The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today announced its support of two of six proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot, saying it remains neutral on the other amendments. The amendments its backing are:
- Amendment 2: Require a unanimous jury verdict in all felony cases
“This law, which explicitly and disproportionately impacts African-Americans, is bad policy and contributes to Louisiana’s expensive and unsustainable over-incarceration problem,” reads BRAC’s position statement, which notes only Louisiana and Oregon do not currently require a unanimous jury for all felony cases, and Louisiana is the only state that only requires a unanimous jury for capital punishment trials. “Louisianans deserve the same protection under the law that states all over the country provide for their citizens, which includes the same presumption of innocence and the same burden of proof.”
- Amendment No. 4: Prohibit using money in the Transportation Trust Fund by state police for traffic control purposes
“The dollars deposited into the TTF from the state gas tax are to be used for transportation-related infrastructure needs,” BRAC says. “Governor John Bel Edwards took the appropriate step of stopping the long-running transfer of money from the TTF to state police when he took office. However, there is nothing in the law to prevent a reversal of that policy; this amendment would permanently remove the state police from eligible TTF Expenditures.”
See BRAC’s full statement on its endorsements, which also encourages voters to review PAR’s Guide to the 2018 Constitutional Amendments.