The Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) strives to return our country to the founding principals which made our nation great. The guiding principles of the Tea Party of Louisiana are found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  Our U.S. Constitution was written to "ordain, establish and promote” the “general welfare" and to guarantee "equal protection" for all Americans.

In recent years it has become fashionable to “tailor” our laws to benefit various targeted entities over the general well being of the rest of the citizenry.  Several of the following 2012 proposed Amendments to the Louisiana Constitution seek to implement legislation to promote the “specific” welfare of some, as opposed to the "general" welfare of all.  When we seek to single out one or more targeted individuals or groups to benefit, we diminish the ideal of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection."   These proposals continue to head us down the road which ultimately leads to serfdom. Please consider voting NO to all such proposals which pit one group of taxpayers against another or seek to benefit one group of citizens at the expense of another.

 

Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) Voter Checklist for 9 Constitutional Amendments on November 6, 2012 Ballot for your use and consideration:

 

1. Obstructs Accountability in the Louisiana Medicaid Trust Fund. The "Louisiana Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly" was originally touted to help the "elderly" but was actually established to benefit corporations that own nursing homes and home health agencies. Amendment No. 1 would protect these corporations from state budget cuts.

No. Amendment #1 is nothing more than “crony capitalism” for the nursing home and home-health industry.  The Amendment would impose additional constraints on balancing the state budget and would promote waste and inefficiency for those nursing homes and home-health agencies that receive taxpayer funds from the state.

 

2.  Secures the U.S. Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Our current Louisiana Constitution provides for an individual the "right” to keep and bear arms.

Yes. Amendment No.2 declares that the right to keep and bear arms is a "fundamental" right.  The Amendment would make it more difficult for courts to overturn "pro-gun" and concealed carry laws.

 

3.  Obstructs Necessary Reform in the State's Employee Pension Programs. Many of the members of the Legislature are members of one or more of the state's public employee pension systems.  This Amendment would require more notice and make it more difficult to introduce a bill to reform any of the state's pension retirement systems.

No. Government pension plans are bloated and drastically need reform. Send a message to legislators and vote NO on this proposal.

 

4. Homestead Exemption for Spouses of Deceased Veterans who had 100% disability. In 2010 the La. Constitution was amended to allow city and parish voters to double the homestead exemption from $75,000 to $150,000 for disabled veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability.  Amendment No. 4 would extend the benefit to the surviving spouse of the deceased disabled veteran who occupies the couple's home if the exemption was in effect at the time the disabled veteran died.

Yes. The amendment would provide for equal treatment for all spouses of deceased veterans whether or not the 2010 exemption was in effect at the time the veteran died.

 

5. Allows Courts to include Forfeiture of Public Retirement Benefits as part of the sentence for public servants convicted of a crime associated with their office. Under current law, public servant pension benefits are virtually untouchable.  Amendment #5 would allow a court to include a forfeiture of public retirement benefits as part of the sentence for a person convicted of a felony related to public office.  These forfeited funds would go toward reducing the unfunded liability in the specific retirement system that the convicted felon was a member.  The companion statute to the proposed Amendment affords protections to the innocent spouse of the convicted public servant.

YES. No public servant who is convicted of a crime associated with their office should continue to receive a tax funded pension from the taxpayers whom the public servant betrayed.

 

6.  Unequal Treatment in Property Taxes. The Amendment would allow New Iberia to grant city property tax exemptions to any property owner annexed into the city after Jan 1, 2013.  The bill would allow certain business or other landowners to avoid paying certain property taxes (e.g. fire protection department taxes) while leaving others to pick-up the entire tax bill.  This is a change for one city that will probably lead to others wanting the same power.

No. The Amendment opens the door to more "crony capitalism" and gives the local parishes and towns the ability to grant tax exemptions to their political buddies and contributors.

 

7. Adjusts the Membership Selection Process for Constitutionally created Boards & Commissions based on the state’s new 6 Congressional Districts.

Yes. Technical changes to limit the number of members of certain boards and commissions to the number of congressional districts.

 

8. Expands “crony capitalism” by allowing the state to grant local governments to grant property tax exemptions for certain hand-picked non-manufacturing businesses that they want to locate or expand their operations within certain parishes.

NO. We should not allow politicians to promote “crony capitalism” and pick which business they want to see have an advantage in terms of property taxes while leaving the other taxpayers to pick up the tab.  The Tea  Party of La opposes all proposals which pit one taxpayer against another or seek to benefit one citizen or business at the expense of another.

 

9.  Adds safeguards to protect property owners from additional taxes imposed or increased without an election. To create a crime district (fee or tax) one must petition for an election - or have a legislator submit a Bill.  Crime districts, created by the Legislature, are generally neighborhood groups which can collect a parcel fee -or property tax- from the property owners in a specific area and use the money to enhance crime prevention or security efforts without a vote of the people to approve the tax or fee.

YES. The Legislature should not be imposing additional property taxes on neighborhoods without a vote of the homeowners or property owners.  This Amendment would add another safeguard to help prevent such action.

 

Statewide Vote on Local Option School Board Question-

YES. TPoL is in favor of term limits in general and, also, in the case of school boards.