Voters make choice on school takeovers, child sex crimes

ATLANTA — Georgians voted on four state constitutional amendments Tuesday, deciding how the state should handle failing schools, child sex crimes, judicial investigations and taxes on fireworks.

Amendment 1

has drawn the most attention out of all four ballot issues. A vote for the amendment would allow the state to create an Opportunity School District that would govern elementary and secondary schools the state determines to be chronically failing. That measure failed Tuesday.

The second amendment would add fees to court cases involving a variety of sex crimes in order to raise money for a fund to help sexually exploited children.  Amendment 2 was passed by voters.

Designed to help underage victims of sex crimes and prostitution, it has come under fire because it allows state lawmakers to assess fees on adult businesses.

Amendment 3

would replace the Judicial Qualifications Commission with a new commission appointed by members of the General Assembly. Backers of this amendment have pushed repeatedly for an overhaul of the agency designed to investigate judges.  This measure was also passed.

Amendment 4

would allow the state to direct taxes collected on the sale of fireworks to trauma care, firefighter training and public safety. The measure was passed by 81 percent.