the same requirements and laws as state ad valorem taxes. The officials collecting or assessing the tax shall be entitled to the same fees and compensation as are provided for collecting and assessing ad valorem taxes. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid into the county general fund. Within thirty days after payment into the county general fund, the Montgomery County Commission shall pay the funds to the Montgomery County Association of Volunteer Firefighters, hereafter referred to as the county association. The county association shall distribute the funds as follows:

(1) 60 percent shall be divided equally among all eligible volunteer fire departments.

(2) 30 percent shall be divided according to a percentage based upon the monies collected in a fire district compared to the total monies collected. The county association shall notify the Revenue Commissioner within 30 days after this act becomes operative of the designated fire districts. The boundaries of the fire districts may be rearranged at the discretion of the county association as they deem necessary, from time to time, to maximize fire protection services in the county.

(3) Ten percent of the money shall be designated as discretionary fund of the county association to be used for any expenditure otherwise allowable under this act.

In order to be an eligible volunteer fire department for purposes of this act, a volunteer fire department shall be in good standing with the Montgomery County Association of Volunteer Firefighters.

Funds disbursed to eligible volunteer fire departments pursuant to this act shall be expended only for fire protection and emergency medical services, including but not limited to, training, supplies, buildings, capital improvements, equipment, insurance, professional services, and dues. The funds shall not be expended for food, drink, social activities, or fund-raising activities. After receiving the funds, the volunteer fire departments shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds are properly expended. By September 15th of each year, the department shall file a report with the county association detailing the expenditure of all funds during the previous twelve months and setting out a schedule of all proposed projects. The filing shall account for all unspent funds and whether unspent funds have been obligated. Unspent funds that have not been obligated which exceed the amount of total receipts paid to the department for the prior year from this tax shall be returned to the county association for redistribution equally among the other fire departments. The county association shall supply the accounting forms to each eligible volunteer fire department. The copy of the year-end report shall be filed with the county commission and shall be audited by the Examiners of Public Accounts of the state on the same basis as county funds are audited.

Upon dissolution or abandonment of an eligible volunteer fire department, all remaining funds derived from this act or assets purchased with the funds derived from this act shall be transferred to the county association.

Prior to the levy of the fire protection tax in the unincorporated areas of county, there shall be submitted to the electors at a special election called for that purpose in the county, the question of whether the tax shall be levied. If a majority of the qualified electors within the unincorporated area of the county who vote at the election approve the tax, the tax shall be effective and levied. If a majority of the qualified electors within the unincorporated area of the county who vote at the election do not approve the tax, the tax shall not be effective and shall not be levied.

Elections on the question of the levy of a fire protection tax in the county may be held at any time and from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if at an election held after the ratification of this amendment the proposal to levy the tax so submitted is defeated, then the proposal may not be submitted at another election held in the county within two years from the last election held under this amendment.

Amendment 552 ratified[edit]

Election of Dothan City Board of Education.

The Legislature may, by local act, provide for the election of the Dothan City Board of Education.

This amendment shall not become operative unless it is approved by a majority of the qualified electors of the City of Dothan who vote thereon upon its submission.

Amendment 553 ratified[edit]

Election of Decatur City Board of Education.

The Legislature may, by local act, provide for the election of the Decatur City Board of Education.

Amendment 554 ratified[edit]

Levy and Collection of Special Ad Valorem Property Tax for Public Library Purposes in Chambers County.

The governing body of Chambers County shall, subject to succeeding provisions of this amendment (including those relating to approval by the Chambers County electorate), and notwithstanding anything in the Constitution or laws of Alabama to the contrary, levy and collect a special county ad valorem or property tax at the rate of twenty cents ($.20) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of taxable property in said County, for a period of ten fiscal (or ad valorem tax) years of said County. Such tax shall be in addition to any taxes now authorized, or that may hereafter be authorized, by the Constitution and laws of Alabama to be levied and collected in Chambers County or by said governing body.

The proceeds of the aforesaid tax shall be used exclusively for public library purposes in Chambers County, including particularly (but without limitation)

(a) the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, equipment, operation, maintenance and support (or any one or more thereof) of

(1) any public library or libraries operated or supported (whether in whole or in part) by said County, by the Chambers County Library Board, or by any other similar public or governmental body empowered, under the Constitution and laws of Alabama, to operate or support public libraries, including particularly, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, (i) that certain public library located in the City of Lafayette now owned by the City of Lafayette, and (ii) that certain public library located in the City of Valley now owned by a not-for-profit foundation or a not-for-profit corporation, and

(2) any other public libraries, branch libraries or related public library facilities (including, without limitation, one or more buildings and any equipment and lands necessary therefor) located or to be located in Chambers County and forming or to form a part of the public library system of said County; and

(b) the payment of principal of or interest (or premium, if any) on any bonds, warrants, notes or other securities (including, without limitation, refunding securities) issued by said County for public library purposes in Chambers County; provided, that any public library, branch library or related public library facilities described in the preceding provisions of this amendment shall be owned either by said County, said Chambers County Library Board or other public or governmental body, or by a not-for-profit corporation or other similar nonprofit organization (regardless of how denominated or organized); and provided further, (A) that the proceeds of such tax may be expended to pay any costs of constructing, reconstructing, improving or enlarging any additions or improvements to any building or buildings used or to be used (at least in part) by, or in connection with the operation of, the aforesaid public library located in the City of Valley, notwithstanding that such building or buildings may also then be used (or may thereafter be used) in part by, or in connection with the operation of, archives or other facilities that are not, and are not expected to be, operated for public library purposes, and (B) that none of the proceeds of such tax may be expended to pay any costs of operating, equipping, maintaining or supporting any such facilities that are not, and are not expected to be, operated for public library purposes. In expending (or causing to be expended) the proceeds of such tax for the purposes herein authorized, and in otherwise carrying out the purposes of this amendment, the governing body of Chambers County shall not be subject to the provisions of Sections 93 and 94 of the Constitution, as amended.

If this amendment is approved, and if a majority of the qualified electors of Chambers County who vote at the election thereon vote in favor of this amendment, then the tax hereinabove authorized shall be levied and collected as hereinabove provided, without any other election having been held thereon. However, if this amendment is approved but a majority of the qualified electors of Chambers County who vote at the election thereon vote against it, then such tax shall not be levied unless the question of the levy of such tax as hereinabove provided shall have been submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of said County and approved by a majority of those voting at such election; and such tax shall, upon such approval, be levied and collected as hereinabove provided. Subsequent elections may be held at intervals of not less than one year, and shall be called, held and conducted in the same way, according to the general laws of Alabama (with such modifications as shall be necessary to comply with the provisions of this amendment), as elections on the question of issuing county bonds. Following the approval of the Chambers County electorate (whether at the election on this amendment or at a subsequent county election as hereinabove provided), the tax herein authorized shall, to the fullest extent consistent with the efficient and practical administration of the tax system of Chambers County and without regard to any law otherwise requiring the levy of county taxes during a certain month or on or before a particular date, be initially levied by the governing body of said County so that it shall first become due and payable on the October 1 next succeeding such election.

The provisions of this amendment are and shall be self-executing, and authorization from or any other action by the legislature shall not be a prerequisite to the levy and collection of the tax herein authorized, to the use of the proceeds of such tax as herein provided, or to the call, holding or conduct of any election in said County as hereinabove provided for. It is hereby specifically declared that this amendment is not being proposed pursuant to the provisions of that certain amendment to the Constitution (known as Amendment No. 425) that was proposed by Act No. 82-330 adopted at the 1982 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama, and the provisions of the said Amendment No. 425 are hereby declared to be inapplicable to this amendment.

Amendment 555 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Amendment No. 425.

(a) Any proposed constitutional amendment which affects or applies to only one county shall be adopted as a valid part of the constitution by a favorable vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the affected county who vote on the amendment. Any proposed constitutional amendment which affects or applies to only one political subdivision within a county or counties shall be adopted as a valid part of the constitution by a favorable vote of a majority of the qualified electors of both the county and the political subdivision affected by the amendment who vote on the amendment. The proposed amendment may provide for a separate referendum in a political subdivision of less than a county if a simultaneous referendum is not possible because of conflicting voting precincts.

