Amendment No. 1 – Provides relative to timing of gubernatorial action on a bill and related matters.
Do you support an amendment to clarify that the timing of gubernatorial action on a bill and his return of a vetoed bill to the legislature is based upon the legislative session in which the bill passed and to authorize the legislature, if it is in session, to reconsider vetoed bills without convening a separate veto session? (Effective January 8, 2024)(Amends Article III, Section 18)
AMENDMENT 1 (AGAINST)
This November 18th proposed amendment is difficult to unpack. We used research provided by the Public Affairs Resource Council (PAR) report The issue at hand is how quickly veto sessions can be called by the legislature when a governor vetoes a bill. Current law requires the legislature to wait 40 days to schedule a veto session after a governor’s veto.
Prior to the second term of current Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards, the legislature canceled all the veto sessions scheduled since the 1974 constitution. That means, after further consideration of at least 40 days after a governor’s veto, legislators for whatever reason felt that the governor’s veto was in the best interest of the state. Now, all of a sudden, 3 veto sessions occurred since 2021 to reconsider 31 items vetoed in 2021, 8 items in 2022, and 28 in 2023.
Several of the vetoed bills are propositions that have been submitted during multiple sessions with tweaks. Follow the veto letter of HB 20 of the 2021 session. It deals with the appropriateness of local governments accepting donations from private organizations to defray the costs of conducting elections. Bel Edwards’ veto pointed out that such legislation prevents an organization from even providing donuts to election day workers. We can’t have that! Right?
AMENDMENTS 1 & 2: SIMPLIFIED
Ironically, those free donuts are in peril with the recent passage of an amendment on the October 14 ballot . Go figure. This illustrates that determined legislators eventually pass their bills.
A bunch of these vetoed bills are so-called pork barrel measures that would only benefit a small number of citizens or certain voting blocks. More bluntly, back door deals. There is no need to change the constitution to speed up the chances of overriding a governor’s veto. 40 days is reasonable. This is a Republican effort to enact laws that dilute the governor’s right and obligation to exercise checks and balances.
Amendment No. 2 – Repeals certain funds in the state treasury.
Do you support an amendment to remove provisions of the Constitution of Louisiana which created the following inactive special funds within the state treasury: Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund, Higher Education Louisiana Partnership Fund, Millennium Leverage Fund, Agricultural and Seafood Products Support Fund, First Use Tax Trust Fund, Louisiana Investment Fund for Enhancement and to provide for the transfer of any remaining monies in such funds to the state general fund? (Repeals Article VII, Sections 4(D)(4)(b), 10.4, 10.10, and 10.12(B) and (C) and Article IX, Sections 9 and 10)
AMENDMENT 2 (FOR)
Now, this is a no brainer. It’s the only common sense amendment that I can recall in all of my adult voting life.
Five of the twenty something special funds created since the 1974 state constitution have a zero balance. And nothing has been deposited into them for decades. In some cases, the fund was never used. Ever! A sixth fund has a balance of $ 604, with no deposits or withdrawals made into or from it since 2004.
Amendment 2 would eliminate these special funds from the state constitution, and transfer that whopping $ 604 total balance into the state general fund. The alternative is to let them remain, with the miraculous hope that the economic purposes and situations for which they were originally intended suddenly materialize in the next several decades.
AMENDMENTS 1 & 2: SIMPLIFIED
What were you doing in 1974? I was an 8th grade grammar school student with no worries in the world. I had no real plans other than rushing to the park to play basketball, or scurrying home after school to watch Fat Albert or the Flintstones. Almost 50 years later, I’m not rushing anywhere, except to the bathroom occasionally. But I care deeply about health, family, finances and whole bunch of other grown people issues.
Back to Amendment 2. It should pass with more than 90% of the vote. There’s absolutely no sense in keeping these ill-advised funds in our constitution. If you are curious to know what they are, click here.
Related: We also examine amendments 3 & 4
Remember the Oldsmobile and Pontiac divisions of General Motors (GM)? Well, many of you may not. Both once were mighty auto lines that garnered significant market share for GM. There certainly were whole sets of complex accounting journals and ledgers necessary to track the huge unit volumes and sales revenues for these once popular brands. GM shut down the Oldsmobile line in 2004 and the Pontiac line in 2010. They don’t make those cars anymore, so do you think GM still keeps a set of books open for them 13-20 years later?
Folks who would vote against this measure are probably hoarders. There comes a time to clean house, and that time is now for these “not so special” funds. Cast your ballot on or before November 18!