The wording of constitutional amendments on the ballot is not always the clearest, especially for voters seeing the ballot items for the first time when they enter the voting booth. For voters seeking to educate themselves before casting that ballot, it can also be challenging to navigate between the cases being made for and against amendments. As a state representative who voted for proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 in the Legislature, I can tell you that the facts point to this measure being good for families, and for our state's fiscal stability, now and down the road.

Contrary to claims that Amendment 2 prioritizes the wealthy over hardworking residents, this amendment lowers tax rates for all income levels. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, 93% of individual taxpayers will see lower state income tax payments if this amendment passes.

I have also heard claims that Amendment 2 will make it tougher for our state to invest in schools, child care and health care. Those who work with me in the Legislature know students and education are my priorities — and making this change in our income tax system actually ensures that Louisiana will be in a more stable position to invest in our young people. Under our current system, which allows taxpayers to deduct federal income taxes paid, when Congress raises federal taxes, taxpayers pay less state income tax. That means Louisiana collects less money. If federal taxes rise, as many expect them to, our state will lose hundreds of millions of dollars. That will hurt education and health care — the very areas we are working to protect.

Fortunately, I am not alone. This amendment passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature, meaning it had the support of your state representatives and senators. It has the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards. It is a move that “would create a more fair and stable tax system,” according to the nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council.

JASON HUGHES

state representative

New Orleans