(b) The proposed amendment shall first be approved by at least a three-fifths vote of the elected members of each house of the Legislature with no dissenting vote cast and approved by a majority vote of the Local Constitutional Amendment Commission. The commission shall be composed of the Governor, Presiding Officer of the Senate, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Legislature may by general act specify procedures for the Local Constitution Amendment Commission, but may not expand its role beyond deciding whether the amendment affects more than one county or more than one political subdivision in one or more counties.

(c) Notice of the election, together with the proposed amendment, shall be given by proclamation of the Governor, which proclamation shall be published once a week for four successive weeks next preceding the day appointed for the election in each newspaper qualified to run legal notices in the county or counties affected.

(d) In the event any constitutional amendment proposed for adoption pursuant to this amendment is approved by at least a three-fifths vote of the elected members of each house of the Legislature but with one or more dissenting votes cast, the amendment shall be treated as a statewide amendment as described in subsection (e).

(e) If after having been approved by at least a three-fifths vote of the elected members of each house of the Legislature without a dissenting vote cast the proposed amendment is not approved by a majority vote the Local Constitutional Amendment Commission, it shall automatically be submitted in a statewide referendum in accordance with the procedures for proposed statewide constitutional amendments under Sections 284 and 285 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. If the proposed amendment is submitted in a statewide referendum, it shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified voters of the affected county voting on the proposition and the affected political subdivision voting on the proposition, if it affects less than the whole county. The referendum in a political subdivision may be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of the proposed amendment, or at another time if provided by the proposed amendment.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to the contrary, all constitutional amendments which have been adopted by a majority vote of the appropriate electorate pursuant to Amendment No. 425 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, are hereby ratified and confirmed.

Amendment 556 ratified[edit]

Conveyance to Huntsville-Madison County Marina and Port Authority Title to Alabama State Docks's Property.

The State of Alabama, through the Alabama State Docks Department, may convey, without consideration, title to its real property, equipment, and facilities located in Madison County, Alabama, and known as the Alabama State Docks, to the Huntsville-Madison County Marina and Port Authority, a public corporation. The conveyance shall be subject to existing leases and other contractual agreements now in effect. Any laws or parts of laws, or any provisions of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, are revised, superseded, and repealed to the extent they are in conflict with this amendment.

Amendment 557 ratified[edit]

Basic Rights for Crime Victims.

(a) Crime victims, as defined by law or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when authorized, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the person accused of committing the crime.

(b) Nothing in this amendment or in any enabling statute adopted pursuant to this amendment shall be construed as creating a cause of action against the state or any of its agencies, officials, employees, or political subdivisions. The Legislature may from time to time enact enabling legislation to carry out and implement this amendment.

Amendment 558 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Section 94. SECTION 94

Political subdivisions not to grant public money or lend credit to individuals or corporations; alienation of recreational facilities and housing projects by political subdivisions and public bodies; expenditures by local school boards of education for recognition of contributions to public education.

(a) The Legislature shall not have power to authorize any county, city, town, or other subdivision of this state to lend its credit, or to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual, association, or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in any corporation, association, or company, by issuing bonds or otherwise. The Legislature may enact general, special, or local laws authorizing political subdivisions and public bodies to alienate, with or without a valuable consideration, public parks and playgrounds, or other public recreational facilities and public housing projects, conditional upon the approval of a majority of the duly qualified electors of the county, city, town, or other subdivision affected thereby, voting at an election held for that purposes.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), local school boards of education may expend public funds for the recognition of significant contributions to education in Alabama and to promote educational excellence by students, faculty, staff, and the public. Recognitions shall be in the form of trophies, plaques, academic banquets, and other honors that promote academic excellence in the public schools of Alabama and recognize special deeds that strengthen public education in Alabama.

Amendment 559 ratified[edit]

Ratification and Validation of Ad Valorem Tax Levies and Payments in Baldwin County.

(a) All ad valorem tax levies and payments collected in Baldwin County prior to the approval of this amendment, are hereby ratified, validated, and confirmed.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Baldwin County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 560 ratified[edit]

Additional Fees Assessed on Cases in Barbour County.

(a) In addition to any court costs and fees now or hereafter authorized, and notwithstanding any other provisions of the Constitution, including without limitation Sections 96, 104, and 105 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, there shall be an additional twenty-five dollar ($25) fee assessed and taxed as costs on each civil case and an additional fifty dollar ($50) fee assessed on each criminal case, including traffic cases, filed in the Circuit Court, District Court, or any Municipal Court in Barbour County, as well as a fee not to exceed five dollars ($5) for the service of all pleadings and other documents in connection with any such action or case. The aforementioned fees shall not be waived by any court unless all other fees, assessments, costs, fines, and charges associated with the cases are waived. The additional fees, when collected by the clerks or other collection officers of the courts, shall be paid into the General Fund of Barbour County to be used by the county commission for the planning, designing, construction, financing, and operation of a new county jail. This amendment shall be self-executing and shall require no enabling legislation.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Barbour County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this amendment, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 561 ratified[edit]

Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Districts in Blount County.

(a) The Legislature may, by local law from time to time, provide for the establishment of districts in Blount County for fire protection and emergency medical services and provide for mandatory annual dues in the districts upon approval of the qualified electors residing within the districts. The Legislature shall provide for the operation of the districts and for the collection of mandatory annual dues. The Legislature may limit the liability of the county for the operation of a district and provide that a district shall be exempt from all taxation. The districts may include the area currently served by the Remlap Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Inc., or may be formed in other areas of the county.

(b) Act No. 93-342, H. 970, 1993 Regular Session, is repealed.

(c) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Blount County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 562 ratified[edit]

Local Legislation to Change Procedure for Sale of Lands for Delinquent Taxes in Calhoun County.

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 104 and 105 to the contrary, the Legislature of the state of Alabama may enact local legislation applicable to Calhoun County to change the method prescribed by law for giving notice to delinquent Calhoun County taxpayers of their failure to pay taxes assessed against any property which is assessed to them and to change the notice required to be given them prior to the sale for taxes of the property and to change the method for issuing decrees for the sale of land and the trials held to determine whether the sales should be ordered and to change the method of giving notice to delinquent property owners to show cause why a decree of sale should not be rendered against them and to change the method regarding the sale of the property and the report of the amount of taxes collected from the sale.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Calhoun County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 563 ratified[edit]

Promotion of Industry, Trade, and Economic Development in Calhoun County.

(a) The Legislature may, by general, local, or special law, provide for the creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority, and financing of a public corporation empowered or intended to assist or aid in any way Calhoun County or any municipality there in promoting industry, trade, and economic development of Calhoun County and each municipality situated in the county, and the Legislature may grant the corporation all powers, rights, privileges, exemptions, and authority as the Legislature considers necessary or desirable for the furtherance and accomplishment of the purposes of the public corporation. The passage and enactment of Act No. 82-222 of the 1982 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, and all terms and provisions of Act No. 82-222, are approved, ratified, and confirmed in all respects, any provision of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, to the contrary notwithstanding, and Act No. 82-222 shall be effective from and as of the date of its passage and approval by the Governor during the 1982 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature. Any act enacted during the 1993 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, or during any subsequent regular or special session of the Alabama Legislature, in amendment of or supplementary to Act No. 82-222 shall be effective as of the date of its passage by the Legislature and approval by the Governor, or upon its otherwise becoming a law. The creation, incorporation, organization, operation, administration, authority, and financing of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council is approved, ratified, and confirmed from and as of the date of passage and approval by the Governor of Act No. 82-222 during the 1982 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature. All actions taken, and all obligations, whether secured or unsecured and whether general or limited as to the source of payment, incurred or assumed, in the name and on behalf of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council by any directors, officers, employees, representatives, or agents thereof in furtherance of the powers and purposes of the council as set forth in Act No. 82-222, as the same may be at any time amended or supplemented, prior to the date this amendment is proclaimed ratified, are approved, ratified, and confirmed as fully effective for all purposes from and as of the respective dates of which the actions were taken and the obligations were incurred or assumed.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Calhoun County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this act, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 564 ratified[edit]

Fire Protection and Special Fire Protection Property Tax in Covington County.

