Louisiana Public Retirement System, Amendment 2 (October 2011)

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Amendment 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article VII, Section 10 (D)(2)(b)
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:State budgets
Status:Approved Approveda
The Louisiana Public Retirement System, Amendment 2 appeared on the October 22, 2011 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved Approveda.[1]

The proposed measure allowed for a minimum of 10% of nonrecurring revenue to be applied toward the state retirement systems.

Election results

Amendment 2 (October 2011)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 531551 58.70%
No37394541.30%

Source: Louisiana Secretary of State, official results 10/22/11

Text of measure

The ballot question read:[2]

To require in Fiscal Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 that five percent of money designated in the official forecast as nonrecurring be applied toward the balance of the unfunded accrued liability which existed as of June 30, 1988, for the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana. To further require that in Fiscal Year 2015-2016 and every fiscal year thereafter that ten percent of such nonrecurring revenue be applied to such purposes.

Constitutional changes

See also: Louisiana Public Retirement System, Amendment 2 (October 2011), constitutional text changes

Amendment 2 amended Article VII, Section 10(D)(2)(b).

Support

Supporters argued that using nonrecurring funds to reduce the systems' unfunded accrued liability would help lessen the long-term cost of keeping the system solvent.[3][4]

In a statement the Council for A Better Louisiana announced their support for the proposed amendment. "While CABL does not generally support the proliferation of amendments to the constitution, we recognize that some are needed to change policies that are already established in the constitution. We believe all of the changes proposed for the October ballot are reasonable and make sense from a policy perspective," said Barry Erwin, president of the council, in a statement.[5]

Louisiana State Retirement Systems Director Cindy Rougeou said, "Constitutional Amendment No. 2 is a reform that will make a difference. The largest portion of the state contribution for retirement is for debt, not for benefits. The problem is the debt, not the benefit being earned."[6]

Note: As of September 2011 there was no organized support or campaign effort.

Donors

According to the state campaign finance database, there were no registered committees (PACs).

(last updated December 2011)

Opposition

Opponents argued that the proposed constitutional amendment to require a certain amount to be applied to the state retirement systems would only tie the hands of legislators to redirecting the funds in the future. Additionally, they noted that the constitution already permitted the use of nonrecurring funds to be directed to the system and that there was no need to specify a certain amount.[3][4]

Note: As of September 2011 there was no organized opposition or campaign effort.

Donors

According to the state campaign finance database, there were no registered committees (PACs).

State budgets on the ballot in 2011
NevadaUtahColorado 2011 ballot measuresNew MexicoArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashington 2011 ballot measuresIdahoOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaIowaMissouriArkansas 2011 ballot measuresLouisiana 2011 ballot measuresAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhio 2011 ballot measuresMaine 2011 ballot measuresVirginiaNew Jersey 2011 ballot measuresVermontVermontMarylandRhode IslandRhode IslandMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMichiganAlaskaHawaiiWyomingTexas 2011 ballot measuresMississippi 2011 ballot measuresMinnesotaWisconsinKentuckyWest VirginiaPennsylvaniaDelawareDelawareConnecticutConnecticutNew YorkNew HampshireNew HampshireCertified, state budgets, 2011 Map.png

(last updated December 2011)

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Louisiana ballot measures, 2011

Support

  • The Daily Iberian said, "We already have gripes about the lack of leeway on spending in the Legislature because of constitutionally protected funds, so this limits it more. But 5 and 10 percent of extra funds aren't a lot so I'm going to vote for No. 2."[7]
  • Houma Today said, "It is a fiscally responsible way to approach what could soon be a crisis for the state and its many retirees."[8]

Opposition

  • The News-Star said, "The Legislature does not need a constitutional directive to do this. This would further tie the hands of the Legislature in the future as it grapples with difficult budget years."[9]
  • The Times-Picayune said, "The Constitution already allows the use of nonrecurring revenue for this purpose, so the amendment would put unnecessary restrictions on spending. Some opponents point out that the percentages of revenue outlined are rather small. The consequence could be that lawmakers become satisfied with those small automatic payments rather than dealing with the unfunded liability in a meaningful way."[10]

Path to the ballot

See also: Louisiana legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

If 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature voted in the affirmative, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment could be placed on the statewide ballot.

On June 22, 2011 both the House and Senate approved the proposed measure for the ballot. The House voted 86-3, while the Senate voted 34-2. The measure was referred to the Louisiana Secretary of State for the statewide ballot on June 24, 2011.

Timeline

Calendar.png

The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Senate vote June 22, 2011 Senate (34-2) voted in favor of referring the measure.
House vote June 22, 2011 House (86-3) voted in favor of referring the measure.
Certified June 24, 2011 Referred and certified for the 2011 ballot

See also

By Bailey Ludlam
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