State Economic Development Leaders Endorse New Constitutional Convention
The Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana (REAL) organization is calling for legislative action to set in motion a new Constitutional Convention as early as feasible, preferably in 2020. REAL is composed of the CEOs of Louisiana’s eight economic development regions.
Louisiana has struggled to create an environment where economic growth, infrastructure, healthcare and education are adequately protected to meet the needs of all Louisianans. Our collective inability to bring about the necessary changes that need to be made in order to unlock the state’s full potential demonstrates the overwhelming need to move beyond our normal political and electoral processes. The time for a new Constitution is now.
The current constitution has been amended far too many times, creating a conflicted document that undermines its own purpose as a framework of how the state should operate. Additionally, the current constitution contains too many dedications, thus creating an inflexible document that prevents lawmakers from prioritizing issues of future concern.
REAL believes that a new Constitutional Convention should yield a robust discussion on what the constitutional convention should aim to accomplish. The priorities that REAL advocates for the constitutional convention include:
1. Comprehensive review of all aspects of fiscal reform. Louisiana’s tax code needs to be modernized to make Louisiana more competitive with our neighboring states, while budgeting needs to be more efficient.
2. Reshape the structural problems within our governing framework. The current policies ensure the dependence of local governments on the state, preventing locals from being able to adequately support and provide for their own local and regional needs.
3. Remove the provisions that restrict the Legislature’s ability to deal with items that should be addressed statutorily, rather than constantly amending the constitution.
REAL prefers a constitutional convention that will be limited to the most pressing fiscal issues, primarily those outlined above. A constitutional convention is a major undertaking for any state and should be approached with balance and wisdom for the overall benefit for all of Louisiana’s citizens. The composition and membership of the 1973 Constitutional Convention provided a model that allowed for maximum input, one that should be emulated in any new effort.
About REAL: The Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana (REAL) is comprised of all regional economic development organizations across Louisiana whose mission is to promote economic development and growth throughout the state. Members of REAL include: Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA), Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO Inc.), North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance (NELEA), South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC), Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (SWLA), and One Acadiana.