Louisiana voters reject ban on slavery, involuntary servitude; author also opposed it
Rep. Edmond Jordan (center), D-Baton Rouge, opposed an amendment he sponsored on slavery and involuntary servitude (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)
With all ballots counted from Tuesday, six out of every 10 Louisiana voters opposed an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude but allow forced labor as part of a criminal sentence.
It possibly set the tone for the rejection of five out of the eight proposed amendments on the ballot.
Amendment 7, which in its original wording would have banned slavery and involuntary servitude, was watered down during the legislative process to the point that its author, Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, asked voters to reject the proposal.
Here’s how the other proposed amendments fared:
Nearly two-thirds of voters opposed an amendment would have increased the maximum amount of money the state treasurer can invest from seven state trust funds on Wall Street. Caps will remain in place on those funds, which the treasurer has argued will limit profits.
Nearly three-quarters of voters approved Amendment 2, which increases the property tax exemption for veterans disabled in the line of service and for their spouses after their deaths.
Two-thirds of voters have “no” on the proposal to allow most Louisiana’s public employees participate in certain campaign activities if the candidate is an immediate family member. Critics knocked the list of qualifying kin and step-kin in the proposal as too expansive.
Three quarters of voters voted “yes” for an amendment to let local water utilities reduce customer bills if the charges stem from water use outside of the customer’s control. It targets water systems with unaddressed leaks that a homeowner of business couldn’t have stopped.
Almost 60% of voters were against an amendment that would have eliminated a requirement that local taxing bodies “roll forward” property millages in order to renew those taxes at the same rate. Although it had the potential to benefit taxpayers, it was a complex proposals that saw very little advocacy on its behalf.
In a closer referendum, an amendment to limit property tax increases in Orleans Parish failed by less than 7,000 votes. Increases would be have been capped at 10% of the property’s assessed value in the previous year, softening the blow for taxpayers with big jumps in their tax bills.
More than half of voters voted to remove the requirement that certain property owners with disabilities annually certify their income in order to receive a property tax rate freeze.
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