2011 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 39 — Public finance
RS 39:461.1 — Emergency funds; legislative consent; procedure
§461.1. Emergency funds; legislative consent; procedure
A.(1) Whenever, in accordance with the provisions of Article VII, Section 7 of the Constitution of 1974, the interim emergency board is of the opinion that an emergency exists which justifies the appropriation of funds from the State General Fund or the borrowing of funds on the full faith and credit of the state in order to meet the emergency, it shall request by letter the written consent of two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.
(2) An "emergency" is an event or occurrence not reasonably anticipated by the legislature. "An event not reasonably anticipated" shall be one not considered and rejected, in the same relative form or content, by the legislature during the preceding session either by specific legislative instrument or amendment thereto on the floor of either house or by a committee thereof. Payment for medical care provided to medically indigent or Medicaid patients pursuant to the Care for Evacuated Patients Program as provided in R.S. 46:2771 shall be deemed to be an emergency for purposes of this Chapter.
B.(1) In order to obtain the consent of two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature, the clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate shall prepare and transmit a ballot to each member of the legislature by certified mail with return receipt requested, unless it is determined that the legislature will be in session in time for the ballots to be distributed to them and returned by them during the session.
(2) The ballot shall be uniform, state the factual basis upon which the board concluded that an emergency not anticipated by the legislature exists which justifies the appropriation of funds or the borrowing of funds on the full faith and credit of the state in order to meet the emergency, the amount for which the appropriation is to be made or the money is to be borrowed, and such other pertinent information as the clerk and secretary shall determine.
(3) The interim emergency board shall provide the clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate such information as shall be necessary to prepare the ballots.
(4) If the board proposes to borrow funds on the full faith and credit of the state, the ballot shall so state for each item to be financed in this manner and shall also state the term of such debt and the interest to be paid thereon.
(5) If more than one item is to be voted on, the ballot shall set forth each item in such form as to enable each member to cast his vote separately for or against each item.
(6) Each ballot also shall contain the name of the member to whom it is to be mailed and the member shall sign the ballot after casting his vote.
C.(1) The ballots mailed to all members shall be postmarked on the same day and shall be returned to the clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate within fifteen days after the postmarked date.
(2) When such ballots are delivered to the members of the legislature while in session, they shall be returned to the clerk and the secretary within five days of the date which the clerk and secretary certify as the date that the ballots were delivered to members then present to which delivery was possible.
(3) No ballot received by the clerk or the secretary after five o'clock p.m. on the fifth day after the date on which the ballots were delivered to the members of the legislature in session, or after five o'clock p.m. on the fifteenth day after the date on which the ballots were mailed, shall be valid or counted, but the day and time received shall be marked on each ballot received after such time and the ballot shall be marked "Invalid". However, prior to five o'clock p.m. on the fifth day when delivered to the members of the legislature while in session or prior to five o'clock p.m. on the fifteenth day after the postmarked date if mailed to the members of the legislature, a member may withdraw his ballot or change his vote upon his written request.
(4) For the purposes of this Chapter, an electronically transmitted ballot shall be sealed immediately upon receipt and its contents not disclosed until the day when all ballots are opened and tabulated.
D.(1) On the sixteenth day after the date on which the ballots were mailed, as provided herein, the clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate shall open and tabulate the vote in roll call order for each house of the legislature. The clerk and the secretary shall hold such ballots unopened and shall not disclose the contents to any person until the day when such ballots are opened and tabulated. No ballot shall be deemed spoiled if inadvertently opened in processing or if received and sealed pursuant to Paragraph (C)(4) of this Section.
(2) The tabulation shall indicate by name those members who voted in favor of each item, those who voted against each item, those who did not vote on one or more items, those who did not return the ballot by the due date and time, and those whose ballots were invalid because not signed by the member. The clerk and the secretary shall sign the tabulation sheet or sheets and cause a summary thereof to be transmitted to the interim emergency board. Approval by the requisite two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature shall constitute appropriation of those items proposing an appropriation and authorization to the board to proceed to borrow the amount for each item proposing the borrowing of funds.
E. The interim emergency board shall cease to appropriate funds from the State General Fund or to borrow funds on the full faith and credit of the state during a legislative session and shall not accept or approve any requests of an emergency nature until after the sine die adjournment of a legislative session. This prohibition shall not apply to requests approved by the board prior to the convening of a legislative session for which balloting provisions are authorized by Subsections B and C. The board shall notify all state agencies of the final date for filing an emergency request.
Acts 1974, Ex.Sess. No. 10, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1976, No. 557, §2; Acts 1979, No. 706, §1, eff. April 1, 1980; Acts 1981, No. 620, §3, eff. July 1, 1981; Acts 1982, No. 502, §3; Acts 1984, No. 334, §1, eff. July 2, 1984; Acts 1990, No. 746, §1, eff. July 24, 1990; Acts 2001, No. 1032, §13; Acts 2006, No. 410, §1, eff. June 15, 2006.
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