The Louisiana Constitution in 1812 used the U.S. Constitution as a guideline to write its contents. After receiving authorization from the U.S. Congress the delegates developed the constitution and on January 22, 1812 the state first constitution was signed. The state’s current constitution was adopted by constitutional convention in 1974, ratified by the voters of Louisiana on April 20, 1974 and became effective on January 1, 1975. The major elements of the Louisiana Constitution is design to protect the rights of individuals, control the power of state officials and local government, to help develop the state and city civil service systems, and make amendments to the constitution. Many of the fourteen articles of the Louisiana Constitution can be compared to the Bills of Right, of the United States Constitution, but is written for the state.
Article I. Declaration of Rights, which protects individual’s leisure time such as hunting and fishing, to include right to vote. The article also cover laws and regulations on the right to bear arms and provides rules and laws to help individual protect their property. Article II. Distribution of Powers divides power of the state government into the three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, and limits the powers of each branch. Article III. Legislative Branch, organizes the Louisiana Legislature into a bicameral one, consisting of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Louisiana Senate This article helps sets qualifications for office, term limits, and the procedures for filling vacancies.
It also determine when the Legislature should convene Article IV. Executive Branch, Organizes the composition of the executive branch. Except for the offices of the Governor of Louisiana and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, the branch is limited to no more than 20 departments comprising all functions. Sets forth the qualifications for each branch member, term limits. Article V. Judicial Branch, regulates of the powers Louisiana Supreme Court and the various lower courts, as well as the provisions for qualifications of jurors and county coroners. Article VI. Local Government, maintains the power of parishes municipalities, provisions for home rule charters, and other allowances and limitations.
Places limitations on taxation and issuance of bonds for parishes, municipalities, and local school boards Levee Districts Allows for the creation of special levee districts in coastal parishes. Article VII. Handles state Revenue and Finance, Provides for the authority to assess and collect various taxes, subject to limitations, as well as for various dedicated funds. Property Taxation. Provides for the creation of the Transportation Trust Fund. Article VIII. Education Provides that the Legislature shall provide for the education of the people of Louisiana. Provides for the State Superintendent, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Boards of Supervisors of the LSU System, the University of Louisiana System, and the community and technical colleges, and the parish school boards.
It also provides for school funding and for public hospitals. Article IX. Natural Resources, includes various provisions involving mineral rights, regulation of natural gas and pipelines, the Wildlife and Fisheries and Forestry commissions, and certain dedicated funds. Article X. Public Officials and Employees, State and City Civil Service. Provides for the creation of the State and various city civil service commissions excluding the State Police Service and paid firefighters and police in certain instances Fire and Police Civil Service. Article XI.
Elections,provides that the secret ballot shall be used in all elections, prohibits the use of public funds to urge passage for or against any candidate or proposition, and provides for the Registrar of voters for each parish. Article XII. General Provisions, contains miscellaneous provisions such as the state capital (Baton Rouge), creation of a state lottery, and prohibition of same-sex unions. Article XIII. Constitutional Revision, provides for two methods of amending the Constitution, by either Legislative action or convention. Article XIV. Transitional Provisions,contains provisions to transition between the prior 1921 Constitution and the current 1974 version.