Documents > State Constitution of 1974 > Article XII
ARTICLE XII. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§1. State Capital
Section 1. The capital of Louisiana is the city of Baton Rouge.
§2. Civilian-Military Relations
Section 2. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power.
§3. Right to Direct Participation
Section 3. No person shall be denied the right to observe the deliberations of public bodies and examine public documents, except in cases established by law.
§4. Preservation of Linguistic and Cultural Origins
Section 4. The right of the people to preserve, foster, and promote their respective historic linguistic and cultural origins is recognized.
§5. Successions; Forced Heirship and Trusts
Section 5.(A) The legislature shall provide by law for uniform procedures of successions and for the rights of heirs or legatees and for testate and intestate succession. Except as provided in Paragraph (B) of this Section, forced heirship is abolished in this state.
(B) The legislature shall provide for the classification of descendants, of the first degree, twenty-three years of age or younger as forced heirs. The legislature may also classify as forced heirs descendants of any age who, because of mental incapacity or physical infirmity, are incapable of taking care of their persons or administering their estates. The amount of the forced portion reserved to heirs and the grounds for disinherison shall also be provided by law. Trusts may be authorized by law and the forced portion may be placed in trust.
Amended by Acts 1995, No. 1321, §1, approved Oct. 21, 1995, eff. Nov. 23, 1995.
§6. Lotteries; Gaming, Gambling, or Wagering
Section 6.(A) Lotteries. (1) The legislature may provide for the creation and operation of a state lottery and may create a special corporation for that purpose whose employees shall not be subject to state civil service. The net proceeds from the operation of the lottery shall be deposited in a special fund created in the state treasury entitled the Lottery Proceeds Fund. Amounts deposited in the fund shall not be appropriated for expenditure in the same calendar year in which they are received. The legislature shall annually appropriate from the fund only for the purposes of the minimum foundation program and no more than five hundred thousand dollars for services related to compulsive and problem gaming as may be provided by law.
(2) A law providing for the creation and operation of a state lottery, once enacted, may be modified only by a law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house but may be repealed in its entirety by a law enacted by a majority thereof. If such a law has been repealed, the legislature thereafter may provide for the creation and operation of a state lottery only by law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house.
(3) No state general funds may be expended for the primary purpose of inducing persons to participate in the lottery. However, state general funds may be expended for the purpose of reasonably informing the public solely about the following factors pertaining to the operation and administration of the lottery:
(a) The type or types of lottery to be conducted.
(b) The price or prices of tickets or shares in the lottery.
(c) The numbers and sizes of prizes.
(d) The approximate odds of winning.
(e) The manner of payment.
(f) Frequency and time of awarding of prizes.
(g) Location of sites for sale of tickets or shares and sites of determination of winners and awarding of prizes.
(4) No political subdivision of the state shall authorize or conduct a lottery.
(B) Gambling. Gambling shall be defined by and suppressed by the legislature.
(C) Gaming, Gambling, or Wagering Referendum Elections. (1)(a) No law authorizing a new form of gaming, gambling, or wagering not specifically authorized by law prior to the effective date of this Paragraph shall be effective nor shall such gaming, gambling, or wagering be licensed or permitted to be conducted in a parish unless a referendum election on a proposition to allow such gaming, gambling, or wagering is held in the parish and the proposition is approved by a majority of those voting thereon.
(b) No form of gaming, gambling, or wagering authorized by law on the effective date hereof shall be licensed or permitted to be conducted in a parish in which it was not heretofore being conducted, except licensed charitable gaming which may be conducted in any parish provided it is conducted in compliance with the law, pursuant to a state license or permit unless a referendum election on a proposition to allow such gaming, gambling, or wagering is held in the parish and the proposition is approved by a majority of those voting thereon.
(2) No new license or permit shall be issued for the conducting of riverboat gaming, gambling, or wagering operations or activities at a berth or docking facility in a parish in which such gaming, gambling, or wagering is then being conducted, unless a referendum election on a proposition to allow such additional gaming, gambling, or wagering operations or activities has been held in the parish and the proposition has been approved by a majority of those voting thereon. In addition, no license or permit regardless of when issued shall be reissued, amended, or replaced to authorize the holder to conduct riverboat gaming, gambling, or wagering operations or activities at a berth or docking facility different from that authorized in the license or permit, unless a referendum election on a proposition to allow such gaming, gambling, or wagering operations or activities has been held in the parish in which the proposed berth or docking facility is located and the proposition has been approved by a majority of those voting thereon.
(3) The legislature may at any time repeal statutes authorizing gaming, gambling, or wagering.
(4) Notwithstanding Article III, Section 12, or any other provision of this constitution, the legislature by local or special law may provide for elections on propositions relating to allowing or prohibiting one or more forms of gaming, gambling, or wagering authorized by legislative act.
Amended by Acts 1990, No. 1097, §1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Nov. 8, 1990; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 98, §1, approved Sept. 21, 1996, eff. Oct. 15, 1996; Acts 2003, No. 1305, §1, approved Oct. 4, 2003, eff. July 1, 2004.
