Louisiana. Constitutional Convention (1973).

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Q Committee on Local and Parochial Government, and Dele-

4 gates Burson, Cannon, Chatelain, Conino, D'Gerolamo, Fowl-

5 er, Giarrusso, Hayes, Heine, J. Jackson, Kean, Lanier, Reeves,
g Shannon, Stephenson, Taylor, Toomy. UUo and Zervigin:


g Making general provisions for local and parochial govern-

q ment, levee districts, and ports, the financing thereof, and

1 Q necessary provisions with respect thereto.

11 Be it adopted by the Constitutional Convention of Lou-

12 isiana of 1973 :



15 Section 1. Parishes; Ratification of Boundaries, Creation,
Ig Consolidation, and Dissolution

17 Section I. (A) All parishes and their boundaries as estab-

18 lished under existing law are recognized and ratified.

19 (B) The legislature shall provide by general law for the

20 creation, consolidation, or dissolution of parishes under the

21 limitations hereinafter provided. No new parish shall con-

22 tain less than six hundred and twenty-five square miles,

23 or less than fifty thousand inhabitants, and no parish shall

24 be reduced below that area or number of inhabitants.

25 Section 2. Change of Parish Lines ; Election

26 Section 2. Before taking effect any law changing parish

27 lines, consolidating parishes, dissolving parishes, or creat-

28 ing new parishes shall be submitted to the electors of the

29 parishes to be affected at a special election held for that

30 purpose. The change shall take effect only if two-thirds of

31 the total vote cast on the question in each affected parish is

32 in favor thereof.

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C. P. No. 17

1 Section 3. New or Enlarged Parishes; Adjustment of

2 Assets and Liabilities

3 Section 3. When a parish is enlarged or created from con-

4 tiguous territory, it shall be entitled to a just proportion of

5 the property and assets and shall be liable for a just pro-

6 portion of the existing debts and liabilities of the parish or

7 parishes from which the territory is taken.

g Section 4. Change of Location of Parish Seat

9 Section 4. Upon the written petition of not less than

10 twenty-five percent of the electors, as certified by the regis-

11 trar of voters the governing authority of a parish shall call

12 an election on the que.stion of changing the location of the

13 parish .seat. The location of a parish seat shall not be

14 changed unless two-thirds of the total vote cast on the

15 question is in favor thereof.

16 Section 5. Municipalities; Incorporation, Consolidation,

17 Merger, and Government

'8 Section 5. The legislature shall provide by general law for

19 the incorporation, consolidation, merger, and government of

20 municipalities. No local or special law shall be enacted to

21 create a municipal corporation or to amend, modify, or re-

22 peal its charter. However, if a municipality is operating
28 under a special legislative charter it may be amended, modi-

24 fied, or repeald by local or spcial law as long as such

25 municipality continues to operate under such charter.

26 Section 6. Classification

27 Section 6. Except as provided in this constitution, the leg-

28 islature may classify parishes or municipalities according

29 to population or on any other reasonable basis related to the

80 purpose of this classification, and legislation may be lim-

81 ited in its effect to any of such class or classes. However,

82 no statute which is applicable to fewer than six parishes or

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C. p. No. 17

1 nninicipalities shall become operative an any such parish or

2 municipality until approved by ordinance enacted by the

3 governing authority of the affected parish or municipality.

4 Section 7. Existing Home Rule Charters and Plans of

5 Government of Parishes and Municipalities Ratified

g Sectio,; 7. (A) The plans of government and home rule

7 charters of the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, and

8 Plaquemines and of the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge,

9 and Shreveport shall remain in effect, and may be amended,

10 modified, or repealed as provided therein. Each of them shall

11 retain the authority, powers, rights, privilegs, and immuni-

12 ties granted by its charter. Each shall be subject to the

13 duties imposed by the applicable constitutional provisions

14 under which its plan or charter was adopted. Each of them

15 also shall enjoy such additional powers and functions as are

16 granted to local governmental subdivisions by provisions of

17 this constitution, including Sections 8 and 9 of this Article,

18 unless the exercise of such powers and functions is prohib-

19 ited by its charter.

