Government

Voters Pass Constitutional Amendments

Among the items on an already crowded November ballot were six proposed constitutional amendments. Of the six, Louisiana voters approved a total of three.

Amendment One

“Do you support an amendment to provide that the manner of appointment for the registrar of voters in each parish is as provided by law and to require the qualifications of the registrar to be provided by law?”

According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), a non-partisan group, the new amendment, in conjunction with other newly passed laws, raises the bar on qualifications for the office, which will now include meeting at least one of these conditions: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least two years of fulltime, professional work experience; or, an associate degree from an accredited college or university and at least four years of fulltime, professional work experience; or, seven years of full-time, professional work experience; or, five years of full-time employment in a Louisiana registrar’s office.

Amendment Four

“Do you support an amendment to authorize an exemption from ad valorem property tax for the total assessed value of the homestead of an unmarried surviving spouse of a person who died while on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Louisiana National Guard, or while performing their duties as a state police, law enforcement, or fire protection officer?”

The tax benefits to the families of fallen first responders will go toward assisting them in the economic reality some may face in the wake of tragedy. Beginning in 2017, surviving spouses will now a 100% exemption on the full assessed value of their home.

Amendment Five

“Do you support an amendment to establish the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund for the deposit of recurring mineral and corporate tax revenues, to restrict the use of the fund to 10% of the balance when the balance reaches $5 billion, to restrict the use of the fund to construction projects and transportation infrastructure, and to allocate recurring mineral revenues to the payment of state employee retirement debt?”

The amendment will provide a new funding source for the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund, which will consist of money collected after corporate income and franchises taxes and designated mineral revenues have reached a certain amount. While the amendment only provides for spending on state retirement debts and infrastructure projects, the legislature has provided that this money could be tapped in the event of budget shortfalls if a two-thirds vote is reached.

About the author

The West Bank Beacon

The West Bank Beacon is a local monthly publication with a mailed circulation of over 15,000 and thousands more distributed at points from Gretna to Grand Isle, the Beacon tells the story of a thriving community. A “good news” newspaper, our mission is to make readers aware of how both individuals and groups are making a positive difference in the neighborhoods where they live. This includes a focus on civic and city initiatives, volunteer efforts, and charity fundraisers, to name just a few examples.

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