By Greg LaRose, Louisiana Illuminator
After considering eight amendments to the Louisiana Constitution on the Nov. 8 ballot — and rejecting five of them – voters will decide the fate of three more changes to the state charter Dec. 10. The early voting period for the election is currently underway.
This proposal would add language to the Louisiana Constitution that would prohibit anyone who is not a citizen of the United States from voting. While some cities in other states have allowed non-citizens to vote, there have been no such attempts do so here.
The state legislature crafts voting laws in Louisiana, and local governments cannot approve rules that would go against those statutes. The amendment, while seemingly unnecessary, would place the specific ban on non-residents in the state constitution.
The governor appoints six of the seven members of State Civil Service Commission, a panel that shapes policy for classified state employees. They also rule on disciplinary matters and and appeals when civil service employees challenge their dismissal.
Presidents of the state’s universities nominate members for the Civil Service Commission, with no additional vetting beyond the governor’s consideration. Amendment 2 would subject the governor’s picks to a review of the Louisiana Senate.
Members of many other state boards also require Senate approval, but critics of this proposal argue senators could let politics – rather than qualifications – influence their decisions.
The makeup of the State Police Commission is similar to the Civil Service board, with the governor picking six of its seven members. Amendment 3 would require Senate approval for the governor’s designees as well.
The call for additional scrutiny of the panel comes after recent controversial incidents in which troopers have seen few to no repercussions. They include the in-custody death of Black motorist Ronald Greene after being pulled over by white members of State Police.
Here, too, there is concern that adding the Senate to the review process for the State Police Commission would insert politics and backroom negotiations without public input.
Find a thorough overview of the three proposed amendments from the Public Affairs Research Council.