Election Day is Tuesday – 2020 Proposed Constitutional Amendments Explained

There are seven (7) constitutional amendments to the Louisiana Constitution that will be on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. Listed below are each amendment and an explanation of what a yes (for) or no (against) vote means.

Amendment 1 “Do you support an amendment declaring that, to
protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion
shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?”

State that nothing in the Constitution protects a right to abortion.

Leave the Constitution with no specific language on abortion.

Amendment 2 “Do you support an amendment to permit the
presence or production of oil or gas to be included in the methodology
used to determine the fair market value of an oil or gas well for the
purpose of property assessment?”

Allow for a well’s oil and gas production when valuing it for property tax assessment.

Keep the current methods of oil and gas well assessment.

Amendment 3 “Do you support an amendment to allow for the
use of the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day
Fund, for state costs associated with a disaster declared by the
federal government?”

Allow the Budget Stabilization Fund to be tapped when there is a federally declared disaster.

Continue to restrict use of the Budget Stabilization Fund to revenue shortfalls.

Amendment 4 “Do you support an amendment to limit the
growth of the expenditure limit for the state general fund and
dedicated funds and to remove the calculation of its growth factor
from the Constitution?”

Create a new state budget spending limit with probable slower growth.

Continue the current method for an expenditure limit.

Amendment 5 “Do you support an amendment to authorize local
governments to enter into cooperative endeavor ad valorem tax
exemption agreements with new or expanding manufacturing
establishments for payments in lieu of taxes?”

Provide new options for manufacturers and local governments to schedule payments instead of property taxes for industrial expansions.

Leave the current system as the only set of options for property taxes, payments or exemptions for manufacturers.

Amendment 6 “Do you support an amendment to increase the
maximum amount of income a person may receive and still qualify
for the special assessment level for residential property receiving
the homestead exemption?”

Allow homeowners with higher incomes to qualify for the property tax assessment freeze.

Keep the current income threshold for property tax freezes.

Amendment 7 “Do you support an amendment to create the
Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to preserve the
money that remains unclaimed by its owner or owners?”

Protect unclaimed property money in a new trust fund.

Keep the current program that benefits the state general fund.

Proposition Shall sports wagering activities and operations be
permitted in the parish of Winn?

Permit sports wagering in the voter’s parish.

Forbid sports wagering in the voter’s parish.

For an independent, non-partisan review of the amendments click below to read the Public Affairs Research Council’s PAR Guide to the 2020
Constitutional Amendments.

Winn Parish LDH COVID Weekly Update 10/29/20

According to the Louisiana Department of Health website on October 29, 2020, Winn Parish reported 19 new cases of COVID 19 bringing the total positive case count to 695. There were no additional deaths in Winn Parish keeping the parish total at 19. There are 66 active positive cases in Winn Parish. 

The week of 10/8 – 10/21 Winn Parish two week cumulative incidence was 219.33. Placing Winn Parish in the “High” category. 

According to ICE.GOV as of 10/28/2020 there are 17 detainees with confirmed cases of COVID 19 currently under isolation or monitoring at the Winn Correctional Center (WCC). There have been  no additional deaths keeping the total number of deaths of a detainee who died after testing positive for COVID-19 while in ICE custody at WCC at one. There have been 237 total confirmed COVID-19 cases at WCC since testing began in February 2020. (These numbers have not changed since the last update)

There have been no official numbers reported by Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office or LaSalle Management regarding number of positive COVID cases or deaths amongst staff at WCC. 

The latest Nursing Home Report dated  October 27, 2020, reflects three new cases among residents, and one new case among staff reported for this week at Autumn Leaves Nursing & Rehab Center. Winnfield Nursing & Rehab reported no new cases among residents, and no new cases among staff.

FacilityAutumn LeavesWinnfield Nursing & Rehab
Resident Census8877
Total COVID-19 Cases
Among Residents
New COVID-19 Cases
Among Residents
Since Last Report (10-20-20)
Of Total Resident Cases, Number Whose Infections Began at this Facility1944
Total Residents
Total COVD-19 Deaths
Among Residents
Total COVID-19 Cases
Among Staff
New COVID-19 Cases
Among Staff
Since Last Report (10-20-20)
Total Staff Recovered1525

Notice of Death October 29, 2020

Warren Ronald Shepherd
August 25, 1927 – October 28, 2020
Visitation: Sunday, November 1 from 4-7 pm at Blanchard-St Denis Funeral Home.
Funeral services and entombment adjacent to his wife, will take place in Bakersfield, California.

