Before Voting, Understand Ballot Initiatives

Before Voting, Understand Ballot Initiatives

Who gets what job isn't the only issue to be decided during next month's general election. This year, there are three constitutional amendments and one local initiative that will also be affirmed or shut down by voters. Here's a breakdown of the initiatives:

Constitutional Amendment A attempts to establish state-level healthcare laws that would buffer the effects of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The amendment expressly prohibits requiring citizens to purchase individual health insurance. If passed, it's very likely this amendment will be challenged in court, as it is largely viewed as insubordinate to the recently-passed Affordable Care Act. Twenty states around the nation will be considering similar initiatives on election day as well.

Constitutional Amendment B, also known as the Hunting Rights Amendment, seeks to create wording in the state's constitution that emphasizes Wyoming's heritage of fishing, trapping and hunting wildlife, and establish these activities as rights of the citizens. This amendment was introduced to preempt attempts by animal rights groups to ban such activities. This initiative will be seen in several other states as well.

Constitutional Amendment C would expand authority of District Court Commissioners. The measure would allow them to act in place of district court judges who are in the county but otherwise engaged. This amendment attempts to expedite court actions, such as in the case of mental health or juvenile hearings, where time is of the essence.

Finally, a local initiative to continue a four percent sales tax is up for renewal. This tax applies to lodging services and the funds would be used to promote travel and tourism in the local area. Community leaders have formed a Political Action Committee to promote the renewal of this tax, saying the funds are greatly needed and Sheridanites do not pay this tax.

Here's the exact language of these amendments on the ballot:

Constitutional Amendment A: The adoption of this amendment will provide that the right to make health care decisions is reserved to the citizens of he state of Wyoming. It permits any person to pay and any health care provider to receive direct payment for services. The amendment permits the legislature to place reasonable and necessary restrictions on health care consistent with the purposes of the Wyoming Constitution and provides that this state shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement.

Constitutional Amendment B: The adoption of this amendment will recognize and preserve the heritage of Wyoming citizens' opportunity to fish, hunt and trap wildlife, subject to regulation as prescribed by law.

Constitutional Amendment C: The adoption of this amendment would expand the authority of District Court Commissioners. If the amendment is adopted, a District Court Commissioner could perform additional duties assigned by a District Court Judge, subject to any restrictions the legislature may impose by law.

Proposed Ballot Proposition No. 1--4% Lodging Tax City of Sheridan: Shall the City of Sheridan continue to impose a lodging tax of 4% upon the sales price paid for lodging services for the primary purpose of generating revenue for local travel and tourism promotion?

Carrol Realty
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