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Senator Jack Donahue Newsletter - Back to the Polls PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, September 22 2010 - 3:04 pm

On October 2, 2010, Louisiana voters will be asked to vote on two proposed constitutional amendments.


The first proposal is to make the Regular Session of the Legislature begin earlier each year and change the date enacted legislation would go into effect. Currently, the start dates and the length of a session are different for odd and even-numbered years, and the enacted legislation takes effect on August 15 unless otherwise specified in the bill. The proposed changes would increase the time between the end of session/the budget being adopted and the beginning of the new fiscal year, thus giving public bodies more time to adjust to any changes in their operating budgets. The effective date for enacted legislation would change to August 1, unless specified in the bill.

The second proposal is to exempt the director, deputy director and all employees of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from classified civil service. Currently the Constitution has twelve categories of unclassified positions. This agency has evolved and moved to different departments with different employment categories since its creation in 1974. Originally it was operated under the Military Department, and the Constitution designates its employees unclassified. In 1976 Emergency Preparedness moved to the Department of Public Safety and the employees joined the classified service. The Office of Emergency Preparedness moved back to the Military Department in 1990, and in 2006 the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) was created. The legislation that created GOHSEP provided that current and future GOHSEP employees would be unclassified. Pending the voters' decision, the Civil Service Commission has a suit filed asking the court to declare unconstitutional the blanket unclassified determination because they contend that the Legislature does not have the authority to create unclassified positions.

On November 2, we will have an additional ten proposed amendments to the Constitution, and I will send you more information on those Constitutional Amendments in the coming weeks.

In the interim, don't forget to vote on October 2.


jack donahue

Senator Jack Donahue