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Amendments on the ballot for Gubernatorial Primary

by Amber McDown

Four proposed amendments will be on the ballot for the Gubernatorial Primary Elections, which will be held on October 14.

Amendment No. 1 (Act 200, 2023 HB 311), prohibits the use of funds, goods, or services from a foreign government or a nongovernmental source to conduct elections and election functions and duties unless the use is authorized by the secretary of state through policies established in accordance with law.

  • A vote of “yes” will mean that funds, goods, or services from a foreign government or nongovernmental sources would not be permitted to be used in elections unless they are authorized by the secretary of state in accordance with state law.
  • A vote of “no” will mean that funds, goods, or services from a foreign government or nongovernmental source would be permitted to be used in elections.

Amendment No. 2 (ACT 30, 2023 SB 63) provides that the freedom of worship in a church or other place of worship is a fundamental right that is worthy of the highest order of protection.

  • A vote of “yes” will mean that, in the event that state or local government action is alleged to have violated the freedom of worship, this right will receive the highest order of protection by courts.
  • A vote of “no” will mean that alleged violations of the freedom of worship could receive less strict scrutiny.

Amendment No. 3 (ACT 107, 2023 HB 47) requires that a minimum of 25% of any money designated as nonrecurring state revenue be applied toward the balance of the unfunded accrued liability of the state retirement systems.

  • A vote of “yes” will mean nonrecurring state revenue paid toward state public retirement systems will increase to a minimum of 25%. The amendment also prohibits any such payments from being used to fund cost-of-living increases.
  • A vote of “no” will mean nonrecurring state revenue paid toward state public retirement systems will remain at a minimum of 10%. 

Amendment No. 4 (act 48, 2023 HB 46) denies a property tax exemption to nonprofit corporations or associations that own residential property in such a state of disrepair that it endangers public health or safety.

  • A vote of “yes” will mean that nonprofit corporations or associations that operate for religious, dedicated places of burial, charitable, health and welfare, fraternal, or educational purposes could lose their ad valorem tax exemptions if 1) the property, leased as housing, is in a state of disrepair and is a danger to the health or safety of the public, or 2) the owner of the property has received at least three code-enforcement violations concerning health and safety in the previous 12-month period.
  • A vote of “no” will mean that these types of nonprofit corporations or associations will not lose their ad valorem tax exemptions on properties that are in disrepair or pose a danger to the health or safety of the public.

Beyond these four proposed amendments, the following elected positions are also on the ballot in Webster Parish: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, State Senator (district 36), BESE (district 4), Webster Parish Assessor, Webster Parish Police Jury (districts 3, 5, 8, and 10), and Alderman for Town of Cullen.

Early voting for the Gubernatorial Primary elections begins this Saturday, September 30 and runs through Saturday, October 7. Election day is Saturday, October 14, 2023.

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