§7. State Penal Institutions; Reimbursement of Parish Expense
Section 7. The state shall reimburse a parish in which a state penal institution is located for expenses the parish incurs arising from crime committed in the institution or by an inmate thereof.
§8. Welfare, Unemployment Compensation, and Health
Section 8. The legislature may establish a system of economic and social welfare, unemployment compensation, and public health.
§8.1. Worker's Compensation
Section 8.1. (A) Authorization. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution to the contrary, and subject to the conditions contained in this Section, the legislature by law may create a private, nonprofit corporation to provide workers' compensation insurance and to deliver related services as provided by law.
(2) Once the full faith and credit of the state for the payment of the corporation's legal obligations is extinguished, and the corporation provides security, as required by law, to hold the state harmless from all claims arising from any legal obligation of the corporation to which the full faith and credit of the state is applicable, including all costs associated therewith:
(a) This private corporation may not be dissolved or otherwise terminated by the repeal of the statutes enabling its creation or by the passage of other legislation providing for its dissolution or termination.
(b) Exclusive power to dissolve or otherwise terminate the corporation shall rest solely with the commissioner of insurance or the corporation's policyholders. Such dissolution or termination shall be in accordance with law.
(c) The corporation shall not be sold or converted to a domestic stock insurer, nor shall ownership or control be transferred.
(d) The corporation shall not be subject to any legislation directed exclusively at the corporation which impairs the corporation's ability to provide a competitive market for workers' compensation insurance to Louisiana employers.
(e) Upon the failure of the corporation to maintain security as required herein and as certified by the commissioner of insurance, the provisions of Subsubparagraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) shall be null.
(B)(1) Loan, Pledge, or Donation by State. Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution to the contrary, the funds, credit, property, or things of value of the state may be loaned, pledged, or donated to or for the corporation under terms, conditions, or procedures to be provided by law with specific applicability to the corporation. However, any cash or negotiable instrument advanced to the corporation by the state shall be a loan and may not be donated by the state.
(2) Full Faith and Credit. The corporation may rely on the full faith and credit of the state of Louisiana for the payment of legal obligations, for a period of five years or until such time as the United States Department of Labor approves United States Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act coverage by the corporation without such security, whichever occurs later.
(C) Board of Directors.
(1) The board of directors for a corporation established pursuant to the authorization contained in Paragraph A of this Section shall consist of twelve members as follows:
(a) One person from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or by a successor organization representative of organized labor to be designated by the legislature in the event that the Louisiana American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations ceases to exist.
(b) One person from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or by a successor organization representative of organized business to be designated by the legislature in the event that the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry ceases to exist.
(c) Four persons, all residents of Louisiana, each of whom represents a for-profit business, provided that at least one of these persons represents a business with ten or fewer employees, one of these persons represents a business with at least eleven but not more than fifty employees, one of these persons represents a business with over fifty employees, and one of these persons represents a business with over one hundred employees.
(d) A member of the Senate who has management experience in a for-profit business, who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member.
(e) A member of the House of Representatives who has management experience in a for-profit business, who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member.
(f) One person, from a list of three submitted by the board of directors of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation, who is an agent licensed by the Department of Insurance to sell workers' compensation insurance in Louisiana and who possesses executive level experience in the field of workers' compensation insurance.
(g) Two persons, each from a list of three submitted by the board of directors of Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation, who are residents of the state of Louisiana and who shall represent the interest of the citizens of the state at large.
(h) One representative of the state office of risk management who possesses executive level experience in the field of worker's compensation insurance.
(i) The insurance commissioner or his designee, who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member.
(2) The governor shall appoint the charter members to the board, except that the president of the Senate shall appoint the Senate member and the speaker of the House shall appoint the House of Representatives member.
(3) The legislature shall provide by law for staggered terms of board members. Those who hold policies issued by the corporation will elect the successors to the four charter members representing for-profit businesses. The president of the Senate shall appoint the successors to the charter Senate member and the speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the successors to the charter House of Representatives member. The governor shall continue to appoint all other members as initially provided.
(4) All gubernatorial appointees shall be confirmed by the Senate in conformity with the procedures of Article IV, Section 5(H) of this constitution.
(D) Corporation Property Separate. The corporation shall not be a state agency. The property and assets of the corporation shall not be state property, shall not be subject to appropriation by the legislature, shall not be deposited in the state treasury, and shall consist of all premiums collected from underwriting worker's compensation risks, all reserves to pay future claims and all interest earned upon any monies invested by the corporation, any properties or securities acquired through the use of monies belonging to the corporation, all earnings of such property or securities, and all other monies received by the corporation from any other source.
(E) Solvency. The corporation shall adopt actuarially sound rates and underwriting policies that insure the corporation's solvency.
