La. voters to consider constitutional amendments

From the Daily Comet:

Voters statewide will consider five proposed constitutional amendments Oct. 22 and another Nov. 19.

The first set, on the Oct. 22 ballot, deal chiefly with the state budget.

Amendment 1 redirects tobacco- settlement proceeds to the state’s TOPS college-scholarship program. It also makes permanent 4 cents of the state’s 36-cent tax on cigarettes.

About one-third of the state’s full-time college students receive TOPS scholarships, according to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

The rising cost of tuition at Louisiana schools has increased the cost of TOPS, which will cost about $154 million this school year. TOPS now gets most of its money from state tax dollars in the general fund, and the state has been strapped financially for the past several years.

While some anti-tax interests may eventually take Amendment 1 to task, it already has a few high-profile boosters, including House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Algiers.

Tucker, who is running for secretary of state, said he plans on campaigning for the proposal because it offers a long-range plan and funding source for the popular scholarship program.

“It’s a win-win,” he said.

Visit DailyComet.com for explanations of the remaining amendments.

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‘Amendments, Sample Ballot; Voters to decide 10 constitutional issues’

The Advocate provides a rundown of the 10 state constitutional amendments that will confront Louisiana voters when they go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2.  Several of the amendments are tax-related.

The amendments range from giving parishes more mineral tax revenue to prohibiting legislators from ever again giving themselves an immediate pay raise.

The proposed changes involve the constitution that Louisiana adopted in 1974. Voters have approved 155 changes and rejected 68 proposed amendments to the latest version of the state constitution.

A majority of voters must agree to change the constitution in order for the amendments to pass.

Click here to read the list.

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