VOTE 2014: Constitutional Amendments
BATON ROUGE - Voters in Louisiana had 14 constitutional amendments to wade through on the 2014 November ballot.
Several of the amendments were intended to protect more portions of the state budget. Critics said this would give fewer options for lawmakers trying to balance the budget with mid-year cuts, as they've had to do in recent years.
Below are the 14 amendments voters had to vote for or against. Results are expected to begin coming in after 9 p.m. Tuesday night. For more election results, click here.
1. Medical trust fund and healthcare provider base rate - Would give constitutional protection to provisions in the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund and set a baseline compensation rate for nursing homes and certain other healthcare providers that pay a provider fee.
2. Hospital assessment, trust fund and fee formula - Would allow an assessment on hospitals to draw down more federal Medicaid dollars for the institutions and create a Hospital Stabilization Fund.
3. Sales of property with delinquent taxes - Would allow local governments the option to use a private firm to assist in the collection of delinquent property taxes and the process of selling property whose owners are tax delinquent.
4. Fund transfers for an infrastructure bank - Would allow the State Treasurer to invest public funds into a Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Bank, in the event that such a bank is created.
5. Elimination of the mandatory retirement age of judges - Would eliminate the mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges.
6. Higher millage cap for police and fire protection in Orleans Parish - Would raise the Orleans Parish special millage caps for police and fire protection from five to 10 mills, giving the New Orleans City Council authority to levy additional mills with voter approval.
7. Property tax exemption for certain disabled veterans - Would give a bonus homestead exemption to veterans rated with 100% "unemployability" in parishes where a similar tax break has been approved by voters.
8. Artificial Reef Development Fund - Would establish the Artificial Reef Development Fund in the Constitution and prohibit using its money for purposes other than those described in the amendment.
9. Tax exemption reporting for permanently disabled residents - Would eliminate the requirement that homeowners under the age of 65 who are permanently disabled must certify every year that their income meets the threshold for an assessment freeze.
10. Tax sale of vacant, blighted or abandoned property - A vote FOR would require each parish to shorten the redemption period for vacant blighted or abandoned property sold at a tax sale to 18 months after the sale has been recorded.
11. Increases the number of state departments from 20 to 21 - Would increase the limit of allowed state government departments from 20 to 21, effectively creating a Department of Elderly Affairs.
12. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission membership - Would change the membership of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to require that two at-large members come from parishes north of a line created by Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline and Pointe Coupee.
13. Orleans Lower Ninth Ward vacant property - Would allow government-owned property in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans to be sold to specified classes of buyers at a nominal rate to be established by the Legislature.
14. Tax rebates, incentives and abatements - Would forbid the introduction of legislation related to tax rebates, tax incentives or tax abatements in even-numbered years when the Legislature holds a general session and specifically allow such legislation in odd-numbered years during fiscal sessions.