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Amendment recommendations

C.B. Forgotston -   Oct 20, 2011

Many of you have been emailing to ask how you should vote on the five proposed Constitutional Amendments on the Oct. 22 ballot.

It is easy to understand why some need assistance. The ballot language on each amendment is carefully crafted by the leges to obfuscate the real purpose of the amendments.

The language on the ballot is not a part of the amendment per se. It is merely how the leges decide to describe the proposed amendment.

However, it would be presumptuous for me to tell you have to vote.

Therefore, I turned the matter over to the non-biased, non-partisan, non-profit and tenured, Crack Mullet Research Team.

After researching the proposed amendments, the Team’s recommendations and why they made the recommendations are listed below.

I am merely the messenger so if you don’t agree with the Team’s recommendations, please don’t blame me.

Regardless of whether you agree with the Team’s suggestions, please go vote on Oct. 22.

No. 1: NO.
It’s not about TOPs; it is about giving more of our hard-earned tax dollars to the governor and the leges to waste. It’s really about a tax increase which cannot be lowered or repealed without another amendment to the constitution which we will have to depend on the leges to put on the ballot.
This is a very poor precedent to establish in a state that badly needs tax reform.

We shouldn’t be forced to address two separate issues in one amendment. Tell the leges to do it right and stop playing games with our constitution.

No. 2: YES.
This is a “baby-step” toward reducing the Unfunded Accrued Liability (”UAL”) in the state retirement system. The law already allows this as a use of the non-recurring money to pay the UAL, but the leges use the money for other things like funding NGOs.

This merely forces a small amount of the surplus revenues to go toward paying down the $18 billion deficit in the state retirement systems. It’s about reducing a huge financial burden that will fall on our children and grandchildren.
No. 3: YES, but it shouldn’t be necessary to spell out the obvious in the constitution.

This gives constitutional protection to the Patients’ Compensation Fund which is funded solely by premiums paid by healthcare providers.

This is a case of the leges telling us that they cannot be trusted not to dip into this privately-fund program. At least they are being honest for once.

No. 4: NO.
This deals with the Budget Stabilization Fund (erroneously referred to as the “Rainy Day Fund”). We, the voters, established this fund in 1990 and now the leges want to change the rules on when they have to pay back the money they take from the fund.

If the amendment passes, it makes it easier for the leges to waste our tax dollars because it will delay the repayment of money borrowed from the fund and defeat the original intent, which was to make the state less dependent on mineral taxes.
No. 5: YES because it merely changes the existing constitutional provision from “a parish of over 450,000” to “Orleans Parish” to conform to the latest census figures.

It deals with the sale of property to pay delinquent property taxes in Orleans Parish - ONLY.

It must pass both statewide and in Orleans Parish to become law.

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