BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Constitutional Coalition 2020, a broad-based group of nearly 30 leading business and community organizations from across Louisiana, called on state political leaders to address Louisiana’s systemic failures by organizing a properly designed constitutional convention.
The group of business and community organizations, including Louisiana Association of Business & Industry, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, Blueprint Louisiana, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Pelican Institute and many others, distributed a letter expressing their call for the convention to all Louisiana legislators. The letter highlights the ongoing issues with the current state constitution, such as its overly detailed and prescriptive language, adding it is out of steps with constitutions of nearby flourishing states.
Among the major issues noted in the letter are the restrictions the constitution places on the ability of elected officials to maintain effective budgets and governing structure, as well as the staggering number of words and amendments found in the text. For example, the Louisiana Constitution is ten times longer than the U.S. Constitution and has had 189 amendments in 44 years as compared to the U.S. Constitution’s 27 amendments in 218 years.
The coalition provides four recommendations for lawmakers to consider, including the election of convention delegates rather than appointments, as is current tradition. The letter also calls for removing the use of a drafting and organizing committee, which would leave the decisions to convention delegates.
Another request stated in the letter relates to the organization of election districts in order to ensure citizen participation in the process. Lastly, Constitutional Coalition 2020 asks that an appropriate scope of the convention is considered, particularly as it pertains to addressing fiscal and structural matters of Louisiana’s government.
“For decades, we have tried and failed to use the political and legislative mechanisms in place to address our core, systemic problems,” said Lane Grigsby, Louisiana businessman and founder of Constitutional Coalition 2020. “A constitutional convention is the only way we can make the impactful, long-lasting changes we need, and we believe that, working together, we can help Louisiana’s government better serve the people and bring about a bright future for all citizens of our state.”
Constitutional Coalition 2020 is currently studying the policies in place to further identify positive solutions that could be accomplished with a well-defined constitutional convention.
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