21 constitutional changes among bills filed

April 24, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

Twenty-one proposed changes to the state Constitution have been filed for the Legislative session that begins Monday.

The proposed changes include efforts to expand the local property tax exemption, require the state Supreme Court to move from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, and authorize the Legislature to meet one week a month for 10 months instead of in two- and three-month blocks.

One-thousand-217 bills have been filed for the session: 322 in the Senate and 895 in the House.

The session is supposed to focus on taxes, tax credits and other fiscal matters, but lawmakers can file an unlimited number of local bills and five bills involving nonlocal and nonfiscal matters.

Barry Erwin, president of the independent watchdog group Council for a Better Louisiana, said many of the proposals are regular attempts to rework the property tax exemptions and take money out of the hands of local government.