BILL WATCH 2019: What’s what during the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session

BILL WATCH 2019: What’s what during the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana’s lawmakers return to the capitol Monday, April 8 as their annual regular legislative session gets underway.

With more than 800 bills filed ahead of the session, lawmakers are set to spar over taxes, pay raises for teachers, abortion, the death penalty, gender rights, marijuana, and milk before the June 6 deadline.

“In an election year law makers generally don’t do more than they have to and the governor is not likely to get out on a limb either, but we know he’s at odds on some major issues with the legislature, he has been for three years and he says he’s coming back for one more try we’ll see how it goes,” said political analyst Jim Engster.

Read more about the bills WAFB is keeping an eye on below:

Louisiana legislator proposes bill for production of industrial hemp (House Bill 491)

  • The bill would allow agricultural producers in the state to grow industrial hemp.
  • Click here to read more about this bill

Lawmaker introduces bill that would remove the term “milk” from anything that is not dairy (Senate Bill 39)

  • Manufacturers would be unable to continue use of the term “milk” in the name of non-dairy, plant-based products like soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill would legalize low-speed electric scooters in Louisiana (Senate Bill 91)

  • The bill would allow the operation of electric scooters under certain condition, and the local government would allowed to prohibit their use if it affects public safety.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill means harassment of referees could land sports fans in prison (House Bill 184)

  • The proposed bill calls for those who verbally and physically harass referees to pay up to $500 in fines, serve a maximum of 90 days in prison, 40 hours of community service work, and mandatory counseling.
  • Click here to read more about this bill

Proposed bill requires cameras in special education classrooms (House Bill 238)

  • The bill would require schools to install cameras in special education classrooms, not including classrooms where gifted students are taught. Only parents and the superintendent would be able to view the footage, and footage would be redacted in such a way a parent is only able to see their child.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill requires insurance coverage for acupuncture performed by a licensed acupuncturist (House Bill 272)

  • The bill would require all health coverage plans issued after Jan. 1, 2020 to provide coverage for acupuncture.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill would make it a crime to drive aggressively in Louisiana (House Bill 6)

  • The bill would make driving aggressively a crime in Louisiana and enforce certain penalties, including fines and jail time.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill aims to wipe slate clean of offenders after several years, remove police if records released (House Bill 327)

  • The bill prohibits law enforcement officers or employees of law enforcement agencies from disclosing or disseminating information relating to arrests that do not result in convictions and certain misdemeanor and felony arrest and convictions.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill would create initiative to encourage patronage to veteran-owned businesses in Louisiana

  • Louisiana representatives are proposing a bill that would encourage patronage to veteran-owned businesses through certification initiative.
  • Click here to read more about this bill.

Proposed bill would ban the creation of most freestanding emergency rooms in Louisiana (Senate Bill 36)

  • Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills says stand-alone emergency department cherry-pick services that generate the most money and threaten the survival of fragile rural hospitals.
  • Click here for more on the bill.

Louisiana lawmaker proposes bill to create reading scholarship program

  • A Louisiana lawmaker is proposing legislation to create a reading program scholarship for certain public school children.
  • Click here for more on the bill.

Proposed bill would exempt feminine hygiene products and diapers from state sales tax (Senate Bill 4) - Bill was killed by the Senate Wednesday, May 8

  • The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs approved a bill Wednesday that would allow Louisiana voters to decide if diapers and feminine hygiene products should be exempt from state sales tax collections. The bill from Senator JP Morrell, D-New Orleans, will advance to the Senate floor.
  • Click for more about the bill.

Proposed bill would legalize sports betting in Louisiana (Senate Bill 153)

  • A Senate judiciary committee approved a bill Tuesday, April 23 that would allow voters to decide whether sports betting will be legalized in their parishes during the October election. The bill, authored by Metairie Republican Danny Martiny, would restrict sports betting to casinos, racetracks, and riverboats.
  • Click here for more on the bill.

Proposed bill would raise the age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 (House Bill 38)

  • The House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill Wednesday, April 24 that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21 in Louisiana.
  • Click to read more about the bill.

Bill would increase minimum wage in Louisiana to $9 per hour (Senate Bill 155)

  • The Senate’s labor committee advanced a bill Thursday, April 25 that would allow voters to decide whether the state should adopt a $9 per hour minimum wage.
  • Click here to read more about the bill.

Bill would prohibit employers from banning employees from discussing their pay with their coworkers (Senate Bill 136)

  • The Senate’s labor committee approved a bill backed by Governor John Bel Edwards that would make it illegal for businesses to bar their employees from discussing how much they are paid.
  • More info about the bill here.

Proposed bill would create HOV lanes on I-12 between Walker and the I-10/12 split (Senate Bill 84) - Bill advanced to House Monday, May 13

  • There’s a new idea that could help ease congestion along I-12, and possibly help everyone else at the same time. The idea is a carpool lane, or high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. They’re popular in big cities.
  • Click for more about the bill.

Bill would make holding your cell phone while driving illegal (House Bill 229)

  • The House Transportation Committee overwhelmingly approved a bill Monday, April 29 that would ban drivers from holding their cell phones while behind the wheel.
  • Click here to read more about the bill.

Bill proposes inhalers be allowed as part of medical marijuana program (House Bill 358)

  • The Louisiana House’s Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 1 that would loosen regulations on the state’s medical marijuana program so certain patients could use medical marijuana inhalers.
  • Click for more on the bill.

Bill would provide signs on I-10 saying "Home of the Who Dat Nation Highway (Senate Bill 134)

  • A bill to place the phrase “Home of the Who Dat Nation Highway” on signs along I-10 is a step away from becoming law.
  • Click to read more on the bill.

Bill would eliminate requirement for inspection stickers in Louisiana (House Bill 546)

  • The House Transportation Committee approved a bill Monday, May 13 that would eliminate inspection stickers in Louisiana.
  • Click for more on the bill.

Bills would allow the delivery of alcohol to people’s homes (House Bill 508 and House Bill 349)

  • Two bills that would allow retailers to deliver alcohol to doorsteps are now headed to the Senate floor after a judiciary committee approved the bill Tuesday, May 14.
  • Click here to read more about the two bills.

Bill would require university officials to report any rumors of hazing allegations to law enforcement immediately, rather than within the current 14-day grace period (House Bill 443)

  • The House’s education committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 15 that would require campus organizations and university officials to contact law enforcement as soon as they learn of any hazing allegations.
  • Click here to read more about the bill.

Bill would allow LDAF to distribute marijuana growing permits for recreational use (House Bill 564)

  • On Thursday, May 16, the House’s judiciary committee did not approve or kill a bill that would allow for recreational marijuana use in Louisiana. Instead, lawmakers essentially sent it to the House’s criminal justice committee, where the concept faces opposition.
  • Click here for more about the bill.

Bill would use BP settlement money to build connector between LA 1 and LA 415 (House Bill 578)

  • House lawmakers approved a bill Friday, May 17, 97 to 4, that would divert money currently earmarked for state savings accounts to construct a new LA 415 to LA 1 connector.
  • Click for more details about the bill.

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