The CABLWire for Thursday, October 16, 2014 to Wednesday, October 22, 2014


CABL Positions on Constitutional Amendments

This year there are 14 constitutional amendments on the November 4th ballot. While there are a couple of very substantive policy proposals among them, many of the rest are good examples of the problem we have with putting too much detail into our constitution.


In theory the constitution should be a framework for governance which the Legislature follows in enacting statutes. But over the years, our constitution has grown to include far too many provisions that restrict the Legislature from doing its job while the number of constitutional amendments presented to voters continues to proliferate.


Be that as it may, voters must still decide on them and the ballot language describing them is rarely very helpful. With that in mind, here are CABL’s positions on the amendments along with the wording you’ll see on the ballot. But you might also want to click here to see our brief explanations of the amendments and the rationale for our positions.

Proposed Amendment No. 1
Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to create the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund, for the payment of Medicaid reimbursement to the health care provider groups paying fees into the fund? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 2
Do you support an amendment to create the Hospital Stabilization Fund to stabilize and protect Medicaid reimbursements for health care services by depositing assessments paid by hospitals, as authorized by the legislature, into a fund to support Louisiana hospital reimbursement? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 3
Do you support an amendment allowing an authorized agent of a tax collector to assist in the tax sale process, including the sale of property for delinquent taxes and that the fee charged by the authorized agent be included within the costs that the collector can recover in the tax sale? SUPPORT

Proposed Amendment No. 4
Do you support an amendment to authorize the investment of public funds to capitalize a state infrastructure bank and the loan, pledge, guarantee, or donation of public funds by a state infrastructure bank for eligible transportation projects? SUPPORT

Proposed Amendment No. 5
Do you support an amendment to remove the constitutional requirement that a judge retire upon attaining the age of seventy or, if his seventieth birthday occurs during his term, that he retire upon completion of that term? SUPPORT

Proposed Amendment No. 6
Do you support an amendment to authorize the governing authority of Orleans Parish to increase the annual millage rate levied for fire and police protection, to require that the revenue from the fire and police millages be used for fire and police protection service enhancements, and to require that any increase be approved by the voters of Orleans Parish? SUPPORT

Proposed Amendment No. 7
Do you support an amendment to provide that the homesteads of veterans with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and their surviving spouses, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation for up to one hundred fifty thousand dollars, and that a parishwide vote shall not be required to implement this change in qualification for the exemption? NO POSITION

Proposed Amendment No. 8
Do you support an amendment to establish the Artificial Reef Development Fund in the state treasury by depositing in to the fund monies that have been received by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the form of grants, donations, or other assistance to provide funding for programs dedicated to managing an artificial reef system, the wild seafood certification program, and inshore fisheries habitat enhancement projects? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 9
Do you support an amendment to exclude owners who are permanently totally disabled from the requirement that they annually certify to the assessor the amount of their adjusted gross income in order to receive the Special Assessment Level on their residences for property tax purposes? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 10
Do you support an amendment providing for an eighteen-month redemption period in any parish other than Orleans, for vacant property sold at tax sale which is blighted or abandoned? SUPPORT

Proposed Amendment No. 11
Do you support an amendment to change the maximum number of departments in the executive branch of state government from twenty to twenty-one? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 12
Do you support an amendment to require that two members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be electors from parishes located north of the parishes of Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Avoyelles, and Pointe Coupee? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 13
Do you support an amendment to authorize the governing authority of the city of New Orleans to sell at a price fixed by the legislature property located in the Lower Ninth Ward of the city of New Orleans? OPPOSE

Proposed Amendment No. 14
Do you support an amendment to provide that legislation relative to tax rebates, tax incentives, and tax abatements may not be introduced or considered by the legislature in a regular session held in an even-numbered year? SUPPORT

We also recommend that voters who want to dig deeper into the amendments visit PAR’s website for their very useful amendment guide.

- Louisiana is forecast to gain 66,700 jobs by the end of 2016, according to the annual forecast released by economists Dr. Loren C. Scott and Dr. James A. Richardson. Get more on the forecast from a recent article.

- In 2013, 16.6% of people in Louisiana were reported asnot having health insurance coverage, which is the11th highest in the country.Get more from the U.S. Census Bureau.


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