20 (B) Every other home rule charter adopted or authorized

21 when this constitution is adopted shall remain in effect and

22 may be amended, modified, or repealed as provided in the

23 charter.

24 Section 8. Home Rule Charter

25 Section 8. (A) Any local governmental subdivision may

26 draft, adopt, or amend a charter of government to be known

27 as a home rule charter in accordance with the provisions of

28 this Section. The governing authority of any such local gov-

29 ernmental subdivision may appoint a commission to prepare

30 and propose a charter, or may call an election for the pur-
"1 pose of electing such a commission.

22 (B) The governing authority of any such local govern-

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C. P. No. 17

1 mental subdivision shall call an election to elect a commis-

2 sion to prepare and propose a charter or alternate charter

8 when presented with a petition signed by not less than fif-

4 teen percent of the electors who live within the boundaries

5 of the affected subdivision, as certified by the registrar of

9 voters.

7 (C) A home rule charter shall be adopted when approved

8 by a majority of the electors who vote on the charter pro-

9 posal at an election called for that purpose.

10 (D) Two or more local governmental subdivisions situated

11 within the boundaries of one parish may avail themselves

12 of the provisions of this Section, provided that a majority

13 of the electors in each affected local governmental subdivi-

14 sion who vote in an election held for that purpose vote in

15 favor thereof. The legislature shall provide for the method

16 of appointment or election of a commission to prepare and

17 propose such a charter consistent with Paragraph (A) of

18 this Section. However, at least one member of the commis-

19 sion shall be elected or appointed from each affected local

20 governmental subdivision. The legislature shall provide the

21 method by which the electors of more than one local govern-

22 mental subdivision within the boundaries of one parish may

23 petition for an election for such purpose consistent with

24 Paragraph (B) of this Section.

25 (E) A home rule charter adopted pursuant to the provi-

26 sions of this Section shall provide for the structure and

27 organization, powers, and functions for the government of

28 the local governmental subdivision, which may include the

29 exercise of any power and performance of any function
80 necessary, requisite, or proper for the management of its

31 affairs, not denied by general law or this constitution. The

32 legislature shall not pass any law the effect of which

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C. P. No. 17

1 changes, modifies, or affects the structure and organization

2 and or the particular distribution and redistribution of the

8 powers and functions of any local governmental subdivision

4 which operates under a home rule charter.

5 (F) A local governmental subdivision adopting a home rule
Q charter under this Section shall also enjoy such additional
7 powers and functions as are granted to local governmental
g subdivisions by other provisions of this constitution, includ-

9 ing Section 9 of this Article, unless the exercise of such

10 powers and functions is prohibited by its charter.

11 Section 9. Powers of Other Local Governmental Subdivi-

12 sions

13 Section 9. (A) Any other local governmental subdivision

14 may exercise any power and perform any function neces-

15 sary, requisite, or proper for the management of its affairg

16 not denied to it by its charter, by this constitution, or by

17 general law, including but not limited to the power (1) to

18 legislate upon, regulate, conduct, and control all matters of

19 local governmental administration; (2) to define the powers,

20 duties, and qualifications of parochial or municipal employ-

21 ees; (3) to provide for the protection of the public health,

22 safety, morals, and welfare; (4) to create special districts;

23 (5) to license; (6) to tax under the limitations provided in

24 this constitution or by general law; (7) to incur debt and

25 issue bonds, except as otherwise provided in this constitu-

26 tion.

27 (B) Any local governmental subdivision may exercise

28 any power or perform any function concurrently with the

29 state pertaining to its government and affairs to the ex-

30 tent that the legislature by general law does not specifically

31 limit the concurrent exercise of any such power or perfor-
"^ mance of any such function or specifically declare the state's

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C, P. No. 17

•J exercise of any such power or performance of any such

2 fuction to be exclusive except as provided in this Article.

