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Three of four state constitutional amendments pass

Nancy Bergeron
Saturday, November 18, 2023
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Lincoln Parish voters went along with their statewide colleagues in approving three of four proposed state constitutional amendments, but broke ranks on one proposal.

Parish voters slightly favored a plan to make it harder for the Legislature to rob Louisiana’s Revenue Stabilization Fund, but the proposal was defeated statewide.

Here’s a look at the complete but unofficial returns from Saturday’s general election. 

Amendment 1: Passed statewide with 61% of the vote. Lincoln Parish voters favored the proposal, 63% to 37%. The amendment allows the Legislature to override a gubernatorial veto without calling a separate veto session if lawmakers are already in a session; it also adds details to deadlines by which a governor can veto a bill.

Amendment 2: Passed statewide with 55% of the vote. Lincoln Parish voters favored the proposal 59% to 41%. 

The amendment removes from the constitution six defunct funds that no longer fulfill the purposes for which they were created: the Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund, Higher Education Louisiana Partnership Fund, Millennium Leverage Fund, Agricultural and Seafood Products Support Fund, First Use Tax Fund, and Louisiana Investment Fund for the Future.

Amendment 3: Passed statewide with 53% of the vote. Lincoln Parish voters gave it 54% approval. The amendment allows parish governing bodies, such as the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, to authorize a property tax exemption of up to $25,000 to qualified first responders who live in the parish.

Amendment 4: Failed statewide. The amendment garnered only 44% favorable vote. But in Lincoln Parish, voters liked the proposal by slim 51% vote.

The amendment would have made it harder for lawmakers to rob the state’s Revenue Stabilization Fund. 

Under existing rules - one’s voters evidently favor - once the fund reaches $5 billion, the Legislature can spend up to 10% of the money on projects in the state construction budget and on transportation infrastructure. 

The rules also allow the Legislature to change the minimum fund balance triggers and the percentage that can be spent. Lawmakers can also use any amount in the fund for undefined emergencies before the fund reaches the $5 billion mark. 

That means, technically, the Legislature can drain the fund.