(a) The Legislature hereby declares that the fire departments and rescue squads that receive funds pursuant to this amendment are organizations which are public in nature, as they promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county.

(b) The County Commission of Covington County shall levy and collect a special property tax, in addition to all other taxes now or hereafter provided by law, of three mills on each one dollar's worth of taxable property as assessed for the state ad valorem taxation during the preceding year. The proceeds of the additional taxes levied by this amendment shall be used exclusively for fire, emergency medical, and rescue services.

(c) The Revenue Commissioner of Covington County shall assess the tax herein provided for, and shall collect the fire tax in the same manner and method that other ad valorem taxes are collected. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid into a special county fund. Within thirty days of payment into the special fund, the county commission shall allocate the funds among the eligible fire departments and rescue squads. The funds shall be divided equally among the eligible fire departments and rescue squads.

(d) An eligible fire department, for purposes of this amendment, means a fire department in Covington County that maintains an ISO-approved rating of at least Class 9, is certified under the Alabama Forestry Commission guidelines, and is a member in good standing of the Covington County Firefighters Association. An eligible rescue squad, for purposes of this amendment, means a rescue squad that is certified by the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads or Emergency Medical Services.

(e) Funds paid to eligible fire departments and rescue squads shall only be expended for fire protection and emergency medical and rescue services including training, supplies, and equipment. The funds may also be expended to purchase liability insurance to insure coverage of acts or omissions which are directly related to the functions of a fire department or rescue squad which are committed by a fire department or rescue squad or the personnel of a fire department or rescue squad. The funds may not be expended for food, drink, social activities or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the fire departments and rescue squads shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15 of each year, the fire departments and rescue squads shall file a financial statement with the Covington County Commission detailing the expenditure of all funds received from this amendment during the previous twelve months. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. The Covington County Firefighters Association shall supply the accounting forms to each eligible fire department and rescue squad. No new fire departments shall be funded within Covington County without prior approval of the Covington County Firefighters Association and the Covington County Commission and without first being certified according to Alabama Forestry Commission guidelines. New departments shall attain an ISO Class 9 rating within two years of receiving fire tax funds to remain eligible. No new rescue squads shall be funded within Covington County without prior approval of the Covington County Commission.

(f) Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible fire department or rescue squad, any remaining funds derived from this amendment or any assets purchased with funds derived from this amendment shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the county commission. The funds and assets shall be reallocated by the county commission equally to the other fire departments and rescue squads. In the event there are no fire departments or rescue squads, the funds or assets shall be placed in the county general fund.

(g) The personnel of fire departments and rescue squads provided for in this amendment shall not be considered employees, servants or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of fire departments or rescue squads.

(h) Act No. 93-317, H. 825, 1993 Regular Session, is repealed.

(i) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Covington County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 565 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Covington County.

(a) The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations and certain private clubs for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in Covington County, subject to any resolution or ordinance by the county commission as provided by law regulating the operation of bingo. The county commission may promulgate rules and regulations for issuing permits or licenses and for operating bingo games within the county. The county commission shall insure compliance pursuant to any ordinance and the following:

(1) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo.

(2) Except for special permit holders, no bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless the organization has been in existence for at least five years and has owned real property in the county for five years immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license.

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization or club operating the bingo game. If the premises are leased, the rate of rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from operating the bingo games.

(4) No nonprofit organization or club shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have the individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization. A nonprofit organization may not pay consulting fees or any compensation or salary to any individual or entity for any services performed relating to operating or conducting any bingo game.

(5) A nonprofit organization may not lend its name or allow any other person or entity to use its identity in operating or advertising a bingo game in which the nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating the bingo game or concessions.

(6) One hundred percent of the net revenues derived from operating bingo games shall be designated and expended for charitable or educational purposes.

(7) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition, shall take any expenses for operating a bingo game except as permitted by law.

(b) The Legislature may, by local legislation, provide for the implementation of this amendment, including, but not limited to, the imposition of criminal penalties for violations of this amendment or the local legislation.

Amendment 566 ratified[edit]

Election of Members of Cullman City Board of Education.

(a) The Legislature may by local act provide for the election of the members of the Cullman City Board of Education.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Cullman County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 4 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

(c) Act No. 93-536 which provides for an elected Board of Education in the City of Cullman is hereby ratified.

Amendment 567 ratified[edit]

Collection and Levying of Fees for Fire Protection Services and Emergency Medical Care in Elmore County.

(a) The Legislature may from time to time by local law authorize the county governing body of Elmore County to levy and collect fees, annually not to exceed $25.00 on each residence and $50.00 on each business located within the county, for fire protection services and emergency medical care, such local law may provide for the distribution of the fees to volunteer fire departments and to emergency medical technicians who are members of volunteer fire departments, or provide for the distribution of the fees to an association of volunteer fire departments to be distributed by the association for the same purposes.

(b) Act No. 92-660, H. 63, 1992 Second Special Session, a proposed, but not ratified local constitutional amendment, relating to the same subject matter, is repealed.

(c) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Elmore County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 568 ratified[edit]

Incorporation of Regional Airport Authority by City of Red Bay and Franklin County with Political Subdivisions in Mississippi.

(a) The City of Red Bay and Franklin County may join with political subdivisions of the State of Mississippi to organize a regional airport authority to be located in the State of Alabama or in the State of Mississippi.

The regional airport authority shall be incorporated according to the laws of the State of Alabama relative to the incorporation of airport authorities and shall have the same powers and authority of airport authorities organized under the general laws of the State of Alabama. The incorporation procedure shall be commenced by at least three natural persons, two of whom shall be residents of the City of Red Bay, and the other or others may be residents of the political subdivisions of the State of Mississippi. The incorporators shall be qualified electors of the political subdivision which they represent.

The regional airport authority shall be governed by a board of directors as provided in the certificate of incorporation or the bylaws. The governing body of each participating political subdivision shall appoint one member to the board of directors.

The regional airport authority may issue and sell its interest-bearing revenue bonds for its corporate purposes. The principal of and the interest on all bonds shall be payable solely from, and may be secured by a pledge of the revenues derived by the regional authority from the operation of any or all of its airports, facilities, and other property. The bonds issued or contracts entered into by the authority shall not constitute or create an obligation or debt of this state or of any county, city, or town within this state, or a charge against the credit or taxing powers of this state or of any county, city, or town within this state.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Franklin County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 569 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Houston County.

(a) The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by certain nonprofit organizations and certain private clubs for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in Houston County, subject to any resolution or ordinance by the county commission as provided by law regulating the operation of bingo. The county commission may promulgate rules and regulations for issuing permits or licenses and for operating bingo games within the county jurisdiction. The county commission shall insure compliance pursuant to any ordinance and the following:

(1) No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. No person under the age of 19 shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo.

(2) Except for special permit holders, no bingo permit or license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization or qualified private club, unless the organization or club shall have been in existence for at least five years and owned real property in the county for five years immediately prior to issuing the permit or license, except the following:

a. A fraternal, or benevolent, or charitable organization which qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

b. A private club with annual membership dues of three hundred dollars ($300) or more.

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization or club operating the bingo game. If the premises are leased, the rate or rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from operating the bingo games.

(4) No nonprofit organization or club shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have the individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization of club. No nonprofit organization or club may pay consulting fees, any compensation or salary to any individual or entity for any services performed relating to operating or conducting any bingo game.

(5) A nonprofit organization or club shall not lend its name or allow any other person or entity to use its identity in operating or advertising a bingo game in which the nonprofit organization or club is not directly and solely operating the bingo game or concessions.

(6) Prizes given by any qualified nonprofit organization or qualified private club for playing bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value, set by the Legislature, during any bingo session. The Legislature shall set a maximum amount for any calendar week.

