Recommendations on Constitutional amendments

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Early voting for the Nov. 8 election kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 25 and conclude Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Six proposed amendments to the state Constitution will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana produced a voter’s guide on the proposed amendments.

The following is a brief explanation about each proposed amendment, according to PAR, and our recommendation on each amendment.

Amendment No. 1 — VOTE FOR: would require standards of professional and educational experience for local registrars of voters and more public disclosure in their hiring process. VOTE AGAINST: would leave the existing job requirements in place and allow local governing authorities greater discretion when filling registrar vacancies.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 1.

Amendment No. 2 — VOTE FOR: would let higher education management boards set annual tuition rates and fee amounts for colleges and universities without legislative approval. VOTE AGAINST: preserve the state legislature’s authority over tuition and fee levels.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 2.

Amendment No. 3 — VOTE FOR: would eliminate the deduction for federal income taxes paid by corporations when calculating state income taxes while triggering a flat corporate tax rate of 6.5 percent. VOTE AGAINST: would allow corporations to continue receiving a state income tax deduction for federal income taxes paid and allow the existing corporate tax rates and brackets to remain.

We recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment No. 3.

Amendment No. 4 — VOTE FOR: would give surviving spouses of military, fire protection officers and law enforcement personnel who died while on duty a full property tax exemption on their home. VOTE AGAINST: would leave existing ad valorem property tax exemptions levels and eligibility requirements in place.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 4.

Amendment No. 5 — VOTE FOR: would create the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund to receive a portion of revenues from corporate and mineral taxes and to spend the money on infrastructure and pension liabilities. VOTE AGAINST: would continue to allow corporate tax and mineral revenue above a certain threshold to flow into the state general fund for appropriation by the legislature.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 5.

Amendment No. 6 — VOTE FOR: would provide legislators a new way to tap into constitutionally protected funds during revenue downturns and also extends protection to five existing funds. VOTE AGAINST: would keep in place the existing trigger, which allows the legislature to tap into otherwise, protected funds.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 6.

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