This year, besides voting for U.S. president, one U.S. senator, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, various judges and local officials, and the future of sports betting, voters will also have to decide the fate of seven constitutional amendments. While that is nowhere near the record, it is a significant number. Though the amendment language voters see on their ballots appears fairly simple, some of this year’s amendments are actually somewhat complicated and sometimes involve issues that most citizens have little experience with.
Six of the seven amendments seek to change the same article in the constitution, Article 7, which deals with taxation, dedications, and various other fiscal issues. Indeed, this article has been heavily amended over the years and stands as an example of why many believe Louisiana is in need of a new constitution.
To assist voters, CABL has over the years taken a position on many of the amendments. Typically, these are in areas where the organization has a history of interest or expertise such as issues surrounding state fiscal policies, tax structure, and education. In areas outside the scope of our mission, we tend to provide voters with an explanation of the amendment, but make no recommendation. In some other cases, we choose not to take a position because the impact is minimal or we do not have a strong viewpoint either way.
We do believe generally that our constitution should be a framework that lays out the principles by which the state is governed, rather than a document that has the details you would expect to see in statute. Unfortunately, much of our constitution is a combination of both. Because of that level of detail, we often need an amendment to fix problems or change policies because that’s the only way they can be addressed.
That is why CABL, through our RESET Louisiana collaboration with the Committee of 100 for Economic Development and the Public Affairs Research Council, continues to advocate for a simpler constitution that would increase fiscal flexibility, allow improvements to our tax and spending policies, and modernize the relationship between state and local government.
Click Below for the full document.
For additional information on the amendments, also see PAR’s Guide to the Constitutional Amendments.