Amendment 2: The Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund imposes a tax that will not be placed into the general fund.
AMENDMENT 2 BALLOT LANGUAGE:
Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional penalties for criminal cases in which a person is adjudged guilty of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, or sexual exploitation of children and to allow assessments on adult entertainment establishments to fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative and social services for individuals in this state who have been or may be sexually exploited.
- Imposes a new tax of 1% of gross revenue or $5,000 a year, whichever is greater, on the adult entertainment industry. All revenue is placed into a special fund and directly into the hands of a newly created, appointed commission with the purpose of helping victims of sexual exploitation.
- Redefines sex victims to include voluntary and forced sexual activity.
- Expands the welfare state and rewards young people for voluntary bad behavior with multiple unlimited benefits, including cash, housing, health care, education, counseling, and related services.
- Giving tax revenue directly to a fund overseen by an appointed commission alters our form of representative government. Currently the Georgia Constitution requires all fees, taxes, and assessments to be placed into the general fund for our elected representatives to determine the best use via the budget process.
- In addition to the stated purpose of providing assistance to “sexually exploited victims,” the commission will also have the ability to award funds to “a person, entity, or program devoted to awareness and prevention of becoming a sexually exploited child.” Enabling legislation does not define any percentages of income that must be used for victims. Citizens should be concerned that this creates an environment that makes the commission easy prey for corruption and cronyism.
- This extra tax does nothing to eliminate the problem of strip clubs but will virtually protect the problem by giving the state an incentive in its income being used for a new welfare program.
- This new fee will not “cripple” the bigger establishments. It will simply eliminate their smaller competitors, sending all the business their way. These establishments will thrive as a result. A 1-percent fee will be a small price to pay for a government-imposed quasi-monopoly. Think of it as a new public-private partnership.
- If this amendment is passed, our elected representatives will never have access to this tax revenue for other state purposes regardless of how large this revenue pot becomes.
- Organizations supporting passage of this amendment include 1) SafeHarborYes, 2) Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Atlanta, 3) The International Human Trafficking Institute, and 4) The Interfaith Children’s Movement whose members include faiths of atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, deism, Judaism, Islam, Christianty, neopaganism, Hinduism, Buddism, Daoism, and Humanism.
Amendment 2 Problem for Taxpayers
The Georgia Constitution states in Article VII, Section III, Paragraph II: All revenue collected from taxes, fees, and assessments for state purposes, as authorized by revenue measures enacted by the General Assembly, is to be paid into the general fund of the state treasury. This allows our elected members of the legislature to determine the best use of all our state’s revenue. This tax would NOT go into the general fund but would go directly to a non-elected council to determine distribution. Our elected representatives would never have access to these funds. It is not necessary to amend our constitution in order to establish a fund for this program. The General Assembly – our elected representatives – can decide to include this program in the annual budget.
Information from SUE ELLA DEADWILER – GEORGIA INSIGHT
S.R. 7, Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, introduced January 14, 2015 by Senator Renee Unterman (R), would add extra penalties ($2,500) for these offenses: keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, or sexual exploitation of children. The Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund would get the extra fines.
There’s a moral issue involved. This change deems participants under age 181 as “victims,” even if they are initiators of or voluntary participants in any sexual offense listed above. This is a major problem because law enforcement officers cannot hold juveniles in custody for any period of time if they are involved in a crime listed above. Therefore, officers have no time to determine who is a victim and who is a young volunteer plying the sex trade.
Since no provision is made to distinguish between voluntary sex offenders and forced sex offenders, all participants under age 18 are deemed to be victims, thereby eligible for financial benefits and multiple services. The currently-used, though misapplied, term for under-age sex is “servitude,” whether the act is sex-by-choice or sex-by-force.
S.B. 8, introduced January 14, 2015 by Senator Renee Unterman (R), is the regulatory bill to implement S.R. 7, if Question No. 2 is ratified. The eight-member Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Commission would have a Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to administer. Proposal expands state government and rewards illicit sex among minors. S.B. 8 would become null and void if Question No. 2 is rejected.
1 Current law: “Code Section 16-5-46. Sexual servitude means: (A) Any sexually explicit conduct or performance involving sexually explicit conduct for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to, or received by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under the age of 18 years.” [Under-age sex is called “servitude,” whether it’s sex-by-choice or sex-by-force.]
- SB8, the Safe Harbor Fund, can be reviewed at: http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SB/8
- Safe Harbor Act: Read here.
- S.B. 8, introduced January 14, 2015 by Senator Renee Unterman (R), is the regulatory bill to implement S.R. 7, if Question No. 2 is ratified. The eight-member Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Commission would have a Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to administer. Proposal expands state government and rewards illicit sex among minors. S.B. 8 would become null and void if Question No. 2 is rejected.
- ARTICLE: Sex Crime Question on the Ballot
Sue Ella Deadwyler, Georgia Insight, http://georgiainsight.org/2418#more-2418
- ARTICLE: The Georgia Republicans’ Welfare and Strip Club Establishment Act, http://americanvision.org/11676/georgia-republicans-welfare-strip-club-establishment-act-yes-bad/
Feb 12, 2015 by Dr. Joel McDurmon, AmericanVision.com