Baton Rouge, La. (October 30, 2018) – Today, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) announced supportive positions on Amendments 2 and 4 that will appear on the November 6 statewide ballot. BRAC is neutral on the other amendments. Early voting began October 23 and BRAC encourages voters to support both amendments. More information on BRAC’s positions is available at brac.org.
As the Capital Region’s lead economic development organization and as an advocacy voice for the business community, BRAC has long supported policies that impact economic competitiveness and quality of life in the Capital Region and the state. Amendments 2 and 4 will have a positive impact on the state’s competitiveness.
Amendment 2 will require unanimous jury verdicts for felony convictions, overturning a policy that uniquely lowers the burden of proof for Louisiana citizens and contributes to the state’s overincarceration problem. Louisiana and Oregon are the only states in the nation that do not currently require a unanimous jury conviction for all felony cases, and Louisiana is the only state that only requires a unanimous jury conviction for capital punishment trials.
“For Louisiana to be competitive in attracting talented people to stay here and move here, laws like those that allow non-unanimous juries must be abolished,” said Cheri Ausberry, chairwoman of BRAC’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “Amendment 2 removes a stain from our constitution and brings our state in line with the rest of the country in regards to equal protection of its citizens.”
Amendment 4 removes state police from eligible Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) expenditures. Louisiana residents expect TTF dollars to go exclusively towards transportation needs, which this amendment ensures.
“In its annual survey, BRAC’s investors consistently cite traffic congestion as an impediment to business growth,” said Ric Kearny, chairman of BRAC’s Board of Directors. “Removing the state police as an eligible expense from the Transportation Trust Fund aligns with the people’s expectation about TTF spending and allows the state to look toward a future of increased transportation investment.”
For more information about these and other statewide proposals on the November 6 ballot, BRAC encourages voters to review PAR’s Guide to the 2018 Constitutional Amendments.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at www.brac.org.