(7) One hundred percent of the net revenues derived from operating bingo games shall be designated and expended for charitable or educational purposes.

(8) No person, or organization, or club, by whatever name or composition, shall take any expenses for operating a bingo game except as permitted by law.

(b) The Legislature may, by local legislation, provide for the implementation of this amendment, including, but not limited to, the imposition of criminal penalties for violations of this amendment or the local legislation.

(c) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Houston County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

(d) Act No. 93-333, H. 717 of the 1993 Regular Session is repealed.

Amendment 570 ratified[edit]

Police Jurisdiction and Planning and Zoning Authority of Municipalities in Lee County.

(a) In Lee County, the police jurisdiction and planning and zoning authority of any municipality located partially within Lee County with the exception of the municipality of Notasulga shall not extend beyond the corporate limits of the municipality. This amendment shall affect the authority of a municipality located partially within Lee County only in Lee County.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Lee County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

(c) The provisions of this amendment restricting the planning and zoning authority of any municipality affected by the amendment shall expire on June 30, 1997.

Amendment 571 ratified[edit]

Validation of Laws Regulating Court Costs in Sumter County.

(a) All general laws, local laws, and population based laws previously enacted by the Legislature and which are in effect on January 1, 1994, pertaining to or applicable to Sumter County which in whole or in part regulate costs and charges of courts are hereby ratified, approved, validated, and confirmed as of the date of their enactment. Any actions taken or payments made in accordance with those laws are hereby ratified, approved, validated, and confirmed. This amendment shall not be construed as prohibiting the Legislature from properly enacting a law to amend or repeal those laws.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Sumter County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 572 ratified[edit]

Establishment of Fire Districts and Levy of Charges for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services in Tallapoosa County.

(a) Upon approval of the E911 Board of Commissioners of Tallapoosa County, districts may be established for fire protection and emergency medical services within the geographical boundaries of Tallapoosa County. Each district for fire fighting and emergency medical services of Tallapoosa County is authorized, in its discretion, to levy a service charge for fire protection and emergency medical services in an amount it deems reasonable on each dwelling and commercial building in Tallapoosa County. A service charge if approved by the majority of the voters residing in the proposed fire district shall be collected by the board of directors of the proposed district that has response coverage for the district unless otherwise provided by law. The proceeds from the service charge less any costs of collection shall be used by the district for fire protection and emergency medical service.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Tallapoosa County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 573 ratified[edit]

Ad Valorem Tax in Morgan County.

(a) In lieu of the ad valorem taxes otherwise authorized by Section 269 and Amendment 3 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, and enabling statutory provisions thereto, the Morgan County Commission may levy annually, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located in Morgan County, Alabama at a rate of 5.8 mill per dollar assessed value of the property, the proceeds of which shall be distributed to the Board of Education of Morgan County in proportions as the proceeds would be distributable if the taxes were levied under the authority of Section 269 and Amendment 3 and enabling statutory provisions relating thereto.

(b) The authority conferred by this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing in the event this amendment is duly adopted and ratified at the election required by the act which this amendment is proposed.

Amendment 574 ratified[edit]

Ad Valorem Tax in City of Hartselle.

(a) In lieu of the special district school tax of forty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed value which the Morgan County Commission is authorized to levy for the benefit of the public schools in the City of Hartselle, Alabama, the Morgan County Commission shall be authorized to levy on an annual basis, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located within the City of Hartselle, at a rate of four mills per dollar of assessed value of the taxable property, the proceeds of which shall be distributed to the Hartselle City Board of Education.

(b) The authority conferred by this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing in the event this amendment is duly adopted and ratified at the election required by the act by which this amendment is proposed.

Amendment 575 ratified[edit]

Additional Ad Valorem Tax within Portion of City of Decatur in Morgan County.

(a) In addition to all other ad valorem taxes which the Morgan County Commission is authorized by law to levy for the benefit of the public schools in the City of Decatur, Alabama, the Morgan County Commission shall be authorized to levy on an annual basis, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located within that portion of the City of Decatur which lies in Morgan County at a rate of 3.6 mills per dollar of assessed value of the taxable property, the proceeds of which shall be distributed to the Decatur City Board of Education.

(b) The authority conferred by this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing in the event this amendment is duly adopted and ratified at the election required by the act by which this amendment is proposed.

Amendment 576 ratified[edit]

Additional Ad Valorem Tax on Property in Morgan County Outside Cities of Decatur and Hartselle.

(a) In addition to all other ad valorem taxes which the Morgan County Commission is authorized by law to levy for the benefit of the public schools within the jurisdiction of the Morgan County Board of Education, the Morgan County Commission may levy on an annual basis, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property in Morgan County located outside the corporate limits of the City of Decatur and the City of Hartselle, as those corporate limits exist on the first day of each ad valorem tax year, at a rate of four mills per dollar of assessed value of the taxable property, the proceeds of which shall be distributed to the Morgan County Board of Education.

(b) The authority conferred by this constitutional amendment shall be self-executing in the event this amendment is duly adopted and ratified at the election required by the act by which this amendment is proposed.

Amendment 577 ratified[edit]

Manner of Filling Vacancies on Morgan County Board of Education.

The Legislature may, by local act, provide for the manner of filling vacancies on the Morgan County Board of Education.

Amendment 578 ratified[edit]

Election of Franklin County Superintendent of Education by Qualified Electors.

(a) The Franklin County Superintendent of Education shall be elected by the qualified electors residing in the jurisdiction of the Franklin County School System. The initial county superintendent of education elected pursuant to this amendment shall be elected at the general election in 1996. The election shall be conducted in the same manner as the election of other county officers. The initial county superintendent of education elected pursuant to this amendment shall serve upon election until June 30, 2001. A successor shall be elected at the general election in 2000 and take office on July 1, 2001. Successors shall serve a term of four years from July 1 of the year following election and shall be elected at the general election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of the incumbent. The Franklin County Superintendent of Education shall be a resident of the area served by the Franklin County School System at the time of his or her election and shall possess all the qualifications of a county superintendent of education provided by general law. The Legislature may, from time to time, enact laws to implement and facilitate the purposes of this amendment.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved by a majority of the qualified electors residing in the jurisdiction of the Franklin County School System and a majority of the qualified electors of Franklin County.

Amendment 579 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Article VIII.

Article VIII of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 is hereby repealed and in lieu thereof the following article shall be adopted.

Article VIII

Suffrage and Elections

(a) Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years and has resided in this state and in a county thereof for the time provided by law, if registered as provided by law, shall have the right to vote in the county of his or her residence. The Legislature may prescribe reasonable and nondiscriminatory requirements as prerequisites to registration for voting. The Legislature shall, by statute, prescribe a procedure by which eligible citizens can register to vote.

(b) No person convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude, or who is mentally incompetent, shall be qualified to vote until restoration of civil and political rights or removal of disability.

(c) The Legislature shall by law provide for the registration of voters, absentee voting, secrecy in voting, the administration of elections, and the nomination of candidates.

Amendment 580 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Article VI.

Amendment of Article VI.

Section 6.18A.

Impeachment provisions in Article VII, Section 173 to apply to Supreme Court Justices and appellate judges.

In addition to the authority conferred on the Court of the Judiciary in Section 6.18, the provisions for impeachment in Article VII, Section 173, shall also apply to Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Courts of Appeals. No proceeding for impeachment under Article VII, Section 173, may proceed or be initiated against a judge while the same charge or subject matter is under consideration by the Judicial Inquiry Commission or the Court of the Judiciary. A finding of lack of probable cause or a termination of proceeding without a finding of wrongdoing by either the Judicial Inquiry Commission or the Court of the Judiciary shall constitute a complete defense to proceedings of impeachment under Article VII, Section 173, and shall bar all further proceedings of impeachment as to the same charge or subject matter. No justice or judge who has been tried before the Court of the Judiciary shall be subject to impeachment on the same charge or subject matter. No conduct that occurred prior to the effective date of this amendment may be the basis of a proceeding of impeachment under this section. No proceeding in impeachment under this section may be initiated without the verification, under oath, of at least 12 members of the House of Representatives as to the factual basis of the charge under which the article of impeachment is preferred. No article of impeachment shall be passed upon less than two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives and no conviction of impeachment shall be had upon less than two-thirds majority of the Senate under this section. Dissatisfaction with the ruling of a judge or justice shall not be a ground upon which impeachment under this section may proceed.

