Webster Parish voters essentially mirrored a statewide vote on Tuesday's proposed nine constitutional amendments, with only one failing to pass.
After a 57 to 33 percent defeat of Amendment 6, including Iberia Parish, New Iberia will have to seek other means of accomplishing their reported goal of encouraging new business in freshly annexed areas.
According to Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council (PAR), critics had said the city could accomplish the same goal without need for a special to the state constitutional through a municipality tax rebate rather than an ad valorem exemption.
The closest race of the nine was Amendment 8, which scraped by at 52 to 48 percent and allows Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry authority to grant limited ad valorem tax exemptions to certain types of businesses creating or expanding operation in Louisiana, which generate the majority of their revenue from outside of the state.
The second and fourth amendments tied for the largest passing margin of 74 to 26 percent.
Amendment 2 alters constitutional language to require any law restricting the right to keep and bear arms be subject to strict scrutiny – the highest level of judicial review a law much pass. Additionally, language granting the legislature explicit authority to regulate concealed weapons was removed.
Amendment 4 fills in a reported hole to extend an existing homestead exemption for spouses of deceased veterans. The original measure, passed by Webster voters in November 2011, granted the doubled exemption to veterans and their surviving spouse in case of death but left out spouses of veterans who died prior to the measure's original approval.
The remainder passed by greater than 10 percent of the vote – most with a larger margin.
Amendment 1, passing 71 to 29 percent, provides constitutional protection to the primarily federally-funded Medicaid Trust Fund from legislative appropriation. While the fund has traditionally remained untouched, according to PAR, proponents expressed concern that the federal government could request the money back should it be appropriated for any other use than Medicaid.
Amendment 3, passing 65 to 35 percent, requires added notification and earlier filling of proposed legislature affecting public employee retirement systems.
Amendment 5, passing 70 to 30 percent, provides for the potential forfeiture of publicly funded retirement benefits for public servants convicted of a job related felony while in public service.
Amendment 7, passing 61 to 39 percent, adjusts the composition of various constitutional board memberships due to the loss of a legislative district after the 2010 census.
Amendment 9, passing 56 to 54 percent, requires additional notifications of the intention to form special districts for the purpose of crime prevention and security. It also requires an expanded notice including if the district board may levy new or increased taxes and if such taxes require voter approval.