Six constitutional amendments: What you need to know before head - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Six constitutional amendments: What you need to know before heading to the polls

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -

Besides the choice for president, Louisiana voters will have to decide on other items that include changes to the state's constitution. 

There are six constitutional amendments up for vote this election. 

"Every year we have amendments that are brought to the citizens of our state," said Lake Charles District 35 Rep. Stephen Dwight.

The first would set new requirements for registrar of voters across the state such as a college degree. 

"With voter fraud and things like that, we need to make sure we have qualifications set up for registrars of voters," Dwight said. 

The second would allow college management boards to manage their tuition and fees. 

"Right now they have to come to the legislator and ask us to increase or decrease their tuition, and they have a lot more experience in that than we do," added Dwight.

The third amendment would eliminate the federal income tax deduction on state tax returns for corporations and set a flat rate of 6.5 percent.

"Some businesses will pay more under this amendment and some will pay less, but overall it's an attraction for people looking at Louisiana and when the think tanks rate our business climate and see that our corporate tax rate is low then it's attracting to business locating in Louisiana,"  said Rep. Mark Abraham, of Lake Charles.

Surviving spouses of military, fire protection officers and law enforcement personnel who died while on active duty will have their property tax exempted if amendment No. 4 passes. 

Amendment No. 5 would create a Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund.

"A lot of times when we get mineral revenue sometimes it might spike up, very high, the next year it might come down, but when it spikes up, we plan the budget on that spike and when the mineral revenue comes down then we have a budget deficit," Rep. Abraham said. "So what this is doing is trying to level out the amount of mineral revenues that we have $600M let's put that much in our budget towards mineral revenue if we collect more than that, it goes into this new fund which we can use to fund unfunded liability and other debt."

Other debt such as unfunded liability and state employee and teacher retirements.
 
And proposed amendment number six would adjust the threshold for tapping into protected funds from one to five percent --- cutting education and healthcare a break.

"Right now, when we have a deficit, we can only take out of education and healthcare," Rep. Abraham said. "A lot of funds are dedicated because lawmakers in the past felt that these funds were important that they didn't want anyone to touch these funds but when we have a deficit we want to be able to tap into some of those funds, not just education, not just healthcare."

Again, early voting will last until Nov. 1.

In Calcasieu Parish, there are three locations for early voting:

  • Lake Charles: Registrar of Voters office at the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse building, 1000 Ryan Street.
  • Sulphur: West Calcasieu Business Center, 500 North Huntington Street.
  • Moss Bluff: Moss Bluff branch library, 261 Parish Road.

All locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Oct. 25, except on Sundays.

Voters must have a valid form of identification before heading to the polls.

For more information on the constitutional amendments, click HERE or visit www.parlouisiana.org.  

To take a closer look at your sample ballot, click HERE or visit geauxvote.com

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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