Amendment 581 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Article VI.

6.17. Judicial Inquiry Commission.

(a) A Judicial Inquiry Commission is created consisting of nine members. The Supreme Court shall appoint one appellate judge who shall not be a Justice on the Supreme Court; the Circuit Judges' Association shall appoint two judges of the circuit court; the Governor shall appoint three persons who are not lawyers, who shall be subject to Senate confirmation before serving; the Lieutenant Governor shall appoint one district judge who shall be subject to Senate confirmation; and the governing body of the Alabama State Bar shall appoint two members of the state bar to serve as members of the commission. Provided, however, that on January 1, 2005, the appointment authority granted to the Lieutenant Governor shall revert to the Governor and the Governor shall thereafter be entitled to appoint three persons who are not lawyers and one district judge, all subject to Senate confirmation. The commission shall select its own chair. The terms of the members of the commission shall be four years. A vacancy on the commission shall be filled for a full term in the manner the original appointment was made.

(b) The commission shall be convened permanently with authority to conduct investigations and receive or initiate complaints concerning any judge of a court of the judicial system of this state. The commission shall file a complaint with the Court of the Judiciary in the event that a majority of the members of the commission decide that a reasonable basis exists, (1) to charge a judge with violation of any Canon of Judicial Ethics, misconduct in office, failure to perform his or her duties, or (2) to charge that the judge is physically or mentally unable to perform his or her duties. All proceedings of the commission shall be confidential except the filing of a complaint with the Court of the Judiciary. The commission shall prosecute the complaints.

(c) The Supreme Court shall adopt rules governing the procedures of the commission.

(d) The commission shall have subpoena power and authority to appoint and direct its staff. Members of the commission who are not judges shall receive per diem compensation and necessary expenses; members who are judges shall receive necessary expenses only. The Legislature shall appropriate funds for the operation of the commission

Sec. 6.18. Court of the Judiciary.

(a) The Court of the Judiciary is created consisting of one judge of an appellate court, other than the Supreme Court, who shall be selected by the Supreme Court and shall serve as Chief Judge of the Court of the Judiciary; two judges of the circuit court, who shall be selected by the Circuit Judges' Association; and one district judge who shall be selected by the District Judges' Association. Other members of the Court of the Judiciary shall consist of two members of the state bar, who shall be selected by the governing body of the Alabama State Bar; two persons who are not lawyers who shall be appointed by the Governor; and one person appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Members appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be subject to Senate confirmation before serving. Provided, however, that on January 1, 2005, the appointment authority granted to the Lieutenant Governor shall revert to the Governor and the Governor shall thereafter be entitled to appoint three persons who are not lawyers, subject to Senate confirmation. The court shall be convened to hear complaints filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission. The court shall have authority, after notice and public hearing (1) to remove from office, suspend without pay, or censure a judge, or apply such other sanction as may prescribed by law, for violation of a Canon of Judicial Ethics, misconduct in office, failure to perform his or her duties, or (2) to suspend with or without pay, or to retire a judge who is physically or mentally unable to perform his or her duties.

(b) A judge aggrieved by a decision of the Court of the Judiciary may appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall review the record of the proceedings on the law and the facts.

(c) The Supreme Court shall adopt rules governing the procedures of the Court of the Judiciary.

(d) The Court of the Judiciary shall have power to issue subpoenas. The Legislature shall provide by law for the expenses of the court.

Amendment 582 ratified[edit]

Approval of Legislature for Court Orders Requiring Disbursement of State Funds.

No order of a state court, which requires disbursement of state funds, shall be binding on the state or any state official until the order has been approved by a simple majority of both houses of the Legislature. This amendment shall not apply to orders, judgments, or decrees requiring payment of compensation for the taking of property by eminent domain or arising out of challenges to taxation or to such other orders, judgments, or decrees as may be otherwise required by statute, or settled principles of Alabama common law as decided by the Alabama appellate courts, not inconsistent with other provisions of this Constitution. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude a court from making findings of fact or conclusions of law and orders relating thereto, that standards required by the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, laws of this state or of the United States, or rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, are not being met, and from ordering the responsible entity or entities to comply with such standards.

Amendment 583 ratified[edit]

Collection and Levying of Fees for Fire Protection Services in Calhoun County.

The Legislature declares that the fire departments which receive funds pursuant to this amendment are organizations which are public in nature as they promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county.

In addition to all other taxes now or hereafter provided by law, there shall be levied and collected in Calhoun County a special county-wide property tax of three mills on each one dollar's worth of taxable property as assessed for the state ad valorem taxation. The proceeds of the additional taxes levied by this amendment shall be used exclusively for fire protection services provided by volunteer and full-time fire departments.

The Tax Assessor of Calhoun County shall assess the tax herein provided for and the tax collector shall collect the tax in the same manner and method that other ad valorem taxes are collected. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid by the tax collector directly to the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association and to the cities. The proceeds shall be divided so that the proceeds of the tax collected within the corporate limits of any city within the county shall be allocated to the fire department of that city and the proceeds from collections in the unincorporated areas of the county shall be allocated among the volunteer fire departments which serve the unincorporated area of the county, based on the following formula:

(a) One-third of the proceeds shall be equally divided among the volunteer fire departments which are in good standing with the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association.

(b) One-third of the proceeds shall be divided to each volunteer fire department based upon the number of people who live within each respective fire district.

(c) One-third of the proceeds shall be divided to each volunteer fire department based upon the number of acres of land contained in each fire district.

From the proceeds collected in the police jurisdiction, but outside the corporate limits, of any city, one-third shall be allocated for the city serving the police jurisdiction and two-thirds shall be allocated to the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association to be divided as herein prescribed.

An eligible fire department, for purposes of this amendment, means a fire department in Calhoun County which is a member in good standing with the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association according to guidelines established by the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Association.

Funds paid to eligible fire departments shall be expended for fire protection and rescue services including training, supplies, equipment, and facilities. The funds may also be expended to purchase insurance to insure coverage of acts or omissions which are directly related to the functions of a fire department which are committed by the department or the personnel of a fire department and to insure assets of the fire department. The funds may not be expended for food, drink, social activities, salaries, or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the fire departments shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. The records shall reasonably be open to the public for inspection. By September 15 of each year, the association shall file a financial statement with the Calhoun County Commission detailing the expenditure of all funds received from this amendment during the previous 12 months. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. No new fire departments shall be funded within Calhoun County without prior approval of the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association.

Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible fire department, any remaining funds derived from this amendment or any assets purchased with funds derived from this amendment shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the Calhoun County Volunteer Firefighters' Association. The funds and assets shall be reallocated by the association to the other fire departments based upon the formula previously set out in this amendment. In the event the association is dissolved, the additional property tax levied under this amendment shall end and no longer be levied and collected.

The personnel of fire departments provided for in this amendment shall not be considered employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of fire departments.

This amendment shall apply to collections of ad valorem taxes for the 1996-97 tax year and thereafter. The initial provisions of this amendment may hereafter be amended by local legislation which may become effective without referendum approval.

Amendment 584 ratified[edit]

Commission Authorized to Levy Ad Valorem Tax for Fire Protection and Rescue Services in Cherokee County.

(a) In addition to all other ad valorem taxes levied, the Cherokee County Commission may levy on an annual basis, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located in Cherokee County at a rate of two mills per dollar of assessed value of the taxable property, the proceeds of which shall be paid into the county general fund and allocated therefrom for fire protection and rescue services.

