Voters reject many amendments
BATON ROUGE- Voters overwhelmingly denied a series of constitutional amendments Tuesday night.
More than half of the proposals failed. Of fourteen on the ballot, only six passed. Eight were rejected.
-Amendment 1: Approved. Sets a minimum level for Medicaid patient reimbursements paid to nursing homes, pharmacies and institutions for the developmentally disabled. Cuts to payments face restrictions so they could be no worse than for other health care providers, and require the support of two-thirds of lawmakers.
-Amendment 2: Approved. Allows hospitals to pool their money and use those dollars to draw down new federal Medicaid money to compensate them for their care for the poor and uninsured. It involves a new fee assessed on the facilities, similar to what is paid by nursing homes. Lawmakers must approve the fee structure before it can begin. In exchange, cuts to hospital payments are limited and require a two-thirds vote of lawmakers.
-Amendment 3: Rejected. Would have let local government hire private contractors to help them collect delinquent property taxes and sell property whose owners haven't paid their property taxes.
-Amendment 4: Rejected. Would have allowed the state treasurer to invest public dollars into a Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Bank that hasn't yet been created by lawmakers but could have been used to finance road repairs and improvements.
-Amendment 5: Rejected. Removes a requirement that forces Louisiana's judges to retire after reaching age 70 and finishing their current terms.
-Amendment 6: Approved. Raises a cap on the millage New Orleans can charge on property values to generate tax revenue for fire and police protection. The City Council would be able to levy additional mills only with additional local voter approval.
-Amendment 7: Approved. Tweaks language allowing veterans with certain service-related disabilities to get a higher homestead exemption than other property owners, to make more disabled veterans eligible.
-Amendment 8: Approved. Would have spelled out in the constitution that millions of dollars in donations that oil companies make for artificial reefs, into the Artificial Reef Development Fund, can't be used for other purposes, like plugging budget holes.
-Amendment 9: Rejected. Excludes permanently disabled homeowners from a requirement to certify their income annually to keep a special property tax rate.
-Amendment 10: Approved. Would have shortened the redemption period for blighted or abandoned property sold at a tax sale to 18 months, instead of three years. That period is when the previous owners can pay to regain ownership of the property.
-Amendment 11: Rejected. Would have created the cabinet-level Department of Elderly Affairs, overseeing services for Louisiana's older residents.
-Amendment 12: Rejected. Would have required that two members of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be residents of parishes in north Louisiana.
-Amendment 13: Rejected. Would have allowed the government to sell storm-damaged property in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward for below-market rates.
-Amendment 14: Rejected. Would have limited when tax rebates can be considered by lawmakers to the same odd-numbered years as when tax exemptions, credits and other tax break programs can be debated.
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