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Vote This Tuesday! Amendment Summaries Here

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By Beth Fussell; Amendment details from the LA Secretary of State website.

    This Tuesday, November 2nd, all Central residents are asked to go to the polls.  There are three government offices on the ballot, ten LA Constitutional Amendments, and two major renewals for the Central Fire Protection District.  Central Community School System Schools will not be in regular session Tuesday, as several of our schools are used as voting locations.  Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. so that everyone can vote either before or after work or school.

    The ten amendments on the ballot are largely very detail-oriented and complicated, so you would gain a much better understanding of each item by reading the full amendments and their explanations at www.sos.louisiana.gov.  However, we have summarized each amendment below so that you can get a quick overview of each issue.

    Lieutenant Governor, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator are the positions up for grabs on this ballot, so it is important that everyone go vote!  See below for a list of candidates, amendments, and tax/fee renewals.

 

Lt. Governor

Jay Dardenne (R)

Caroline Fayard (D)

U.S. Senator

Michael Karlton Brown (NON)

R.A. “Skip” Galan (NON)

Milton Gordon (NON)

Randall Todd Hayes (LBT)

Thomas G. LaFargue (OTH)

William Robert Lang, Jr. (OTH)

William R. McShan (RFM)

Charlie Melancon (D)

Sam Houston Melton, Jr. (NON)

Michael Lane Spears (OTH)

David Vitter (R)

Ernest D. Wooton (OTH)

U.S. Representative

William Cassidy (R)

Merritt E. McDonald, Sr. (D)

 

Central FPD No. 4 Prop. #1 & #2

This is a millage (Prop. #1) and service fee (Prop. #2) renewal.  These are not new taxes or fees.  This money currently funds about 35% of the Central Fire District’s operating budget.   This is a 5 mil property tax plus a $32 service fee.  You will vote either for or against each of these two items separately.

 

CA No. 1

Any salary increase for a statewide elected official will not go into effect until the beginning of the term following the adoption or enactment of the increase.

 

CA No. 2

This amendment pertains to how excess severence taxes on natural resources (not including timber, sulphur, or lignite) will be divided locally.  The proposed recipients for this excess include the parish and the Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund.

 

CA No. 3

This amendment allows for the extension of the homestead exemption (protecting someone’s property up to a certain amount from taxes, etc. in certain circumstances) for veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 100%.  This amendment will also apply to the veteran’s spouse in the case of the veteran’s death.  Certain conditions must be met for this amendment to apply.

 

CA No. 4

This amendment states that a millage tax can be increased by no more than 2.5% of the previous year’s total tax  by a two-thirds vote of a non-elected taxing body without voter approval of the increase.  It also states that it does not apply to fire protection districts or ports, port harbor, or terminal districts.

 

CA No. 5

This amendment provides for extensions for people who are unable to reoccupy their homes within five years of a disaster.  It allows for a two-year grace period, followed by up to 3 one-year periods if deemed necessary.  This is designed for people in situations like the Hurricane Katrina victims, etc.

 

CA No. 6

Instead of a simple majority vote in the Legislature, a 2/3 majority vote would be required to affect public employee retirement benefits in such a way that it would become more expensive for these employees to retire.

 

CA No. 7

This amendment addresses the powers of a tax collector when selling items belonging to a debtor.  It authorizes the collector to sieze and sell movable property equal to the amount owed by a debtor, whether or not the items siezed are the items which were assessed.  It authorizes the collector, should the debtor fail to point out items to be sold to pay a debt, to sell whatever property any bidder will buy at a price that will cover the debtor’s taxes, interests, penalties, and costs.

 

CA No. 8

When property is expropriated due to public health or safety problems, the government would no longer be required to offer the property at a fair market price back to its original owner before selling, leasing, etc. the property to someone else.

 

CA No. 9

This amendment would make it so that the same rules would now apply to workers’ compensation cases that previously applied only to civil matters when it comes to handling a modified or reversed judgment.

 

CA No. 10

The LA Constitution already states that a defendant may knowingly and intelligently waive his right to a trial by jury, except in capital cases.  The amendment would make the defendant waive this right no later than 45 days before the trial date.  It also states that the waiver will be irrevocable once it is submitted.

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