Louisiana taxpayers are currently on the hook for nearly $17 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities, that is billion with a “B.” We spend over a billion dollars every year just in interest on this debt. In fact, one dollar for every ten spent on K-12 education goes to pay for this debt. These are real dollars that cannot go to buy textbooks, build new schools, or pay our teachers. Constitutional Amendment 3, on the ballot this Saturday, will pay down this debt in times of surplus, freeing up more money in future years to address these and Louisiana’s many other challenges.
Amendment 3 protects retirees and improves the long-term financial stability of the state. It requires that 25% of future state surplus dollars go to pay down the state’s significant retirement debt and includes the State Police and School Employees retirement systems in those payments. The current constitution requires 10% of surplus funds go to retirement debt; however, this provision will expire in 2029 and does not include all statewide retirement systems. Increasing the payments on this debt will save taxpayers money on interest costs and help secure the benefits for retirees.
Politicians often struggle to keep their promises and usually prefer to kick the can down the road. That is why Amendment 3 is necessary. Please vote to protect our retirees and our children’s future by voting yes on Amendment 3.