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Thursday, November 27, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Editorial: Reviewing the nine Louisiana Constitutional Amendments (with local ballots)

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 2:52 AM

Odds are that voters in Calcasieu Parish have already determined who they will cast their ballot for today in the presidential and Third District Congressional races.

The nine Louisiana Constitutional Amendments may be a different matter.

Judging from the phone calls the paper has received seeking guidance on the amendments, the American Press has decided to review its recommendations on the amendments that will be on ballots statewide:

• No. 1 — Would constitutionally protect the Medicaid Trust Fund. We believe that there are already too many funds protected in the Constitution, which invariably lead to cuts to health care and higher education when the state faces budget crunches. Hence, we recommend a No vote.

• No. 2 — Would require that any laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms be subject to strict scrutiny, the highest level of judicial review. We believe that the state Constitution laws regarding Second Amendment rights are more than adequate. Hence, we recommend a No vote.

• No. 3 — Would require earlier notice on bills that are filed affecting the state’s public retirement system. We believe that, because of the importance of retirement bills for state public employees, setting earlier deadlines for those bills is a worthy endeavor. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

• No. 4 — Would allow a spouse of a deceased veteran who had a 100 percent service-related disability rating to claim a higher homestead exemption even if the exemption was not in effect when the veteran died. We believe this benefit should be extended to the widow of such qualifying disable veterans. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

• No. 5 — Would allow courts to include forfeiture of a portion of a public retirement benefit as part of a sentence for a public servant convicted of a felony related to his or her office. We believe this is a further deterrent for public servants to avoid corruption. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

• No. 6 — Would allow New Iberia to grant city property tax exemptions to any property owner annexed into the city after Jan. 1. 2013. We believe such a narrow proposal has no business in the state Constitution. Hence, we recommend a No vote.

• No. 7 — Would adjust the membership of certain boards and commissions to reflect the loss of one congressional district as a result of the 2010 census. We believe this housekeeping measure is necessary to align the representation with the new six districts. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

• No. 8 — Would allow parishes to permit a local 10-year property tax exemption for certain non-manufacturing businesses locating or expanding in the parish. We believe that this is another necessary tool to compete with other states in enticing businesses to locate in Louisiana. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

• No. 9 — Would require an increase in the number of times that bills to create crime prevention or security districts must be advertised and require the specifics of the bills to be listed the advertisement. We believe that additional public notice is good in practically every situation. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

Additionally, voters in each parish will also decide the fate of a proposal that would limit school board members to serving three four-year consecutive terms beginning after Jan. 1, 2014. We believe this proposal would result in more turnover on school boards and, as a result, more diversity of thought and fresh approaches. Hence, we recommend a Yes vote.

•••

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.



2012 Ballot

Posted By: CJTHIB1 On: 11/11/2012

Title:

american mess aint worth a nickel.

Posted By: Sam On: 11/7/2012

Title:

Thinking I might stop buying your paper since your anti-gun.

Posted By: Bill On: 11/6/2012

Title:

Didn't realize our own newspaper was anti gun

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