Jim Zeigler says vote for Amendment 1, despite faults with ballot language

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Jim Zeigler

State Auditor Jim Zeigler came out with a statement in support of an upcoming ballot initiative known as Amendment 1, despite some misgivings about “misleading” language voters will encounter at the ballot box.

The state constitutional amendment says it authorizes the legislature to provide a retirement for new District Attorneys and Circuit Clerks.

Not exactly, said Zeigler in a release Monday.

Zeigler contends the amendment would “abolish a pension program the officials already have, to which they make no contributions from their pay,” replacing that so-called “supernumerary system” with a standard retirement like that offered to other state employees, which require contributions from their paychecks.

The state auditor said the amendment would save the state substantial sums – his figures show it would save taxpayers $291,000 a year starting immediately, growing to $8.4 million a year in 30 years – but worries “the inaccurate wording is likely to get Amendment One defeated when it would actually save millions for Alabama taxpayers.”

“Citizens are against giving a new pension or any other benefit to politicians at this time. Because the wording says that a retirement is ‘provided’ to these officials, it could draw a no vote,” continued Zeigler. “Whoever wrote this wording should be fired.  They did a horrible job.  This proposal reads like they took Common Core grammar.  The wording is almost opposite of what the amendment would actually do.”
“I am coming with legislation to turn the wording of ballot propositions over to the State Auditor —  an elected, constitutional, statewide official.  I can write the measure accurately in 30 minutes, costing taxpayers nothing.  I will do this for free,” Zeigler said.
“I will cast a ‘Yes’ vote on Amendment One, which is the conservative, waste-cutting thing to do,” concluded the self-styled Alabama “Waste Cutter.”

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