Information On Two Amendments Coming Up On Voting Ballot

we the peopleTennessee voters begin casting ballots Wednesday on whether to keep but modify the state’s current method of selecting appeals judges and Supreme Court justices.
Under the current system, the governor makes appointments to fill vacancies on the state’s top courts. Voters then decide whether to keep or replace them in uncontested retention elections. A proposed constitutional amendment would allow the Legislature to reject the governor’s nominees.
Opponents of the current system say the retention elections violate a provision in the Tennessee Constitution that says the judges “shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.”
Supporters like Republican Gov. Bill Haslam call the system a way to avoid overly political judicial elections.
Observers fear that failure of the amendment would plunge the state’s judicial system in to uncertainty.
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Tennesseans will soon vote on a constitutional amendment to bar lawmakers from ever imposing a state income tax.
But regardless of what voters decide on Nov. 4, it’s unlikely that Tennessee lawmakers would seriously consider an income tax because it’s become such a toxic political issue.
The last serious attempt to impose one failed in 2002 amid raucous Capitol protests that included a brick being thrown through the window of the governor’s office and demonstrators banging on the doors of the Senate chamber while lawmakers sought to conduct their business within.
The Legislature instead passed a 1 percentage point increase to the state’s sales tax rate to generate $933 million in new revenue, which was the last time the state passed a general tax increase.