(F) Guaranty Fund. The corporation shall be exempt from participation in and shall not join or contribute financially to or be entitled to the protection of any plan, pool, association, or guaranty fund or insolvency fund authorized or required pursuant to the Insurance Code. However, upon the extinguishment of the full faith and credit guarantee of the state, the corporation shall no longer be exempt from participation in, contribution to, and protection under the insurance guaranty association fund created and operating under R.S. 22:1375 et seq., of the Insurance Code. The corporation's participation in, contribution to, and protection under the insurance guaranty association fund shall be on a prospective basis only. This prospective participation, contribution, and protection shall only apply to claims arising from injuries occurring after the extinguishment of the full faith and credit guarantee.
Added by Acts 1991, No. 1073, §1, approved Oct. 19, 1991, eff. Nov. 21, 1991; Amended by Acts 1999, No. 1404, §1, approved Nov. 20, 1999, eff. Dec. 27, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 1405, §1, approved Nov. 20, 1999, eff. Dec. 27, 1999; Acts 2003, No. 1294, §1.
§9. Exemptions From Seizure and Sale
Section 9. The legislature shall provide by law for exemptions from seizure and sale, as well as waivers of and exclusions from such exemptions. The exemption shall extend to at least fifteen thousand dollars in value of a homestead, as provided by law.
§10. Suits Against the State
Section 10.(A) No Immunity in Contract and Tort. Neither the state, a state agency, nor a political subdivision shall be immune from suit and liability in contract or for injury to person or property.
(B) Waiver in Other Suits. The legislature may authorize other suits against the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision. A measure authorizing suit shall waive immunity from suit and liability.
(C) Limitations; Procedure; Judgments. Notwithstanding Paragraph (A) or (B) or any other provision of this constitution, the legislature by law may limit or provide for the extent of liability of the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision in all cases, including the circumstances giving rise to liability and the kinds and amounts of recoverable damages. It shall provide a procedure for suits against the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision and provide for the effect of a judgment, but no public property or public funds shall be subject to seizure. The legislature may provide that such limitations, procedures, and effects of judgments shall be applicable to existing as well as future claims. No judgment against the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision shall be exigible, payable, or paid except from funds appropriated therefor by the legislature or by the political subdivision against which the judgment is rendered.
Amended by Acts 1995, No. 1328, §1, approved Oct. 21, 1995, eff. Nov. 23, 1995.
§11. Continuity of Government
Section 11. The legislature shall provide for orderly and temporary continuity of state government, in periods of emergency, until normal processes of government can be reestablished in accordance with the constitution and laws of the state; and, except as otherwise provided by this constitution, for the prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices when incumbents become unavailable to perform their functions.
§12. Corporations; Perpetual or Indefinite Duration; Dissolution; Perpetual Franchises or Privileges
Section 12. Neither the state nor any political subdivision shall grant a perpetual franchise or privilege; however, the legislature may authorize the organization of corporations for perpetual or indefinite duration. Every corporation shall be subject to dissolution or forfeiture of its charter or franchise, as provided by general law.
§13. Prescription Against State
Section 13. Prescription shall not run against the state in any civil matter, unless otherwise provided in this constitution or expressly by law.
§14. Administrative Agency Codes
Section 14. Rules, regulations, and procedures adopted by all state administrative and quasi-judicial agencies, boards, and commissions shall be published in one or more codes and made available to the public.
§15. Defense of Marriage
Section 15. Marriage in the state of Louisiana shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall construe this constitution or any state law to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any member of a union other than the union of one man and one woman. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall recognize any marriage contracted in any other jurisdiction which is not the union of one man and one woman.
Added by Acts 2004, No. 926, §1, approved September 18, 2004, eff. October 19, 2004.
§16. Patient's Compensation Fund
Section 16.(A) Authorization. Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution to the contrary, the legislature may establish a private custodial fund to be designated the "Patient's Compensation Fund". Any deposits into a fund established pursuant to this Section are not public monies, but are self-generated, private monies to be held in trust by a board created by the legislature for the use, benefit, and protection of medical malpractice claimants and the private health care provider members. Pursuant to Article VII, Section 10(J) of this constitution, such funds shall not be defined as state general funds or dedicated funds required for deposit in the state treasury.
(B) Patient's Compensation Fund assets. The assets of a fund, when established pursuant to this Section, shall not be state property, shall not be subject to appropriation by the legislature, and shall not be required for deposit in the state treasury pursuant to Article VII, Section 9(A) of this constitution. Assets of such a fund shall consist of all surcharges collected from health care provider members and filing fees collected from claimants, all reserves to pay future claims, all interest earned upon any monies invested by the board, any securities acquired through the investment of fund monies, all earnings on such securities, and all other monies and assets deposited into the fund.
(C) Guaranty fund. Any such fund created pursuant to this Section shall be exempt from participation in and shall not join or contribute financially to or be entitled to the protection of any plan, pool, association, or guaranty fund or insolvency fund.
(D) Full faith and credit. No fund nor board that may be created pursuant to this Section may rely on the full faith and credit of this state for the payment of legal obligations.
(E) State general funds. Any such fund or board created pursuant to this Section shall not be entitled to an appropriation of state general funds without a specific appropriation approved by the legislature.
Added by Acts 2011, No. 421, §1, approved October 22, 1011, eff. November 21, 2011.