(b) Within 30 days of payment into the county general fund of the proceeds from the additional tax levied pursuant to (a), the county commission shall pay the proceeds generated by one and one-half mills of the additional tax levied to the Cherokee County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments and the proceeds generated from one-half of one mill to the Cherokee County Rescue Service Inc. The association shall divide its funds equally among the member fire departments of the Cherokee County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments and allocate one share thereof to the association at the quarterly meetings of the association.

(c) Funds paid to eligible volunteer fire departments shall only be expended for fire protection services, including day to day operations, training, supplies, buildings, capital improvements, and equipment. An eligible volunteer fire department shall mean a volunteer fire department located in Cherokee County which is certified under the guidelines of the Alabama Forestry Commission and is a member in good standing of the Cherokee County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments. Any tax proceeds allocated for fire protection and rescue services under this amendment shall not be expended for salaries, food, drink, social activities, or fundraising activities. After receiving funds, the volunteer fire departments shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15th of each year, each fire department and the county association shall file a form with the county association detailing the expenditures of all funds during the previous 12 months and setting out a schedule of all proposed projects. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. The county association shall supply the accounting forms to each eligible volunteer fire department and the county association.

(d) Funds paid to the Cherokee County Rescue Service Inc. shall only be expended for rescue services, including day to day operations, training, supplies, buildings, capital improvements, and equipment. In order for the Cherokee County Rescue Service to maintain eligibility for tax proceeds it shall maintain current active membership in the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads. After receiving funds, the Cherokee County Rescue Service Inc. shall keep accurate records to verify that funds were properly expended.

(e) All funds collected and disbursed under this amendment shall be subject to audit by the State Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.

(f) Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible volunteer fire department, any remaining funds shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the county association.

(g) Upon dissolution or abandonment of the Cherokee County Rescue Service Inc. any remaining funds shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be held in the county general fund, until a decision can be reached by all applicable parties regarding the restoration of rescue service and the transfer of the funds for rescue services.

(h) The personnel of volunteer fire departments and the Cherokee County Rescue Service shall not be considered as employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of volunteer fire departments and the Cherokee County Rescue Service Inc.

Amendment 585 ratified[edit]

Collection and Levying of Fees for Fire Protection and Safety Services in Clay County

The Legislature declares that the fire departments and rescue squads which receive funds pursuant to this amendment are organizations which are public in nature as they promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county.

In addition to all other taxes now or hereafter provided by law, there shall be levied and collected in Clay County a special property tax of two mills on each one dollar's worth of taxable property as assessed for the state ad valorem taxation during the preceding year. The proceeds of the additional taxes levied by this amendment shall be used exclusively for fire protection and safety services.

The Revenue Commissioner of Clay County shall assess the tax herein provided for and shall collect the tax in the same manner and method that other ad valorem taxes are collected. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid by the commissioner directly to the Clay County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The proceeds shall be divided by the association among the eligible volunteer fire departments and rescue squads so that the proceeds of the tax collected within the corporate limits of the Cities of Ashland and Lineville shall be allocated proportionately to the volunteer fire departments of those cities and any rescue squads serving those cities, and the proceeds from collections in the unincorporated areas of the county shall be allocated equally among the volunteer fire departments and the rescue squads which serve the unincorporated areas of the county. The rescue squads shall also receive the same percentage of the proceeds distributed proportionately to Ashland and Lineville which the rescue squads receive from the county portion of the proceeds.

An eligible fire department, for purposes of this amendment, means a fire department in Clay County which is a member in good standing with the Clay County Volunteer Fire Department Association according to guidelines established by the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Association.

An eligible rescue squad for purposes of this amendment, means a rescue squad in Clay County which is in good standing according to guidelines established by the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads.

Funds paid to eligible fire departments and rescue squads shall only be expended for fire protection and safety services including training, supplies, and equipment. The funds may also be expended to purchase liability insurance to insure coverage of acts or omissions which are directly related to the functions of a fire department or rescue squad which are committed by the department or squad or the personnel of a fire department or rescue squad. The funds may not be expended for food, drink, social activities, salaries, or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the fire departments and rescue squads shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15 of each year, the association shall file a financial statement with the Clay County Commission detailing the expenditure of all funds received from this amendment during the previous 12 months. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. No new fire departments or rescue squads shall be funded within Clay County without prior approval of the Clay County Volunteer Fire Department Association.

Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible fire department or rescue squad, any remaining funds derived from this amendment or any assets purchased with funds derived from this amendment shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the Clay County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The funds and assets shall be reallocated by the association equally to the other fire departments and rescue squads. In the event the association is dissolved, the additional property tax levied under this amendment shall self-destruct and no longer be levied and collected.

The personnel of fire departments and rescue squads provided for in this amendment shall not be considered employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of fire departments or rescue squads.

This amendment shall apply to collections of ad valorem taxes for the 1995-96 tax year and thereafter. The initial provisions of this amendment may hereafter be amended by local legislation which may become effective without referendum approval.

Amendment 586 ratified[edit]

Collection and Levying of Fees for Fire Protection Services in Cleburne County.

The Legislature declares that the fire departments which receive funds pursuant to this amendment are organizations which are public in nature as they promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county.

In addition to all other taxes now or hereafter provided by law, there shall be levied and collected in Cleburne County a special property tax of two mills on each one dollar's worth of taxable property as assessed for the state ad valorem taxation during the preceding year. The proceeds of the additional taxes levied by this amendment shall be used exclusively for fire protection services.

The Revenue Commissioner of Cleburne County shall assess the tax herein provided for and shall collect the tax in the same manner and method that other ad valorem taxes are collected. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid by the commissioner directly to the Cleburne County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The proceeds shall be divided by the association among the eligible volunteer fire departments in the county.

An eligible fire department, for purposes of this amendment, means a fire department in Cleburne County which is a member in good standing with the Cleburne County Volunteer Fire Department Association according to guidelines established by the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Association.

Funds paid to eligible fire departments shall only be expended for fire protection services including training, supplies, and equipment. The funds may also be expended to purchase liability insurance to insure coverage of acts or omissions which are directly related to the functions of a fire department which are committed by the department or the personnel of a fire department. The funds may not be expended for food, drink, social activities, salaries, or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the fire departments shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15 of each year, the association shall file a financial statement with the Cleburne County Commission detailing the expenditure of all funds received from this amendment during the previous 12 months. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. No new fire departments shall be funded within Cleburne County without prior approval of the Cleburne County Volunteer Fire Department Association.

Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible fire department, any remaining funds derived from this amendment or any assets purchased with funds derived from this amendment shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the Cleburne County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The funds and assets shall be reallocated by the association equally to the other fire departments. In the event the association is dissolved, the additional property tax levied under this amendment shall self-destruct and no longer be levied and collected.

The personnel of fire departments provided for in this amendment shall not be considered employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of fire departments.

This amendment shall apply to collections of ad valorem taxes for the 1995-96 tax year and thereafter. The initial provisions of this amendment may hereafter be amended by local legislation which may become effective without referendum approval.

Amendment 587 ratified[edit]

Business License Taxes on Real Estate Operations and Transactions in Etowah County.

Act 95-316, which proposed this amendment, was incorrectly certified as passing. The Secretary of State has determined that Amendment No. 587 should be deleted and subsequent amendments should retain their prior numbering.

Amendment 588 ratified[edit]

Election of Franklin County Superintendent of Education by Qualified Electors.

(a) The Franklin County Superintendent of Education shall be elected by the qualified electors residing in the jurisdiction of the Franklin County School System. The initial county superintendent of education elected pursuant to this amendment shall be elected at the general election in 1996. The election shall be conducted in the same manner as the election of other county officers. The initial county superintendent of education elected pursuant to this amendment shall serve from the date elected and certified until June 30, 2001. A successor shall be elected at the general election in 2000 and take office on July 1, 2001. Successors shall serve a term of four years from July 1 of the year following election and shall be elected at the general election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of the incumbent. The Franklin County Superintendent of Education shall be a resident of the area served by the Franklin County School System at the time of his or her election and shall possess all the qualifications of a county superintendent of education provided by general law. The Legislature may, from time to time, enact laws to implement and facilitate the purposes of this amendment.