Rhonda Rodriguez Maroney
February 27, 1967 – October 26, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 31 at 1 pm at First Assembly of God Church in Coushatta

Dorothy Holland
April 24, 1926 – October 25, 2020
Service: Friday, October 30 at 11 am in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Edwin Davidson, Jr.
September 12, 2003 – October 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Joe Louis Williams of Derry, Louisiana
October 29, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Larry Lee Davis, Sr.
October 28, 2020
Arrangements TBA

WSHS FFA Fundraiser Underway

The Winnfield FFA Chapter is currently hosting its annual fundraiser. We are selling Southern Heritage meats products for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are offering the same products that this community has grown to love over the last thirty years, for example: cajun and smoked turkey, spiral and pit ham, pan sausage, stuffed chicken and much more!

Every year the Winnfield FFA Chapter sells holiday meat items to help our
chapter afford trips to leadership camp, conventions, and contests. Our chapter prides itself in keeping cost low for students and families, while providing them with experiences that will last a lifetime. Without this yearly fundraiser, none of this would be possible.

To support our fundraiser, you can purchase these products online at
https://www.southernheritagefarms.com/menu/winnfield-senior-high-ffa-675 or you can buy from an active member in the FFA. If you have any questions or would like to submit your order to us via email, you can contact us at winnfieldffa@gmail.com for further information or instructions.

You may pick up your orders after school for Thanksgiving on Nov.18 and for Dec.16 for Christmas. Your orders will be at the WSHS Ag shop for you to pick up, or the member you purchased from can deliver your products to your door.

The Winnfield FFA Chapter has 165 active members and there are over 700,000 members participating in this organization, nationwide, practicing leadership skills and cooperation with others. The FFA is actively making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Thank you for helping our young leaders grow!

Peyton Arthur and Ryan Riley are the Winnfield Senior High School FFA

Edwards Vetoes Two Bills Authored During Second Special Session

John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday, Oct. 27 he vetoed two bills authored by republican lawmakers during the second special legislative session of 2020.

The governor said he vetoed HB 4 authored by Rep. Mark Wright (R-Covington) and HB 51 authored by Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath). 

HB-4 would have given the Louisiana Legislature power to overturn emergency declarations declared by the governor. 

HB-4 is different than the petition signed by 64 republican legislators Friday, Oct. 27 that lawmakers claim overturns Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 restrictions. Gov. Edwards’ administration filed a lawsuit Monday, Oct. 26 contesting the legality of the petition. Edwards called the petition “reckless, irresponsible, and unconscionable” during a news conference Friday, Oct. 23. He also questioned the constitutionality of the petition and credited his restrictions for the plateau in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since July. A judge in the state’s 19th Judicial District Court will determine if the petition is constitutional.

HB 51 prohibited the use of private funds for any part of the State of Louisiana’s election system. Edward’s veto letter to Speaker Schexnayder stated, “House Bill 51 is an unnecessary political ploy that only serves to threaten the safety of polling places during a pandemic and increase the costs to taxpayers to administer safe elections.”

Louisiana Remains in Phase 3 Despite Some Misinformation

According to an email received by business owners registered for the opensafely.gov updates “despite some misinformation being shared, the Governorʼs public health emergency order REMAINS in effect at this time, and you should continue to adhere to the guidelines associated with it. While there has been a challenge to the Governorʼs order, it is still in place while this is being worked out in the courts. Louisiana remains in Phase 3 and the statewide mask mandate is still in place.”

The current Phase 3 Order expires on November 6, 2020. On, October 22, 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards amended the order  for outdoor high school sports by allowing outdoor stadiums in parishes with lower rates of positive COVID tests to move to 50 percent capacity, up from 25 percent. The amended order included Grant and Winn parish. Prior to this change, the capacity for sports stadiums, arenas and athletic events was limited to 25 percent. 

