What’s On Your Louisiana Ballot: 2020 Amendment 3
Election day is less than a week away, on Tuesday November 3rd.
Since we're so close, we thought it would be a great chance to further explore some of what you'll see on this year's ballot. We can't break down every ballot for every precinct in the state, but if you're looking for your exact ballot, you can find it here. There are 7 proposed Constitutional Amendments in Louisiana this year. You'll also find a measure on Sports Wagering as well.
The third is Amendment 3, is about adjusting the state's "rainy day" fund. Here's the text you'll see on your ballot:
Do you support an amendment to allow for the use of the Budget Stabilization
Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, for state costs associated with a disaster declared by the federal government? (Amends Article VII, Section 10.3 (C)(3) and (4); Adds Article VII, Section 10.3(A)(5) and (C)(5)).
So what does that mean? If passed, this is the explanation from the Secretary of State:
Present Constitution establishes in the state treasury a Budget Stabilization Fund and provides for the deposit of money in the fund.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides for the deposit in the fund of an amount equivalent to the money received by the state from the federal government for reimbursement of costs associated with a federally declared disaster in an amount not to exceed the amount of costs appropriated out of the fund for the same disaster up to 1/3 of the fund, not to exceed the state costs associated with the disaster, after obtaining the consent of 2/3 of the elected members of each house of the legislature.
Present Constitution provides that money in the fund shall not be available for appropriation or use except under the following conditions and with the consent of 2/3 of the elected members of each house of the legislature:
(1) If the official forecast of recurring money for the next fiscal year is less than the official forecast of recurring money for the current fiscal year, the difference not to exceed 1/3 of the fund shall be incorporated into the next year’s official forecast.
(2) If a deficit for the current fiscal year is projected due to a decrease in the official forecast, an amount equal to 1/3 of the fund not to exceed the projected deficit may be appropriated.
(3) In no event shall the amount included in the official forecast for the next fiscal year plus the amount appropriated in the current fiscal year exceed 1/3 of the fund balance at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
(4) No appropriation or deposit to the fund shall be made if such appropriation or deposit would cause the balance in the fund to exceed 4% of total revenue receipts for the previous fiscal year.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that money in the fund up to 1/3 of the fund and not to exceed the state costs associated with the disaster after consent of 2/3 of the elected members of each house of the legislature may be appropriated. Also provides that the appropriation may be made between sessions of the legislature only with written consent of 2/3 of the elected members of each house of the legislature.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides that in no event shall the amount included in the official forecast of the next fiscal year, plus the amount appropriated in the current fiscal year plus the amount appropriated as a result of a federally declared disaster shall exceed 1/3 of the fund balance at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
So what does all of that mean for you?
A vote YES on this Amendment would be in favor of expanding the use of the state's "Rainy Day Fund". This would allow the state legislature to tap into the funds for additional reasons that are not currently available, like natural disasters.
A vote NO on this Amendment means no change to the current constitution.