10 proposed amendments on Saturday’s ballot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / October 20, 1999

BATON ROUGE – Saturday’s ballot, besides state and local races, includes 10 proposed Louisiana Constitution amendments.

Amendment One would affect a 1993 amendment which mandated fiscal- only legislative sessions in even-numbered years. A vote for theamendment would allow legislators to introduce up to five non-fiscal bills in a fiscal-only session and add 15 days to the mandated 30-day limit. A vote against would maintain the present setup. Amendment Two, if approved, would bank at least 75 percent of Louisiana’s tobacco settlement payments in a trust fund set aside solely for the TOPS program. The other 25 percent would likewise benefiteducation and health programs. A vote against would permit all thesettlement payments to be spent at the whim of state government.

Amendment Three would, if approved, give the state the option to adopt a two-year budgeting process in the future if so desired by the Legislature. A vote against would maintain the requirement that the statewrite its budget on a year-by-year basis.

Amendment Four permits state supplemental pay for state employees who patrol levees, bridges, waterways and riverfronts. A vote againstwould maintain the status quo.

Amendment Five would allow the donation by the state of moveable surplus property among local agencies with public safety functions. A voteagainst would continue the general prohibition against such donations.

Amendment Six, if approved, would allow the state highway department to donate asphalt removed from state highways to local agencies. A voteagainst would continue the same type prohibition as in Amendment Five.

Amendment Seven, if approved, would prohibit the reduction of state funding for a college or university when a community college in the same area begins classes. A vote against the amendment would protect thoseschools from budget cuts only through the 2001-2002 term.

Amendment Eight, if approved, would provide for pardons only for non- violent or less serious crimes committed by first offenders. A voteagainst would maintain the present practice of a pardon for first offense offenders.

Amendment Nine, if approved, would remove the constitutional authorization for a section of Rapides Parish to establish a separate school district. If voted down, the area can still establish the district. Amendment 10 would extend the property tax assessment freeze program to include blighted residential property at least 40 years old anywhere in Orleans Parish. A vote against would maintain the currentsituation, where the freeze applies only to rehabilitated property in a downtown, historic or economic development district.

Two additional amendments are on the Nov. 20 ballot.

Return To News Stories