NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) –– Early voting has begun, and while you make your choices for Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State, you will also have to vote on a few constitutional amendments.
“Do you support an amendment to clarify that the timing of gubernatorial action on a bill and his return of a vetoed bill to the legislature is based upon the legislative session in which the bill passed and to authorize the legislature, if it is in session, to reconsider vetoed bills without convening a separate veto session? (Effective Jan. 8, 2024) (Amends Article III, Section 18). Yes, or no?”
This amendment concerns when the governor can act on a bill and how the legislature deals with a vetoed bill. Currently, if the governor vetoes a bill, the legislature has to convene a separate session known as a “veto session” to reconsider the bill. This amendment proposes that if the legislature is already in session, it should be able to revisit vetoed bills without having to convene a separate veto session, which could streamline the process and save time.
“Do you support an amendment to remove provisions of the Constitution of Louisiana which created the following inactive special funds within the state treasury: Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund, Higher Education Louisiana Partnership Fund, Millennium Leverage Fund, Agricultural and Seafood Products Support Fund, First Use Tax Trust Fund, Louisiana Investment Fund for Enhancement and to provide for the transfer of any remaining monies in such funds to the state general fund? (Repeals Article VII, Sections 4(D)(4)(b), 10.4, 10.10, and 10.12(B) and (C) and Article IX, Sections 9 and 10). Yes or no?”
Louisiana has several special funds for specific purposes, like conservation or supporting certain sectors like agriculture and higher education. Over time, they have become inactive with zero or near-zero balances. This amendment proposes to remove certain inactive special funds from the state’s constitution and transfer any remaining money in these funds to the state general fund.
“Do you support an amendment to authorize the local governing authority of a parish to provide an ad valorem tax exemption for qualified first responders? (Adds Article VII, Section 21(O)). Yes or no?”
This amendment proposes authorizing local governments to provide a property tax exemption of up to $2,500 for qualified first responders. This would be in addition to the homestead property tax exemption that these individuals may already receive. First responders in this context include eligible firefighters, peace officers, emergency medical services personnel, and emergency services dispatchers.
“Do you support an amendment authorizing the legislature, after securing a two-thirds vote of each house, to use up to two hundred fifty million dollars from the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund to alleviate a budget deficit subject to conditions set forth by law and allowing the legislature to modify such conditions for accessing the monies in the fund, subject to two-thirds vote? (Amends Article VII, Section 10.15(E)(1) and (F); Adds Article VII, Section 10.15(G)). Yes or no?”
Amendment 4 proposes to modify the rules regarding the use of the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund (RSTF). Currently, the legislature can access funds from the RSTF during an emergency with no cap on withdrawals. The Fund was established in 2016 through voter approval and acts as a savings account for excess revenue from certain taxes. This amendment seeks to set a cap of $250 million that can be used from the fund to address a budget deficit, requiring a two-thirds vote from the state legislature for approval. The amendment also allows for modifications to the conditions for accessing the funds, also requiring a two-thirds vote.
Early voting for the November Primary Election runs from Nov. 3 to 11. Election day is Nov.18. You can find your polling location and fill out a sample ballot at GeauxVote.com.
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