On May 30, 2023, the Louisiana State Legislature gave final approval to two constitutional amendments set to appear on the ballot on Oct. 14, 2023.
One of the amendments, Senate Bill 63, would provide in the state constitution that “the freedom to worship in a church or other place of worship is a fundamental right that is worthy of the highest order of protection.”
Senate Bill 63, sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell (R), was passed unanimously in the Senate on May 2, 2023. The House passed the bill on May 30, 2023, by a vote of 86-13 with six members absent. All 13 no votes came from House Democrats.
The other amendment, House Bill 46, would prevent a nonprofit organization from receiving a property tax exemption if they own residential property that is in such a state of disrepair that it is dangerous to the public’s health or safety, as determined by the governing authority of the municipality or parish the property is located in.
House Bill 46, sponsored by Rep. Jason Hughes (D), was passed in the House on May 18, 2023, by a vote of 80-18 with seven members absent. The Senate passed the bill on May 30, 2023, in a vote of 37-0 with two members absent.
Last year, the state legislature also referred a measure to the Nov. 18 ballot concerning legislative veto sessions and gubernatorial bill action deadlines.
A total of 56 constitutional amendments appeared on the statewide ballot in Louisiana during odd-numbered years from 1999 through 2021. Of the 56 amendments, 37 (67.27%) were approved and 19 (34.54%) were defeated. An average of five constitutional amendments appeared on the statewide ballot in Louisiana during odd-numbered years.