Q Section 10. Powers of Local Governmental Subdivisions;

A Liberal Construction

c Section 10. Powers and functions of local governmental

g subdivisions shall be construed liberally in favor of such

17 local governmental subdivisions.

g Section 11. Home Rule Parish; Incorporation of Cities,

Q Towns, and Villages

IQ Section 11. When two-thirds of the electors, as certified

J2 by the registrar of voters, of an unincorporated settlement

22 i'l any parish operating under a home rule charter or a home

13 rule plan of government sign and present to the governor a

14 petition and meet other necessary requirements as set forth

15 under the general laws providing for the incorporation of
Ig cities, towns, and villages, such cities, towns, and villages
17 may be incorporated. However, no such newly incorporated
13 area shall include any property previously included in any

19 industrial area or district.

20 Section 12. Limitations of Local Governmental Subdivi-

21 sions

22 Section 12. Local governmental subdivisions shall not: (1)

23 incur debt payable from ad valorem tax receipts maturing

24 more than forty years from the time it is incurred; (2) de-

25 fins snd provide for the punishment of a felony; (3) enact

26 private or civil ordinances governing civil relationships.

27 Section 13. Local Officials

28 Section 13. The electors of each local governmental sub-

29 division shall have the exclusive right to elect the members

30 of their governing authority and, if a plan or form of gov-

31 ernment or home rule charter so provides, their chief execu-

32 tive officer at elections held in accordance with the election

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C. P. No. 17

laws of the state. Such officials shall not be subject to re- j

moval by the legislature. The salaries of these officials shall ^

not be reduced during the terms for which they are elected. 3

Section 14. Filling of Vacancies; Appointment 4

Section 14. (A) Except in the office of sheriff, assessor, 5

clerk of a district court, or coroner, a vacancy occasioned by g

death, resignation, or otherwise in the office of mayor, in 7

the membership of the governing authority of a local gov- g

ernmental subdivision or in any other local office filled by 9

election wholly within the boundaries of a local govern- JO

mental subdivision, shall be filled by appointment by the H

governing authority of such local governmental subdivision ]2

in which the vacancy occurs. A vacancy in the membership 13

of a city or parish school board shall be filled by appoint- 14

ment by the remaining members thereof. A tie vote on such 1 5

appointment to be made by the governing authority of a local IG

governmental subdivision or school board shall be broken IT

by the presiding officer thereof notwithstanding the fact 18

that he may already have voted thereon. If)

(B) If, at the time a vacancy occurs in an elective office 20

for which appointment is provided in Paragraph (A) of this 21

Section, the unexpired portion of the term of office is more 22

than one year; a special election to fill the vacancy shall be 23

called by the governing authority, and held without the 24

necessity of a call by the governor, not more than six months 25

nor less than three months, after first receipt of notice of 26

the vacancy by the secretary of state, to be given as herein- 27

after provided, in the local governmental subdivision or spe- 28

cial district thereof in which the vacancy occurred, and in 29

such case the appointment provided for in Paragraph (A) 30

of this Section shall be effective only until a successor is 31

duly elected and qualified. ''^
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C. P. No. 17

(C) Upon being informed of the occurrence of a vacancy
in any of the offices specified in Paragraph (A) of this Sec-
tion, the clerk or chief clerk of the district court in the
parish where the vacancy occurred, and in the parish of
Orleans the clerk or chief clerk of the criminal district court,
shall, within twenty-four hours after being thus informed,
notify the secretary of state in writing by registered or cer-
tified mail of the occurrence of the vacancy. Upon receipt
of .such notice, the secretary of state shall, within twenty-
four hours after such receipt, notify in writing by registered
or certified mail all election officials, including party commit-
tees and boards of supervisors of elections, having any duty
to perform in connection with a special election to fill such
vacancy, of the occurrence of the vacancy.

(D) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as changing
the qualifications for the various offices involved and all
appointments must be of persons who would otherwise be
eligible to hold offices to which appointed.

(E) The provisions of this Section shall apply to all local
governmental subdivisions unless otherwise provided by the
home rule charter or the home rule plan of government of the
affected local governmental subdivision.

(F) Vacancies occasioned by death, resignation, or other-
wise in the office of sheriff, assessor, clerk of a district court,
or coroner shall be filled by appointment by the governing
authority of the parish at the time and in the manner pro-
vided in Paragraphs (B) and (C) of this Section.

