Early voting for the Nov. 8 election gets underway Tuesday, Oct. 25 and will conclude Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Six proposed amendments to the state Constitution will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. As in years past, the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana produced a voter’s guide on the proposed amendments.

The following is a brief explanation about each proposed amendment, according to PAR, and our recommendation on each amendment.

Amendment No. 1: A vote FOR this amendment would require standards of professional and educational experience for local registrars of voters and more public disclosure in their hiring process. A vote AGAINST this amendment would leave the existing job requirements in place and allow local governing authorities greater discretion when filling registrar vacancies.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 1.

Amendment No. 2: A vote FOR this amendment would give higher education management boards the authority to set annual tuition rates and fee amounts for colleges and universities without legislative approval. A vote AGAINST this amendment would preserve the state Legislature’s authority over tuition and fee levels.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 2.

Amendment No. 3: A vote FOR this amendment would eliminate the deduction for federal income taxes paid by corporations when calculating state income taxes while triggering a flat corporate tax rate of 6.5 percent. A vote AGAINST this amendment would allow corporations to continue receiving a state income tax deduction for federal income taxes paid and allow the existing corporate tax rates and brackets to remain.

We recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment No. 3.

Amendment No. 4: A vote FOR this amendment would give surviving spouses of military, fire protection officers and law enforcement personnel who died while on duty a full property tax exemption on their home. A vote AGAINST this amendment would leave existing ad valorem property tax exemption levels and eligibility requirements in place.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 4.

Amendment No. 5: A vote FOR this amendment would create the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund to receive a portion of revenues from corporate and mineral taxes and to spend the money on infrastructure and pension liabilities. A vote AGAINST this amendment would allow corporate tax and mineral revenue above a certain threshold to continue flowing into the state general fund to be appropriated by the Legislature.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 5.

Amendment No. 6: A vote FOR this amendment would give legislators a new avenue to tap into constitutionally protected funds during revenue downturns and also would extend constitutional protection to five existing funds. A vote AGAINST this amendment would maintain the existing trigger which allows the Legislature to tap into otherwise protected funds.

We recommend a vote FOR Amendment No. 6.

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