Voters decide on 4 constitutional amendments in Louisiana

Published: Oct. 24, 2015 at 10:46 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 22, 2015 at 3:25 AM CST
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LOUISIANA (KSLA) - We know now the results of four constitutional amendments that were on the ballot in Louisiana.

Voters did not go for amendment 1, which would create a new transportation projects fund and restructures the rainy day fund. $950 million of mineral revenue goes to the State General Fund; excess (up to $800 million) then goes to the Budget Stabilization Fund.

Amendment 1 would allow only $500 million of excess to go to Budget Stabilization, and send the rest to a new transportation fund for road and infrastructure projects. The amendment was voted down with 52 percent no and only 48 percent yes.

As far as amendment 2, the answer is yes. The amendment allows the state treasure the option of investing in the state infrastructure bank.

Voters saw a similar proposal on last year's ballot, but voted against it. In the 2015 session, the legislature created a Louisiana State Transportation Infrastructure Bank without knowing where money would be coming from. The bank will provide a revolving loan program to local governments, giving the treasurer the option to invest state funds in the new bank.

The amendment won over voters by a slim margin with 51 percent yes to 49 percent no.

On amendment 3, which would provide new guidelines for legislation in a fiscal session, voters said no.

In odd-numbered years, the legislature holds a fiscal session. Currently, there's a list of specific types of bills that can be considered. This amendment would allow lawmakers to introduce any bills with regard to revenue and taxes. This amendment would expand the limits of the fiscal session, but some say loosening the guidelines on types of bills, could cause the legislature to become less efficient.

In the end, 56 percent turned down the amendment while only 44 percent voted in favor of the change.

And on amendment 4, 53 percent of the voters said yes. Amendment 4 will allow local governments to collect property taxes within their jurisdictions that are owned by local or state governments outside of Louisiana.

Local governments assess and collect property taxes, except on properties of the state. But does this apply to other states? Amendment 4 will spell out that "land or property owned by another state" would be subject to property tax. A vote against, would have left it up to the courts, which recently ruled other states are exempt.

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