My Opinion – A Tale of Two Americas

By Royal Alexander

This election provides us with a choice as profound as it is clear: do we want America to remain America?

Do we wish to remain a nation that is governed by a constitution and adheres to a rule of law? Should we fight for and cling to the numerous, and rare, individual rights and liberties guaranteed to us; Do we continue to protect freedom of speech and freedom of religion and religious expression; do we really believe in the 2nd Amendment and the individual right to keep and bear arms; do we still believe that our life, liberty and property cannot be denied us without due process of law—while we are presumed innocent.

Should we citizens defer to government, or is government supposed to be responsive to us; do we preserve a limited federal government with specific, enumerated powers that governs only with our consent, or a socialist model of the kind we’ve seen fail throughout history in so many places; do we believe we know best how to run—and are better at running—our lives, as well as our families and our children’s lives than the government is, or do we cede those rights of self-determination to government bureaucrats, social engineers and the ever-encroaching tentacles of the “nanny” state.

Should we pay exorbitantly higher taxes to the federal government—a government that cannot even fully block robocalls—because if we do it will somehow be able to control the warming and cooling of the earth; do we allow abortion on demand, along with the violation of conscience entailed in using the tax dollars of we who are deeply opposed to the barbaric procedure, to pay for them; do we want a vigorous oil and gas industry—even as we continue to move toward renewable energy sources—so that we are not foolishly reliant on oil from hostile foreign governments. 

Do we believe that massive new taxes, regulation and a restricted, managed form of capitalism are necessary to provide our best life and society, or do we wish for a vibrant free-market economy where we may pursue our dreams of small business ownership; do we want the public schools to educate our children, or to indoctrinate them.

Do we want the best, highest-quality health care in the world, or do we turn the critical provision of health care over to government agencies and bureaucrats who are often more concerned with limiting and rationing care than with whether we are healed and cured; do we want to live under a government—as we’ve graphically witnessed this year—that defunds the police and tacitly condones violence, looting and destruction of property, or do we desire a society that is based upon law and order and a democratic process through which to seek lasting social change.  

Do we seek a society filled with free and robust speech, press, petition and peaceful assembly, or the kind of country in which Political Correctness and Groupthink get us shouted down and cowed by threats of one kind or another when we seek to express the truth and our beliefs in relation to it.

We repudiated and defeated communism in the last century.  It’s precursor, Socialism, is also a dark and hopeless ideology.  Today, desperate, freedom-seeking people all over the world continue to perilously strap themselves and their families onto “boats” consisting of broken boards and logs, buoyed by empty plastic milk jugs, risking their lives in the hope of reaching America.  They are fleeing Socialism.  Why would we even conceive of granting it a stronghold here?

Do we desire a country in which elites rule, or one in which any child, of any faith, background or upbringing may grow up to be president, or anything else they dream of, pray and work for?

Do we seek a society based upon “critical race theory” that has as its foundation the belief that every societal flaw stems from American sexism, racism or some other form of prejudice or “systemic bias”; or, one in which were are judged not “by the color of our skin but by the content of our character”? 

Do we want an admittedly imperfect country that never stops seeking to improve itself, or one in which social and cultural change is impossible because the ruling elite—our “government”—has arrogantly assumed it “knows better” than we, the unenlightened, the rubes, deplorables, or  “maggots” as Keith Olbermann said about Trump supporters.

We should pray and vote to have America remain America.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Vote Jan Collins #75 for Justice of the Peace Ward 9

Since moving to Winn Parish in 1986 Jan Collins has served the Winn Parish community in many ways. Jan enjoyed a 13 year career at the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office before joining the Winn Parish Library where she is the Calvin Library Librarian. She has also has been pleased to be a voting poll volunteer for 25 years. 

Jan is married to William Collins of Calvin, LA. and has two sons Lee J. and Dan Taylor. Jan and William Collins are members of Bethlehem Church.

“I would be honored to serve the citizens of Ward 9 as their Justice of the Peace. I believe I have the experience, the wisdom and the knowledge to do the job well. I would appreciate your vote.”

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