There will be two state-wide ballot measures on the November 3 ballot. At our next general business meeting, Thursday, September 3, DeKalb County Democratic Committee’s voting members will vote to endorse these ballot measures. The endorsement will signal to voters in DeKalb County on how to vote. Below is a summary of the ballot measures that will be voted on:
HR 164: Dedicating Tax and Fee Revenue Amendment
Through the years, the Georgia General Assembly has passed legislation requiring certain fees to go into specific trust funds. Examples include the Tire Disposal Fee which is designated to clean up landfills, and surcharges on traffic fines which are designated to be used for drivers’ education. However, these funds are often diverted into other causes that are considered more urgent. So, in essence, the legislature has not kept its word. HR 164 fixes this problem. It proposes a constitutional amendment that would allow legislators to dedicate fee revenue for specific purposes for up to 10 years, at which time it can be renewed. But if there is a financial crisis, the legislature could suspend the fee allocation so fees would go into the general fund.
HR 1023: The People Can Sue the Government Amendment
Government is generally protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which says a citizen cannot sue the government. HR 1023 allows Georgia residents to sue state and local governments to stop unconstitutional (US or Georgia) laws or laws that violate state law. This constitutional amendment, if passed, reverses a 2017 Supreme Court ruling that required Georgians to seek permission from the government to sue the government. The amendment’s waiving of sovereign immunity is limited to situations in which governments are not following the law or constitution. It does not allow awarding of damages.
These summaries were provided after consulting with a member of the DeKalb delegation. You can read up on these measures on Ballotpedia.com. You can register for a general business meeting here. And don’t forget to request your mail-in ballot here.