The Constitutional Amendments In Plain English
Most of the people I have talked with concerning the proposed Constitutional Amendments are just as confused as I am.One of the more plainspoken political analyst I have ever met is Dr. John Sutherlin. Dr. John is with the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
I had a chance to visit with Dr. Sutherlin about a variety of issues the state is facing in the upcoming election. One of the most confusing aspects of any election is when there are amendments on the ballot. These are often written in precise legal verbiage so the common man has no idea what he is voting for or voting against.
In regards to the proposed amendments on the ballot November 8th, could you shed some light on those?
The amendments offers Louisiana voters another opportunity to remedy what those in the system feel should be fixed (regardless of the truth in that).
Could you be more specific and break down the basic legislation that each amendment represents for the people of Louisiana?
** #1 increases job requirements for registrar's and is probably way over due.
** #2 allows colleges and universities to set their own tuition instead of going to Baton Rouge almost every year. This one may represent the "be careful for what you wish for."
**#3 Corporations in Louisiana (not LLCs) will see an increase in taxes due to limiting federal tax deductions.
**#4 This may be the last hooray for soon to be Congressman Mike Johnson. His bill cum amendment will extend the benefits tax exemption for property to widows of police and firemen killed in the line of duty.
**#5 sponsored by Rep. Leger (New Orleans; like #3) and is an amendment for the future. This amendment is irrelevant unless things improve. But, it would set aside monies and most would say that is a good thing.
**#6 would offer greater freedom for the budget process where the Governor or the Legislature could tap funds that are harder to reach. This amendment and #5 seem at odds: more fiscally responsible or less?
I hope Dr. Sutherlin's plainspoken breakdown of each amendment allows you the chance to understand the questions that you are being asked to answer with your vote. If you have a question or take issue with Dr. John's assessment of these amendments he welcomes your call on his daily radio program.