Election Coverage

Nov 4, 2012 6:50 PM by Erin Steuber

Proposed Amendments to the Louisiana Constitution, Vote Tuesday

Elections are right around the corner, and here in Louisiana voters will be asked to decide on nine proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution.

As required, each proposed change received at least a two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives and Senate. Now, Louisiana voters must do their part to approve or reject the amendments. So here are the first five amendments and what a yes,or no vote, would mean.

Amendment 1: Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly.
The Medicade Trust Fund was created as a permanent source of support for health care programs for Louisiana's poor and elderly.
A vote for Amendment 1 would prevent using any of the money to balance the state's budget.
A no vote would leave it open to removing funds.

Amendment 2 deals with gun rights.
A vote yes would change the wording of the state's constitution, removing the portion that allows lawmakers to restrict where you can carry a gun. This would make gun laws less restrictive in regards to where you can carry a concealed weapon.
Voting against the amendment would keep gun laws as is.
This amendment does not change concealed license laws.

Amendment 3: Earlier Notice of Public Retirement System Bills.
A "yes" vote would require bills affecting the state's public retirement system to be filed no later than 45 days before session.
A "no" vote would keep prefiling the same, which is 10 days before session.

Amendment 4: Property Tax Exemptions for Spouses of Certain Disabled Veterans.
Voting yes, would allow the spouse of a deceased veteran, who had 100% service-connected disability, to claim a higher homestead exemption, even if the exemption was not in effect when the veteran died.
Voting no, the spouse could not claim the higher exemption if the veteran died before it took effect.

Amendment 5: Forfeiture of Public Retirement Benefits for Convicted Public Servants.
Voting yes, would allow the courts to include forfeiting some, or all, of a public servants retirement benefits if convicted of a felony related to his, or her, office.
Voting no, would leave the current system in place meaning the retirement benefits would remain untouchable.

Amendment 6: Property Tax in New Iberia.
Voting yes, would allow the city to annex property from the parish, without charging owners a city property tax.
Voting no, means the city can not grant the exemptions.
If passed, this amendment could open up the door for other cities to offer similar tax exemptions.

Amendment 7: Membership of Certain State Boards and Commissions.
After the 2010 census, Louisiana lost one of its congressional districts. Now the membership selections for these groups is no longer valid.
Voting for the amendment, would adjust the way members are selected, so the now 6 congressional districts are represented equally.
Voting against the amendment means the selection process would stay the same.

Amendment 8: Property Tax Exemption for Non-Manufacturing Businesses
Voting yes, would allow the state Board of Commerce and Industry to grant local property tax exemptions to a targeted group of non-manufacturing businesses in parishes that choose to participate in the program.
Voting no, means the businesses would continue to be ineligible for the exemptions.

And last but not least, Amendment 9: Crime Prevention and Security Districts.
A yes vote, would increase the number of times that bills to create these districts must be advertised.
A no vote, would keep the law the same, requiring the bills be advertised twice in the local paper at least 30 days prior to the start of session.

All amendments will be on the ballot on Tuesday. The changes will go into effect January 1st.

For more information on the proposed amendments click here, it will download a PDF explaining the amendments.



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