Voters to decide 2 controversial amendments - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Voters to decide 2 controversial amendments


Several Alabama constitutional amendments are on the ballot in the next general election.

Among them is Amendment 1, also known as the Forever Wild amendment.

The Forever Wild program allows Alabama to spend up to $15 million a year on new land for public and recreational use.

Up to 227,000 acres of land have since been acquired by the state since 1992 when the program first passed.

If approved, the amendment will renew that funding for another 20 years.

Supporters say Forever Wild is needed to preserve natural land for public use in the future, but some opponents say now is not the time to spend hundreds of millions of state money to purchase more land.

Forever Wild is funded by interest from Alabama's oil and gas trust fund.

Another amendment wants to give Alabama voters a chance to opt out of the Affordable Care Act.

Lawmakers say Amendment 6 will prohibit any person from being compelled to participate in a health care system.

The proposal is already described by some lawmakers as a symbolic amendment that will not necessarily allow Alabama residents to opt out of the requirement.

Since the Affordable Care Act is a federal law, it would trump any state decision -- including Amendment 6, if it happens to pass.

If it does pass, lawmakers foresee a legal battle to enforce the health care law.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the mandatory health insurance requirement earlier this year.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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