(b) Any contract of any appointed county superintendent of education shall terminate on the date the elected county superintendent of education takes office.

(c) Any actions taken pursuant to the constitutional amendment proposed by Act 95-224, H. 80, 1995 Regular Session are ratified, validated, and confirmed.

Amendment 589 ratified[edit]

Phase-out of Supernumerary Program for Certain Elected Public Officials in Houston County; Participation in Employees' Retirement System.

No person elected or appointed sheriff, or any elected or appointed Houston County official, may assume a supernumerary office after the effective date of this amendment. Any person who, on the effective date of this amendment, is entitled to participate in a supernumerary program may continue to participate in that supernumerary program, which shall include the assumption of a supernumerary office according to the terms and conditions of the law which established that supernumerary program. Every sheriff and elected or appointed Houston County official may participate in the Employees' Retirement System of Alabama upon the same terms and conditions as may be specified by law for any other employee in the same retirement system. Houston County officials holding office at the time of the ratification of this amendment shall be eligible to purchase service credit in the Employees' Retirement System for the time the official has served in the current office; provided, however, the official shall forego the assumption of a supernumerary office. For the purposes of this amendment, the words "elected or appointed county official" shall include any person appointed to serve the remaining term of an elected or appointed county official, but shall not include a judge, district attorney, legislator, constable, school board member, or any official elected from a judicial circuit.

Amendment 590 ratified[edit]

Regulation and Alteration of Costs and Charges of Courts in Lauderdale County.

The Legislature may, from time to time, by general or local law applicable to Lauderdale County, fix, regulate, and alter the costs and charges of court in the county. This amendment shall be construed together with Amendment 241.

Amendment 591 ratified[edit]

Election of Two Persons to Electrical Utility Owned by City of Tuskegee.

Two persons shall be elected to the electrical utility owned by the City of Tuskegee at the same time that the mayor and city council elections are held and the elected candidates for members of the electrical utility shall qualify for office in the same manner. The election shall be conducted in the same manner as that for the election for city council. In the interim of the time between the adoption of this amendment and the mayor-city council election, the State Senator and the Alabama House Representative representing the City of Tuskegee shall each appoint a member on the electrical utility board owned by the City of Tuskegee to serve, only during the interim period until the election. The members of the board of directors of the electrical utility who are not members of the city council shall each receive fifty dollars ($50) per meeting, not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per month.

Amendment 592 ratified[edit]

Phase-out of Supernumerary Program for Certain Elected Public Officials in Morgan County; Participation in Employees' Retirement System.

No elected or appointed Morgan County official may assume a supernumerary office after the effective date of this amendment. Any person who, on the effective date of this amendment, is entitled to participate in a supernumerary program may continue to participate in that supernumerary program, which shall include the assumption of a supernumerary office according to the terms and conditions of the law which established that supernumerary program. Every elected or appointed Morgan County official may participate in the Employees' Retirement System of Alabama upon the same terms and conditions as may be specified by law for any other employee in the same retirement system. Morgan County officials holding office at the time of the ratification of this amendment shall be eligible to purchase service credit in the Employees' Retirement System for the time the official has served in the current office; provided, however, the official shall forego the assumption of a supernumerary office. For the purposes of this amendment, the words "elected or appointed county official" shall include any person appointed to serve the remaining term of an elected or appointed county official, but shall not include a judge, district attorney, legislator, constable, school board member, or any official elected from a judicial circuit.

Amendment 593 ratified[edit]

Commission Authorized to Levy Ad Valorem Tax for Fire Protection in Perry County.

(a) In addition to all other ad valorem taxes levied, the Perry County Commission may levy on an annual basis, commencing with the tax year beginning October 1, 1995, an ad valorem tax on all taxable property located in Perry County at a rate of three mills per dollar of assessed value of the taxable property, the proceeds of which shall be paid into the county general fund and distributed for the benefit of fire protection.

(b) Within 30 days of payment into the county general fund, the county commission shall pay the funds to the Perry County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments. The county association shall divide the funds equally among all eligible volunteer fire departments and the Alabama Forestry Commission at the quarterly meetings of the county association. The county commission and the county association may jointly establish rules regarding the transfer, investing, accounting, and handling of the funds.

(c) Funds paid to eligible volunteer fire departments shall only be expended for fire protection services, including training, supplies, buildings, capital improvements, and equipment. An eligible volunteer fire department shall mean a volunteer fire department located in Perry County that is certified under the guidelines of the Alabama Forestry Commission and is a member in good standing of the Perry County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments. The funds may not be expended for salaries, food, drink, social activities, or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the volunteer fire departments shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15th of each year, each department and the Alabama Forestry Commission shall file a form with the county association detailing the expenditures of all funds during the previous 12 months and setting out a schedule of all proposed projects. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. The county association shall supply the accounting forms to each eligible volunteer fire department and the Alabama Forestry Commission.

(d) The Alabama Forestry Commission's share of these funds collected shall be used in Perry County only. The funds shall be used for buildings and purchase of equipment. The funds shall not be expended for salaries.

(e) Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible volunteer fire department, any remaining funds shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the county association.

(f) The personnel of volunteer fire departments and the Alabama Forestry Commission shall not be considered as employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of volunteer fire departments and the Alabama Forestry Commission.

Amendment 594 ratified[edit]

Collection and Levying of Fees for Fire Protection and Safety Services in Randolph County.

The Legislature declares that the fire departments and rescue squads which receive funds pursuant to this amendment are organizations which are public in nature as they promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county.

In addition to all other taxes now or hereafter provided by law, there shall be levied and collected in Randolph County a special property tax of two mills on each one dollar's worth of taxable property as assessed for the state ad valorem taxation during the preceding year. The proceeds of the additional taxes levied by this amendment shall be used exclusively for fire protection and safety services.

The Revenue Commissioner of Randolph County shall assess the tax herein provided for and shall collect the tax in the same manner and method that other ad valorem taxes are collected. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid by the commissioner directly to the Randolph County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The proceeds shall be divided by the association so that the proceeds of the tax collected within the corporate limits of the City of Roanoke shall be allocated to the volunteer fire department of the city and the proceeds from collections in the unincorporated areas of the county shall be allocated equally among the volunteer fire departments and the rescue squad which serve the unincorporated area of the county.

An eligible fire department, for purposes of this amendment, means a fire department in Randolph County which is a member in good standing with the Randolph County Volunteer Fire Department Association according to guidelines established by the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Association.

An eligible rescue squad for purposes of this amendment, means a rescue squad in Randolph County which is in good standing according to guidelines established by the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads.

Funds paid to eligible fire departments and rescue squads shall only be expended for fire protection and safety services including training, supplies, and equipment. The funds may also be expended to purchase liability insurance to insure coverage of acts or omissions which are directly related to the functions of a fire department or rescue squad which are committed by the department or squad or the personnel of a fire department or rescue squad. The funds may not be expended for food, drink, social activities, salaries, or fund-raising activities. After receiving funds, the fire departments and rescue squads shall keep accurate records to verify that the funds were properly expended. By September 15 of each year, the association shall file a financial statement with the Randolph County Commission detailing the expenditure of all funds received from this amendment during the previous 12 months. The filing shall also account for all unspent funds and whether the unspent funds have been obligated. No new fire departments or rescue squads shall be funded within Randolph County without prior approval of the Randolph County Volunteer Fire Department Association.

Upon dissolution or abandonment of any eligible fire department or rescue squad, any remaining funds derived from this amendment or any assets purchased with funds derived from this amendment shall, after all indebtedness has been satisfied, be transferred to the Randolph County Volunteer Fire Department Association. The funds and assets shall be reallocated by the association equally to the other fire departments and rescue squads. In the event the association is dissolved, the additional property tax levied under this amendment shall self-destruct and no longer be levied and collected.

