BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — When Louisiana voters head to the polls they’ll see a list of seven amendments and one proposition on the ballot. And like many amendments, if you’re not familiar with them, they can be difficult to fully understand.
But the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council, or PAR, has published a guide to help you get a firm and unfiltered grasp of the amendments, which deal with abortion, taxes, and state spending before you walk into the voting booth.
“We provide you with the background information, the arguments for and against in every one of these amendments. We don’t tell you how to vote, no matter how stupid the amendment might be, we don’t tell you how to vote,” Robert Travis Scott, President of PAR said with a chuckle.
For instance, Amendment 3 tackles the state’s Rainy Day Fund, typically consisting of hundreds of millions of dollars to be used only in certain situations.
It reads “Do you support an amendment to allow for the use of the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day fund, for state costs associated with a disaster declared by the federal government?”
Scott explains, “What this amendment would do is under a federal disaster that gives you another reason to go in and tap it”.
Another amendment addresses the controversial issue of abortion in Louisiana.
Amendment 1 reads “Do you support an amendment declaring that to protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?”
You might consider it a pro-life-friendly amendment. If it passes that would mean nothing currently in the Louisiana Constitution, such as privacy laws, or due process laws could be used to secure or protect a right to abortion or require funding for abortion. PAR’s guide indicates proponents of the amendment want to keep the issue of abortion out of the courts, and in the hands of the voters.
“So if Roe V Wade were to be overturned Louisiana already has a law in place that would trigger in and make abortion illegal, but if someone wanted to appeal that through the courts and say our constitution’s privacy laws will allow this to happen, this amendment would prevent that,” said Scott.
The guide’s section that outlines the opposition to the amendment states if Roe V Wade is not overturned, this amendment at best would be pointless, at worst it could result in the courts allowing further restrictions on access and funding. Women who want an abortion would have to wait for courts to decide, which could take a very long time.
The guide also touches on a proposition that addresses a fairly long-standing argument in the state: Sports betting. The Proposition reads “Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of __.”
To check out all of the amendments for yourself, visit parlouisiana.org.