Article XIII, Louisiana Constitution
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There are two basic ways that the constitution can be altered.
If 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature vote in the affirmative, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment can be placed on a statewide ballot. If approved by a simple majority, it becomes part of the constitution in twenty days, unless the amendment itself has a different date that it will become effective.
- Amendments to the constitution can be proposed that directly affect voters in just part of the state. If an amendment affects five or fewer parishes it has to be approved by a majority statewide vote and a majority votes in the parishes it affects. The same thing is true for an amendment that affects five or fewer municipalities in the state.
- Resolutions of the state legislature authorizing a proposed amendment to be placed on the ballot for voter ratification must specify an election. The legislature can decree a special election for this purpose.
- Proposed amendments must cover just one subject with the exception that the legislature is allowed to put an amendment on the ballot that, if approved, would alter or revise one full article of the constitution. In the case of such an amendment, it can cover multiple subjects.
Two-thirds of the members of both houses can call for a constitutional convention. The results of such a convention have to go before the state's voters for ratification. Unlike most other states that allow for constitutional conventions, the Louisiana legislature can directly order up a convention without having to submit the question of whether or not to hold one to the state's voters.
| Text of Section 1:
Section 1.(A)(1) Procedure. An amendment to this constitution may be proposed by joint resolution at any regular session of the legislature, but the resolution shall be prefiled, at least ten days before the beginning of the session or as provided in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, in accordance with the rules of the house in which introduced. An amendment to this constitution may be proposed at any extraordinary session of the legislature if it is within the objects of the call of the session and is introduced in the first five calendar days thereof. If two-thirds of the elected members of each house concur in the resolution, pursuant to all of the procedures and formalities required for passage of a bill except submission to the governor, the secretary of state shall have the proposed amendment published once in the official journal of each parish within not less than thirty nor more than sixty days preceding the election at which the proposed amendment is to be submitted to the electors. Each joint resolution shall specify the statewide election at which the proposed amendment shall be submitted. Special elections for submitting proposed amendments may be authorized by law. (2) Any joint resolution proposed at a regular session of the legislature which effects any change in constitutional provisions relating to any retirement system for public employees shall be prefiled no later than five o'clock in the evening of the forty-fifth calendar day prior to the first day of session.
(B) Form of Proposal. A proposed amendment shall have a title containing a brief summary of the changes proposed; shall be confined to one object; and shall set forth the entire article, or the sections or other subdivisions thereof, as proposed to be revised or only the article, sections, or other subdivisions proposed to be added. However, the legislature may propose, as one amendment, a revision of an entire article of this constitution which may contain multiple objects or changes. A section or other subdivision may be repealed by reference. When more than one amendment is submitted at the same election, each shall be submitted so as to enable the electors to vote on them separately.
(C) Ratification. If a majority of the electors voting on the proposed amendment approve it, the governor shall proclaim its adoption, and it shall become part of this constitution, effective twenty days after the proclamation, unless the amendment provides otherwise. A proposed amendment directly affecting not more than five parishes or areas within not more than five parishes shall become part of this constitution only when approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the state and also a majority of the electors voting thereon in each affected parish. However, a proposed amendment directly affecting not more than five municipalities, and only such municipalities, shall become part of this constitution only when approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the state and also a majority of the electors voting thereon in each such municipality.
| Text of Section 2:
Section 2. Whenever the legislature considers it desirable to revise this constitution or propose a new constitution, it may provide for the calling of a constitutional convention by law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house. The revision or the proposed constitution and any alternative propositions agreed upon by the convention shall be submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection. If the proposal is approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the governor shall proclaim it to be the Constitution of Louisiana.
| Text of Section 3:
Laws Effectuating Amendments
Section 3. Whenever the legislature shall submit amendments to this constitution, it may at the same session enact laws to carry them into effect, to become operative when the proposed amendments have been ratified.