The personnel of fire departments and rescue squads provided for in this amendment shall not be considered employees, servants, or agents of the county and the members of the county commission and the employees of the county shall not be liable in either their official capacity or in a private capacity for the actions of the personnel of fire departments or rescue squads.

This amendment shall apply to collections of ad valorem taxes for the 1995-96 tax year and thereafter. The initial provisions of this amendment may hereafter be amended by local legislation which may become effective without referendum approval.

Amendment 595 ratified[edit]

Business License Taxes on Real Estate Operations and Transactions in Shelby County.

(a) In order to allow for the orderly and efficient collection of municipal business license taxes in Shelby County with respect to corporations, firms, brokers, agents, and others in the business of buying, selling, leasing, or representing others in the purchase, sale, or lease of real property in Shelby County, the Legislature may, by local law, provide for the imposition and collection of taxes as follows:

1. Any city or municipality within Shelby County may fix and collect licenses pursuant to Sections 11-51-90 and 11-51-91, Code of Alabama 1975, for any business, trade, or profession relating to the buying, selling, or renting of real estate on commission in Shelby County if the licensee maintains its principal place of business in the corporate limits or police jurisdiction of that city or municipality.

2. Effective January 1, following the ratification of this amendment and each year thereafter, in addition to the taxes, if any, imposed under 1. above, every corporation, firm, broker, agent, or other person or entity engaged in the business of buying, selling, managing, leasing, or renting of real estate on commission in Shelby County shall pay an annual business license tax at a rate to be set by the Legislature for the privilege of engaging in that business in every other city or municipality in Shelby County. The tax shall be collected by the License Commissioner of Shelby County and shall be distributed by the License Commissioner of Shelby County to each city or municipality within Shelby County on a pro rata basis based on population. The License Commissioner of Shelby County shall be entitled to an administrative fee for administering this tax at a rate to be set by the Legislature. The fee shall to be added to the license tax.

3. Effective January 1, following the ratification of this amendment and each year thereafter, except for the licenses permitted or mandated under 1. and 2. above, no other privilege license tax or any other fee or tax shall be imposed under Sections 11-51-90 and 11-51-91, Code of Alabama 1975, or any other law by any city or municipality within Shelby County on corporations, firms, brokers, agents, or other persons or entities engaged in the business of buying, selling, managing, leasing, or renting of real estate on commission in Shelby County.

(b) This amendment shall not become effective unless approved at a referendum by a majority of the qualified electors of Shelby County voting on the proposition. The referendum shall be held at the same time as the election for the ratification of this amendment, as provided for in Section 2 of this act, and no further election shall be required.

Amendment 596 ratified[edit]

Promotion of Economic and Industrial Development in Walker County.

For the promotion of local economic and industrial development of Walker County, Walker County and each municipality the corporate limits of which are located wholly in the county shall, other provisions of law or this constitution notwithstanding, have, independently or in cooperation with one or more of such governmental entities, full and continuing power to do all of the following:

(1) To purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire land, or to utilize land heretofore purchased or otherwise acquired, and to improve and develop such land for use as industrial sites or industrial park projects, including, but not limited to, grading and the construction of roads, drainage, sewers, sewage and waste disposal systems, parking areas, and utilities to serve those sites or projects.

(2) To lease, sell, grant, exchange, or otherwise convey, on terms approved by the governing body of the county or any such municipality, as applicable, all or any part of any site or project to any person, firm, or corporation, public or private, including any industrial development board, other public corporation or authority heretofore or hereafter created by the county or any municipality therein, for the purpose of constructing or developing, by a purchaser or lessee, and equipping and operating, industrial, transportation, distribution, warehouse or research facilities, and offices and other facilities auxiliary to the foregoing.

(3) To grant public funds to the industrial development boards, public corporations, or authorities.

Any action referred to in subdivision (1), (2), and (3) which has been taken subsequent to January 1, 1996, is ratified, approved, and confirmed. Nothing herein shall authorize the county, or any municipality therein, to construct buildings for the purpose of lease or sale.

In carrying out the purposes of this amendment, neither Walker County nor any municipality located wholly within Walker County shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 93 or 94 of this constitution, as amended. The Legislature shall have the power, by special or local law, to create, or provide for the creation of, any public corporation, authority, board, agency, or other entity empowered or intended to assist or aid in any way the county or the municipality in carrying out the purposes of this amendment and the special or local law shall not be subject to the provisions of Sections 104 and 106 of this constitution, as amended. This amendment shall be self-executing and the powers granted hereby may be exercised as an alternative to, or cumulative with, and in no way restrictive of, powers otherwise granted by law to the county, or to any municipality, or to any agency, board, or authority created pursuant to the laws of this state and acting pursuant to this amendment.

No action may be taken under this amendment by the county or any of the municipalities until after the question of whether the county and the municipalities shall have the authority to take the action shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the county, at an election called for that purpose by the governing body of the county and a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election vote in favor of the county and the municipalities having the authority to take action.

Amendment 597 ratified[edit]

Sportsperson's Bill of Rights.

(a) All persons shall have the right to hunt and fish in this state in accordance with law and regulations.

(b) This amendment shall be known as the "Sportsperson's Bill of Rights."

Amendment 598 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Article XIV, Section 8.

Article XIV, Section 8, as amended by Amendment 37 of the Constitution of Alabama 1901, is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 8. No person shall for any indictable offense be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the militia and volunteer forces when in actual service, or when assembled under arms as a military organization, or, by leave of the court, for misfeasance, misdemeanor, extortion, and oppression in office, otherwise than is provided in the Constitution. In cases of misdemeanor, the Legislature may by law dispense with a grand jury and authorize prosecutions and proceedings before any inferior courts as may be by law established. In all felony cases, except those punishable by capital punishment, the Legislature may by law dispense with a grand jury and authorize prosecutions and proceedings in any manner as may be provided by law if the defendant, after having had the advice of counsel of his or her choice or in the event he or she is unable to employ counsel, the advice of counsel which shall be appointed by the court, makes known in open court to a judge of a court having jurisdiction of the offense that he or she desires to plead guilty."

Amendment 599 ratified[edit]

Bingo Games in Morgan County.

(a) The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal only within the boundaries of the Cities of Hartselle and Falkville and that area of the City of Decatur located within the boundaries of Morgan County, subject to any resolution or ordinance by the governing bodies of the respective cities and towns, within their respective jurisdictions. The governing bodies may promulgate rules and regulations for the licensing and operation of bingo games, within their respective jurisdictions. The governing bodies shall insure compliance pursuant to any ordinance and the following:

(1) No person under the age of 19 years shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, nor shall any person under the age of 19 years be permitted to conduct or assist in the operation of any game of bingo.

(2) No bingo license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless the organization shall have been in existence for at least three years in the county immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license.

(3) Bingo games shall be operated only on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game. If the premises are leased, the rate of rental shall not be based on a percentage of receipts or profits resulting from the operation of bingo games.

(4) No nonprofit organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have the individual or entity operate bingo games or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit organization. No nonprofit organization shall pay consulting fees to any individual or entity for any services performed in relation to the operation or conduct of a bingo game.

(5) A nonprofit organization shall not lend its name or allow its identity to be used by any other person or entity in the operating or advertising of a bingo game in which the nonprofit organization is not directly and solely operating the bingo game.

(6) Prizes given by any nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed the cash amount or gifts of equivalent value set by the Legislature during any bingo session during any calendar week.

(7) No person or organization, by whatever name or composition thereof, shall take any expense for the operation of a bingo game except as permitted by law.

(b) The Legislature may, by local legislation, provide for the implementation of this amendment, including, but not limited to, the imposition of criminal penalties for violations of this amendment or the local legislation.

(c) The Legislature, may by local law, provide for the operation of bingo games for prizes or money by nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes within any other city located within the boundaries of Morgan County pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 1 of this constitutional amendment.

Amendment 600 ratified[edit]

Amendment of Amendment No. 386.

Amendment To Subsection (f) of Amendment No. 386

"(f) Prizes given by any nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games in Jefferson County shall not exceed the amounts set by local law;"