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Six Amendments are on the ballot

Posted at 6:12 PM, Oct 24, 2018

Six amendments to the Louisiana Constitution are on the statewide ballot.

Here’s a very brief run-down of the amendments:

Amendment One would prohibit convicted non-pardoned felons from seeking or holding public office until five years after completion of sentence. Currently, felons can serve as soon as they complete their sentence.

Amendment Two would require a unanimous verdict from juries in non-capital cases. To see our story about this amendment, click here. Currently, only 10 members of a 12-person jury must vote to convict, even if the sentence is life in prison.

Amendment Three would permit donations among political subdivisions. Currently, in order to help out another city or town with people or equipment, the sending city must get paid the value of the loan or donation. This amendment would allow individual governments to help each other out with donations of equipment or personnel.

Amendment Four would halt the use of money dedicated to road and bridge projects for State Police traffic control. Currently, money can be used from the Transportation Trust Fund by State Police to pay for traffic control, like speeding tickets and accident investigations. This amendment would stop this practice.

Amendment Five would allow special property tax exemptions to remain with property that is placed in trust. Currently, those exemptions – like those for disabled veterans, survivors of those killed in action, older people – remain with the person and not the property if it is placed in trust. This amendment would allow the trust to have the tax exemption, too.

Amendment Six would create a four-year phase-in of any large increases of assessments. If the reappraisal of a home resulted in an increase of more than 50 percent in the home’s assessment for taxes, that increase would have to be split up over the next four years, if this amendment passes.

A “fantasy sports” issue will also be on every ballot statewide. A vote for it would permit online fantasy sports betting contests in the voter’s parish; a vote against it would not allow online fantasy sports betting contests in the voter’s parish. PAR has a detailed analysis of this issue, as well. You can read it here.