NEWS

Statewide voters pass eight amendments

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

Iberville voters approved seven of the 10 proposed state constitutional amendments, including one to increase the parish's share of state severance tax revenues for local infrastructure and Atchafalaya Basin improvement projects.

Statewide, voters accepted eight of the 10.

Here and statewide, voters rejected the two most complicated amendments on the ballot – Amendment No. 4 affecting property tax “roll-up” procedures in some areas and Amendment No. 7 changing the bidding rules for tax sale auctions and allowing additional penalties.

Iberville voters also rejected Amendment No. 8 that would have made it easier to expropriate property seized to remove a threat to public health and safety. Voters statewide approved the proposal aimed mainly at New Orleans.

Also approved statewide were No. 1 to require salary increases for state officials to go into affect with the next term of office; No. 2 giving parishes a larger share of severance taxes; No. 3 giving parishes the option of calling elections to decide whether to double the homestead exemption for veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 100 percent and certain surviving spouses; No. 5 to extend special property tax assessment levels for an additional five years for disaster victims; No. 6 to require legislative approval of state public retirement system increases; No. 9 requiring workers compensation appeals to be handled like all others, and No. 10 allowing criminal defendants to waive the right to a jury trial only if they do so within 45 days of their trial date.