Constitutional Reform Policy Choices 2012
Born of white supremacy and amended more than 800 times, Alabama's 1901 constitution continues to tie the hands of local governments and frustrate those who would reform it. Supporters of a new constitution favor two competing ways of achieving that goal: Rewrite the document either article by article through the legislative process or all at once in a constitutional convention. In either case, the revisions would require approval by statewide referendum.
Alabama Bound: Our Unjust 1901 Constitution
Advocates for a new Alabama constitution have been divided for decades over how best to achieve that goal. Some have wanted to hold a convention at which elected delegates would craft a new constitution all at once, subject to voter approval. Others have favored a gradual, article-by-article rewrite. A recent development may render the debate moot, at least temporarily. Earlier this year, the Legislature established the Constitutional Revision Commission to revise 11 of the constitution's 18 articles over four years.
This fact sheet examines the main issues at stake in constitutional reform, as well as some of the obstacles that continue to hinder reform efforts.
Rotten at the Core -- Alabama's 1901 Constitution
Polls consistently show that a growing majority of Alabamians favor rewriting the state's 1901 constitution. However, bills that would give voters the right to make such a choice have stalled in the Legislature. The current constitution limits our ability to have a fair, effective and efficient government in many ways.
This fact sheet outlines major flaws in the 1901 constitution and describes legislative proposals for addressing them.
Constitutional Reform Policy Choices 2009
The Legislature is considering two bills that would give voters the right to choose whether or not Alabama needs a new constitution.
These joint resolutions have 25 co-sponsors in the House and 14 in the Senate.