Bill would determine if Constitutional Convention is needed

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) - It's the product of frustration, especially over budget and tax issues. Democrats focusing on rebuilding the tax code, Republicans set on cutting the budget. State Representative Franklin Foil testifying on behalf of the bill, saying a convention would be the best way to hit reset on a polarizing debate.

"What we're hearing is that our hands are tied because we have dedicated funds in our constitution" said Rep. Franklin Foil. 

House Bill 456 would create a special study committee to determine if a convention is needed. The proposed gathering would have 105 delegates elected from each state House district, along with 27 appointed delegates. The convention's agenda would be limited widely to budget and tax issues, including retirement benefits for state workers and management of public colleges.

This would still require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate before reaching the governor's desk. 

"It's a long process, and to do it properly, you have to do it over time."

Such a convention would take place in January 2019. It would then be up for public vote that fall, just as the state decides whether or not to re-elect Governor Edwards.

Governor Edwards has suggested that a constitutional rewrite could be the only option, if he and the Republican-led legislature can't agree on a tax overhaul to stabilize the budget. 

So far, with less than three weeks until the end of regular session, they have yet to reach a consensus at the Capitol. 


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