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Louisiana residents endorse 6 new constitutional amendments

On Nov. 6, Louisiana voters had an opportunity to voice their opinion about whether they approved of six newly-proposed constitutional amendments. On Election Day, they decided to endorse them all.

Amendment No. 1 centered around how long felons should have to wait before being allowed to run for public office in Louisiana. During this election, voters decided that the 15-year wait period that voters endorsed in 1998 is too long. With the passing of the new amendment, felons will be eligible to run for public office five years after they've completed their sentence.

Louisianans also voted to endorse Amendment No. 2 on Tuesday. It called for requiring juries hearing felony cases to come to a unanimous agreement for a verdict to stand.

The state's residents also voiced their support for Amendment No. 3 this past Election Day. Before it was passed on Tuesday, any local government agency wishing to share staff or equipment was unable to do so unless they received something of equivalent value for doing so. With the newly endorsed amendment, agencies can donate their personnel or equipment to others for a specific, documented uses without providing compensation.

Voters also endorsed Amendment No. 4 on Tuesday. It called for eliminating the state police as a recipient agency under the Louisiana Transportation Trust Fund. The goal in doing this was to put an end to the allocation of funds on their projects so that it could be spent on backlogged road improvement projects instead.

Amendment No. 5, another piece of legislation that voters endorsed, aimed to expand how county officials assess homes. Now that it's passed, those homes placed in trusts will be assessed a special property tax rate similar to those that elderly, surviving spouses of deceased military or emergency personnel and veterans pay.

Finally, voters also endorsed Amendment No. 6. It requires county officials to give homeowners four years to adjust to higher property taxes when their home's assessed value increases by as much as 50 percent.

It's unclear if these amendments go into effect immediately or will be phased in at a later point in time. Once they do, it will be the responsibility of those enforcing the laws to uphold these amendments. If they fail to do so, then a Lafayette constitutional law attorney may suggest that you sue the party who denied your rights as afforded under Louisiana's constitution.

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