Secretary of State Warner urges voters to review and consider each amendment; Proposed changes address impeachment, taxation, religion, education
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While West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, State Senate President Craig Blair and numerous organizations and political groups are getting all the attention by debating the value of Amendment 2, which would give the state legislature more control of taxing and exempting property from taxation in West Virginia, voters have four separate amendments to the state Constitution to consider when voting in the general election on Nov. 8.
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has addressed the amendments and has the four featured on the SOS.WV.Gov website.
Warner explained the amendment process, noting that to become part of the State Constitution an amendment must pass by a majority of voters who cast a vote on the question.
“Voters are being asked to consider four separate amendments to the state constitution,” said Secretary Warner. “Amendments to our constitution should be carefully reviewed and considered by every citizen.”
During the West Virginia Legislature’s regular session earlier this year, the legislature passed resolutions asking voters to consider each proposal. Warned said the legislature agreed to place the proposed amendments on the General Election ballot where voter participation is usually highest.
To assist voters, below are brief summaries and segments of the four amendments, followed by the entire text of all four amendments.
Summaries and segments of the proposed amendments to the WV Constitution to be on the November 8, 2022, General Election Ballot
Amendment No. 1: Clarification of the Judiciary’s Role in Impeachment Proceedings Amendment
Summary of Purpose: “Clarifying that courts have no authority or jurisdiction to intercede or intervene in or interfere with impeachment proceedings of the House of Delegates or the Senate; and specifying that a judgment rendered by the Senate following an impeachment trial is not reviewable by any court of this state. … Any officer of the state may be impeached for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, gross immorality, neglect of duty, or any high crime or misdemeanor. The House of Delegates has the sole power of impeachment. The Senate has the sole power to try impeachments and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members elected thereto. …”
Amendment No. 2: Property Tax Modernization Amendment
Summary of Purpose: “To amend the State Constitution by providing the Legislature with authority to exempt tangible machinery and equipment personal property directly used in business activity and tangible inventory personal property directly used in business activity and personal property tax on motor vehicles from ad valorem property taxation by general law. … The Legislature shall have authority to tax privileges, franchises, and incomes of persons and corporations and to classify and graduate the tax on all incomes according to the amount thereof and to exempt from taxation incomes below a minimum to be fixed from time to time, and such revenues as may be derived from such tax may be appropriated as the Legislature may provide.”
Amendment No. 3: Incorporation of Churches or Religious Denominations Amendment
Summary of Purpose: “To authorize the incorporation of churches or religious denominations. … Provisions may be made by general laws for securing the title to church property, and for the sale and transfer thereof, so that it shall be held, used, or transferred for the purposes of such church or religious denomination. …”
Amendment No. 4: Education Accountability Amendment
Summary of Purpose: “The purpose of this amendment is to clarify that the rules and policies promulgated by the State Board of Education, are subject to legislative review, approval, amendment, or rejection … the general supervision of the free schools of the State is vested in the West Virginia Board of Education which shall perform the duties prescribed by law. …”