State Representative Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City) today urged Louisianans to support at the ballot this fall Act 678, a proposed constitutional amendment to assist the families of first responders and military personnel who die in the line of duty. The amendment, authored by Johnson and passed unanimously by the Legislature in June, would provide important tax relief for the families who suffer such a loss.
“With so many of these tragedies occurring in recent months, many Louisianans are asking themselves, ‘What small difference can I make to help those hurt by the loss of life from these deadly police shootings?’ Passing our amendment would be a one important contribution,” said Johnson.
News reports have noted that shooting deaths of law enforcement officers have risen 78 percent so far this year over last. Sadly, Louisiana ranks as the state with the second highest number of officer deaths, losing seven officers already this year. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has also tracked a shocking increase in “ambush-style assaults” upon police.
Johnson noted that as a member of a first responder family himself, he feels particularly for the families of these brave public servants.
“My father was a Shreveport firefighter who was critically injured and permanently disabled in the line of duty, so this issue is a personal one for me,” said Johnson. “If a hero pays the ultimate price in service to their country and their community, then their family has already paid enough.”
If passed, this new constitutional amendment will establish a total ad valorem property tax exemption on the family home for the surviving spouses of any member of the armed forces of the United States, the La. National Guard, or a law enforcement or fire protection officer killed in the line of duty.
For more information or to read the language of Act 678, visit: http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/BillInfo.aspx?s=16RS&b=ACT678&sbi=y.