(0) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the
office of judge of any state court of record or district attor-

Section 15. Recall

Section 15. The legislature shall by general law provide
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C. P. No. 17

1 for the recall of state, district, parish, municipal, or ward

2 officers, except judges of the courts of record, and except

3 wherein otherwise provided by this constitution. The sole

4 issue to be voted on at any recall election shall be whether

5 such officers shall be recalled.

6 Section 16. Legislation Increasing Financial Burden of

7 Political Subdivisions; Local Approval

g Section 16. No law requiring an increase in expendi-

9 tures, or a deduction from the funds of a political subdivi-

10 sion for salaries of local public officials or for wages, hours,

11 working conditions, pension and retirement benefits, vaca-

12 tion or sick leave benefits of political subdivision employees,

13 or an increase in commissions of or for local political sub-

14 division offices, except a law providing for civil service, min-

15 imum wages, working conditions, and retirement benefits
18 for firemen and policemen, shall have effect until approved

17 by ordinance enacted by the governing authority of the po-

18 litical subdivision affected thereby or until the legislature

19 appropriations funds to the affected politicaJ subdivision for

20 that purpose and only to the extent and amount that such

21 funds are provided.

22 Section 17. Governing Authorities of Local Governmental

23 Subdivisions ; Control Over Agencies They Create

24 Section 17. (A) In addition to any other powers granted
26 by the legislature, the governing authority of a local govern-

26 mental subdivision shall have the following powers over any

27 agency heretofore or hereafter created by it : ( 1 ) to appoint

28 and remove mmebers of the governing body of the agency,

29 (2) to exercise budgetary and fiscal control over the agency,

30 including the power to modify or veto its operating budget,

31 veto or reduce line items, or substitute a different budget
- therefor; (3) to abolish the governing body of the agency and

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C. P. No. 17

1 to substitute itself therefor, with authority to exercise all

2 of its powers and functions; and (4) to abolish the agency

3 if the obligations or indebtedness of the agency are not

4 thereby impaired.

5 (B) No such agency shall have authority to levy a tax,

6 impose any charge, or issue bonds unless the proposal there-

7 for is first approved by the governing authority of the local

8 governmental subdivision. However, after such original ap-

9 proval is granted no further approval shall be required.

10 (C) If the creation of the agency required the concurrence

11 of two or more local governmental subdivisions, concurrence

12 of all of them shall be required for the exercise of the above

13 powers.

14 Section 18. Special Districts and Local Public Agencies;

15 Consolidation, Merger, and Assumption of Debt

16 Section 18. (A) Any local governmental subdivision may

17 consolidate and merge into itself any special district or

18 local public agency, except a school district, situated and

19 having jurisdiction entirely within the boundaries of such

20 local governmental subdivision. Upon such merger and con-

21 solidation the local governmental subdivision shall succeed

22 to and be vested with all of the rights, revenues, resources,

23 jurisdiction, authority, and powers of such special district

24 or local public agency. No such merger and consolidation

25 shall take effect unless a majority of the electors voting

26 thereon in the local governmental subdivision as a whole and

27 also a majority of the electors voting thereon in the affected

28 special district vote in favor of such proposition.

29 (B) If the special district or local public agency which is

30 abolished has any outstanding indebtedness, the authority

31 provided for by this Section shall not be exercised unless

32 provision is made for the assumption of such indebtedness by

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C. P. No. 17*

1 the governing authority or authorities of the local govern-

2 mental subdivisions involved.

3 Section 19. Historic Preservation Districts

4 Section 19. (A) In order to promote the educational, cul-

5 tural, economic, and general welfare of the public through the

6 preservation and protection of buildings, sites, monuments,

7 structures, areas and districts of historic or architectural
g interest or importance, each local governmental subdivision,
9 acting through a commission or otherwise, shall have the

10 power and authority to establish, operate and maintain his-

11 toric preservation areas and districts by the adoption of

12 appropriate ordinances and laws, which is hereby declared to

13 be for a public purpose.

