Alabama Franklin County Public Utilities Amendment, SB 467 (2014)

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Franklin County Public Utilities Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Alabama Constitution
Referred by:Alabama Legislature
Topic:Utilities on the ballot
Status:On the ballot

The Alabama Franklin County Public Utilities Amendment, SB 467 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Franklin County, Alabama as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would permit the Franklin County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority to provide sewer services and broadband internet services in the county.[1]

The proposed amendment was sponsored in the Alabama Legislature by Sen. Roger Bedford (D-6) as Senate Bill 467.

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The ballot language reads as:[1]

Relating to Franklin County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to allow the Franklin County Water Coordinating and Fire Prevention Authority to provide sewer services and broadband Internet services in the county.
Proposed by Act [No. 2014-283].
Yes ( ) No ( ) .[2]

Constitutional changes

If approved, SB 467 would amend Amendment 518 of the Alabama Constitution. The proposed amended language reads as follows with the underlined text being added and the struck text being removed:[1]

Amendment 518.

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, provide sewer services, and broadband Internet service 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 the public water authority; grant or vest the privilege of eminent domain to such the 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 the 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.[2]


2014 measures
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July 15
Amendment 1 Approveda
November 4
Amendment 1 Approveda
Amendment 2 Approveda
Amendment 3 Approveda
Amendment 4 Approveda
Amendment 5 Approveda
EndorsementsFull text



  • Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (D-18) said, "Affordable, high speed internet should be available to all Franklin County residents in order for our citizens to have access to outlets for securing jobs and for our students to be able to have the tools to excel in their studies."[3]


The use of statewide constitutional amendments on local issues is strange at first sight, but a rather common aspect of the Alabama Constitution. The current version of the state's constitution was established via constitutional convention in 1901. It is at least 40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution with over 800 amendments. The local issue amendments are due to the fact that the 1901 constitution removed home rule from local communities. In essence, this means cities, towns and counties do not govern themselves. This requires almost all local regulations to be done through state laws, including amending the state constitution for many subjects.[4][5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Alabama Constitution

According to Article 18 of the Alabama Constitution, the Alabama State Legislature was required to pass the bill by a three-fifths majority vote to place the amendment on the ballot. Senate Bill 467 was approved by the Alabama Senate on March 20, 2014. The bill was approved by the Alabama House of Representatives on April 2, 2014.[6]

Senate vote

March 20, 2014 Senate vote

Alabama SB 467 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 22 100.00%

House vote

April 2, 2014 House vote

Alabama SB 467 House Vote
Approveda Yes 66 100.00%

See also

Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading