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Louisiana Legislature Convening Date, Amendment 1 (October 2010)

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IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIV
The Louisiana Legislature Convening Date, Amendment 1, also known as Act 537, was on the October 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.[1]

The measure proposed moving the convening date of the state legislature in even numbered years to the second Monday in March and in odd years to the second Monday in April. The effective date was January 1, 2012.[2]

Election results

Louisiana Amendment 1 (October 2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 370,471 62.61%
No221,21837.39%

Results according to the Louisiana Secretary of State[3]

Text of measure

The ballot text read as follows:[2]

To move the convening of the legislature in annual regular session in even numbered years to the second Monday in March and in odd-numbered years to the second Monday in April and to change the effective date of legislation enacted at such sessions to August first. (Effective January 1, 2012.) (Amends Article III, Sections (A)(3)(a) and (4)(a) and 19)

Constitutional changes

See also: Louisiana Amendment 1 (2010), constitutional text changes

Article 3, Sections 2(A)(3)(a) and (4)(a) and 19 of the Louisiana Constitution would be amended.[1]

Support

Legislatures in support of the measure noted that only Florida started their legislative session as late as March, most states began in January. They argued that convening earlier just made the session more efficient. According to the proposal the Legislature would still be in session the same amount of days. The measure also made it so that laws went into effect the 1st of August, instead of the current date the 15th of August.[4]

Opposition

Opposition to the measure noted that it should not take a constitutional amendment in order for legislature to end the session too late.[5]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Louisiana ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Times-Picayune supported Amendment 1. In an editorial, the board said, "Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, hoped to have the Legislature start its sessions in January to allow for better management of the state budget, which goes into effect on July 1 each year...The senator only got legislators to agree to move the opening date up by a couple of weeks, but the change still makes sense. It would at least provide a little more time for implementing the budget."[6]
  • The Louisiana Weekly was in favor of this measure because it would make it easier for the state departments to know if there will be changes in their budgets prior to funds being needed.[7]
  • The Shreveport Times was also in favor because they said often legislative session went until the end of June and like others felt it was too close to the next fiscal year to be effective for government agencies.[8]

Opposition

  • The Town Talk was against this measure because they said they felt that lawmakers should finish earlier without making amendments to the constitution.[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Louisiana legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

In order to qualify for the ballot the proposed measure required the approval of 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature.

See also

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