14 (B) The governing authority of each local governmental

15 subdivision shall have the power and authority of review to

16 affirm, reverse or modify, in whole or in part, any action or

17 decision of any such commission.

18 Section 20. Zoning

19 Section 20. Local governmental subdivisions may enact

20 land use regulations and zoning ordinances and create and

21 classify therein residential, commercial, industrial, and other

22 districts, and may regulate the preservation of the character

23 of buildings, monuments, structures, and buildings and areas

24 of historical importance. Local governmental subdivisions may

25 create airport zones and regulate the heights of buildings,

26 structures, and objects of natural growth in areas surround-

27 ing airports.

28 Section 21. Industrial Areas

29 Section 21. The legislature may authorize parishes to create

30 industrial areas within their boundaries in accordance

31 with such procedures and subject to such regulations as the

32 legislature shall determine. Industrial areas shall not be sub-

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C. P. No. 17

1 divisions of the state.

2 Section 22. Creation of Special Districts by the Legisla-

3 ture ; Authority

4 Section 22. Subject to the limitations imposed in this con-

5 stitution, the legislature by general law or by local or special

6 law may create or authorize the creation of special districts,

7 boards, agencies, commissions, and authorities of every type,

8 define their powers, and grant to the special districts, boards,

9 agencies, commissions and authorities so created such rights,
IQ powers, and authorities as it deems proper, including, but

11 not limited to, the power of taxation, the power to incur debt

12 and issue bonds, and the power to reclaim property from

13 the beds of lakes and streams.

14 Section 23. Intergovernmental Cooperation

15 Section 23. (A) Any political subdivision may exercise and

16 perform any of its authorized powers and functions, includ-

17 ing financing, jointly or in cooperation with one or more

18 political subdivisions, either within or without the state,

19 the United States or agencies thereof, except as the legiska-

20 ture shall provide otherwise by law.

21 (B) Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, the

22 legislature shall not require political subdivisions to exer-

23 cise powers or perform functions jointly or in cooperation

24 with any other political subdivision, nor shall the legislature

25 require consolidation of governmental functions of local gov-

26 ernmental subdivisions. However, the legislature may enact

27 laws authorizing the consolidation of political subdivisions

28 or the joint exercise of powers and performance of functions

29 by political subdivisions, but no such law shall become effec-

30 five until submitted to and approved by two-thirds of the

31 electors in each of the political subdivisions affected there-

32 by, who vote in an election called for that purpose.

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C. p. No. 17

j^ Section 24. Assistance to Local Industry by Political Subdi-

2 visions

3 Section 24. (A) Subject to such restrictions as it may im-

4 pose, the legislature may authorize any political subdivision,

5 in order (1) to induce and encourage the location of or addi-

6 tion to industrial enterprises therein, or (2) to provide for

7 the establishment and furnishing- of industrial plants for the
g conversion or processing of raw farm or agricultural prod-
9 ucts, or (3) to provide movable or immovable property, or

10 both, for pollution control facilities: (a) to issue bonds and

11 use the funds derived from the sale thereof to acquire and

12 improve industrial plant sites and other property necessary

13 to the purposes thereof; (b) to acquire, through purchase

14 or otherwise, and to improve, industrial plant buildings and

15 industrial plant equipment, machinery, furnishings, and ap-

16 purtenances; and (c) to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of

17 all or any part of the foregoing.

18 (B) It is hereby found and declared that the purposes

19 designed to be accomplished herein are public and proper

20 legal purposes and will be of public benefit to the political

21 subdivision issuing the bonds.

22 Section 25. Appropriation to Political Subdivisions

23 Section 25. When the legislature appropriates funds to

24 one or more political subdivisions and the legislature does

25 not specify the purposes for which such funds shall be ex-

26 pended, or the amounts to be e.xpended therefor, the expen-

27 diture of such funds shall be determined solely by the gov-

28 erning authority of the political subdivision or political sub-

29 divisions to which the funds are appropriated. The legisla-

30 ture may require a report concerning the allocation and ex-

Online LibraryLouisiana. Constitutional Convention (1973)Records of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1973 (Volume 4) → online text (page 28 of 65)