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Story Archives: Recommendations on amendments
|Recommendations on amendments|
Ten proposed constitutional amendments to the state constitution will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Here are our recommendations on the proposed amendments:
A vote for Amendment 1 would require that a salary increase for statewide elected officials, public service commissioners or state legislators to take effect at the beginning of the term after the increase was approved by the Legislature. A vote against Amendment 1 would continue the practice of allowing an increase in salary for statewide elected officials, public service commissioners or state legislators to take effect at any time, including during the term of a legislator who voted for the salary increase.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 1.
A vote for Amendment 2 would dedicate additional state severance tax revenues for parishes in which severance taxes originate. Amendment 2 also would dedicate a portion of severance taxes collected on state lands to the Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund. A vote against Amendment 2 would maintain an $850,000 cap, adjusted annually for inflation, on severance taxes paid by the state to severance tax producing parishes.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 2.
A vote for Amendment 3 would give each parish governing authority the option to call an election on whether to double the homestead exemption available to veterans who have a service-related disability rating of 100 percent and for some surviving spouses. A vote against Amendment 3 would maintain the current homestead exemption for all homeowners and provide no additional exemption for veterans.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 3.
A vote for Amendment 4 would limit the property tax millage increase, or roll-up, that certain taxing bodies could levy following a mandatory millage decrease, or roll-back, in light of reassessment. The millage increase adjustment could not increase taxes more than 2.5 percent above the amount collected the previous year. A vote against Amendment 4 would allow all local taxing bodies to continue rolling up a millage to the maximum authorized rate in spite of a mandatory reassessment roll-back.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 4.
A vote for Amendment 5 would allow homeowners displaced by disaster to apply for a second five-year extension on their special assessment levels and homestead exemptions if they are unable to reoccupy their homes because of a pending appeal on damage claims. A vote against Amendment 5 would leave the existing statute in place, meaning a single five-year period is allowed before homeowners, who are displaced by disaster and cannot occupy their homes, lose their special assessment levels and homestead exemptions.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 5.
A vote for Amendment 6 would require simple majority approval by the Legislature for changes to benefit provisions of any public retirement system subject to legislative authority, and it would require two-thirds approval by the Legislature when the proposed change includes an actuarial cost. A vote against Amendment 6 would continue to allow certain retirement systems to change benefit provisions for their members without legislative approval. A vote against Amendment 5 also would continue to allow the Legislature to increase benefits for members of state and statewide public retirement systems with a simple majority vote.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 6.
A vote for Amendment 7 would alter the bidding rules for tax sale auctions and would allow tax collectors to charge additional penalties for nonpayment of property taxes. A vote against Amendment 7 would keep in place the existing bidding process and would continue to exclude certain charges from the list of delinquent amounts that can be recovered through a tax sale.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 7.
A vote for Amendment 8 would remove the requirement that public authorities first offer expropriated property to its prior owner in a resale before the property can be sold to a third party if the property was expropriated to remove a threat to public health or safety and was held for more than 30 years. A vote against Amendment 8 would leave in place a state statute which grants the right of first refusal to former owners of property that was expropriated -- and held for more than 30 years -- to remove a threat to public health or safety.
We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 8.
A vote for Amendment 9 would require that certain workers' compensation cases be reargued before a panel of five or more appellate judges before the reversal or modification of an administrative agency's decision. A vote against Amendment 9 would continue to allow administrative agency decisions in workers' compensation claims to be reversed or modified with only a majority vote of a panel of three appellate judges.
We recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment 9.
A vote for Amendment 10 would allow criminal defendants to waive their right to a jury trial in non-capital punishment cases only if the waiver was made at least 45 days before the beginning of trial and would provide that once the waiver was made, it could not be revoked. A vote against Amendment 10 would continue to allow criminal defendants to waive their right to a jury trial in non-capital punishment cases without any time restriction and would remain silent on whether the waiver could be revoked at a later date.
We recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment 10.
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