Louisiana Budget Stabilization Fund, Amendment 4 (October 2011)

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Amendment 4
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article VII, Section 10.3(C)(5)
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:state budgets
Status:Defeated Defeatedd
The Louisiana Budget Stabilization Fund, Amendment 4 appeared on the October 22, 2011 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was defeated Defeatedd.[1]

The proposed measure would have provided for deposits and interruption of mineral revenue deposits to the Budget Stabilization Fund.

Election results

Amendment 4 (October 2011)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No44363450.59%
Yes 433204 49.41%

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

Text of measure

The ballot question read:[2]

To provide that if at any time mineral revenues exceed the base provided by law and monies are withdrawn from the Budget Stabilization Fund, no deposit of mineral revenues shall be made to the Budget Stabilization Fund in the same or ensuing fiscal year in which monies in the fund are appropriated or incorporated into the official forecast, except by specific legislative appropriation, and thereafter deposits of mineral revenues into the shall resume except in an annual amount not to exceed one-third of the most recent amount appropriated or incorporated into the official forecast.

Constitutional changes

See also: Louisiana Budget Stabilization Fund, Amendment 4 (October 2011), constitutional text changes

Amendment 4 would have added Article VII, Section 10.3(C)(5).

Support

Supporters argued that the proposed amendment would have ensured that withdrawals made from the Budget Stabilization Fund were replenished.[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]

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 said that the amendment allowed too much leeway and that withdrawals should be replenished or repaid earlier than the two year limit set by the proposal. They argued that a shorter limit would have prevented legislators from routinely using the funds for non-emergencies.[3]

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).

(last updated December 2011)

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Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Louisiana ballot measures, 2011

Support

  • The Daily Iberian said, "This amendment would allow more time to pay back funds "borrowed" from the rainy-day fund but doesn't reportedly reduce restrictions on its use. And should this not be approved, it will cause a problem for the current budget."[6]
  • Houma Today said, "It does not change the requirement that the state repay the fund, thus ensuring that there is money available in the case of an emergency shortfall. It does, though, give the state a bit more flexibility, which will allow it to use the rainy day fund as it is supposed to be used."[7]

Opposition

  • The News-Star said, "Legislators should not use the "rainy day" fund except for true emergencies. This matter may be resolved by the judicial system. A current court dispute over current statute should be resolved before voters are asked to amend the constitution."[8]
  • The Times-Picayune said, "Lawmakers in 2009 adopted a statute to allow the deferred deposits, but it is under court challenge. Lawmakers are trying to nullify that issue by changing the Constitution. The amendment, which would allow the state to pay back the Rainy Day Fund over a five-year period, would unnecessarily weaken the fund."[9]

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 have been placed on the statewide ballot.

On June 23, 2011 both the Senate (38-0) and House (101-0) voted in favor of referring the measure.[10]

The proposed measure was sent to the Louisiana Secretary of State and Governor for referral to the ballot on June 23 and June 24, 2011.

Timeline

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The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Senate vote June 23, 2011 Senate (38-0) voted in favor of referring the measure.
House vote June 23, 2011 House (101-0) voted in favor of referring the measure.
Certified June 23-24, 2011 Referred and certified for the 2011 ballot

See also

By Bailey Ludlam
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