19 April 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- House prefiled bills through Apr. 17, 2009

Pre-fling now has ceased so for this week the blog will take a look at what’s been introduced on the House side, and next week will turn its attention to the Senate’s latest introductions prior to the session.

THE GOOD: HB 314 by Rep. Hunter Greene would end double-taxation at the state level of dividends (similar bill: HB 315); HB 327 by Greene would phase out the corporate franchise tax over 10 years; HB 340 by Rep. Cameron Henry would expand religious freedoms constitutionally (related bill: HB 517); HB 471 by Rep. Hollis Downs would increase citizen control over property tax increases (companion bill: HB 472); HB 480 by Rep. Cedric Richmond would negate constitutional concerns by prohibiting the use of cameras at red lights; HB 511 by Rep. Joe Harrison would introduce greater flexibility in establishing tuition and fees for service provision in higher education; HB 642 by Rep. Regina Barrow would make into law some current standards regarding appropriations to nongovernmental organizations; HB 664 by Rep. Stephen Carter would put term limits on all school boards; HB 738 by Rep. Joel Robideaux would place sunset restrictions on special funds that would provide better matching of purpose to need; HB 765 by Rep. Rick Gallot would better distribute money for infrastructural uses by parishes in proportion to the mineral extraction occurring in them; HB 770 by Rep. Joe Lopinto would make into law other current standards regarding appropriations to nongovernmental organizations; HB 788 by Rep. Rick Nowlin would begin to make more rational and efficient long-term health care spending; HB 805 by Rep. John Schroder would create greater flexibility in dealing with budget deficits; HB 808 by Carter would change school board salaries from fixed to per diem; HB 830 by Speaker Jim Tucker would put the Medical Center of Louisiana-New Orleans under independent control and away from the LSU System; HB 844 by Rep. Gary Smith would prohibit smoking in bars.

(Similar bills to those previously introduced: for SB 37 – HB 375, HB 377; SB 1 – HB 742;

THE BAD: HB 304 by Rep. Neil Abramson would increase government subsidization of unemployment and thereby encourage it; HB 313 by Rep. Jack Montoucet would allow for greater politicization of public safety forces (companion bill: HB 318); HB 325 by Abramson would increase government’s ability to raise property taxes without citizen approval (similar bill: HB 632, HB 634); HB 387 by Richmond would curtail Second Amendment rights and do little to keep “assault weapons” out of the hands of criminals; HB 456 by Downs would allow for tax increases on fuels to occur without legislative approval; HB 497 by Rep. Nita Hutter would constrain too much the use of the Budget Stabilization Fund; HB 538 by Rep. Billy Chandler expands the venture capital opportunities of the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority when the opposite is needed; HB 571 by Rep. Barbara Norton would prohibit corporal punishment from schools; HB 579 by Robideaux would allow the state to delay even further making its retirement systems actuarially sound (similar bill: HB 722); HB 591 by Rep. Noble Ellington would create an unwarranted loophole in ethics law to increase opportunities for lobbyists to give food and drink gifts to elected officials; HB 610 by Richmond would uselessly expand unemployment benefits just to take advantage of short-term federal grants that will have to be taken up by the state in a couple of years (similar bill: HB 615); HB 614 by Rep. Nickie Monica would reintroduce corporate welfare to movie producers wishing to building infrastructure; HB 677 by Gary Smith would create corporate welfare for the race car industry; HB 680 by Tucker would allow a new local tax on motor fuel (companion bill: HB 679); HB 705 by Norton would allow the flawed “comparable worth” standard to be used in defining employment discrimination; HB 730 by Rep. Roy Burrell would reduce flexibility in handling deficits and create an inefficient mechanism by which to apportion higher education cuts; HB 748 by Richmond would remove legislator accountability for the setting of their salaries; HB 754 by Richmond would give smaller businesses an income tax break but levy them on corporations’ out-of-state income thereby discouraging their economic activities in the state; HB 795 by Rep. Rosalind Jones provides a stealth raise by tax credit for new college entrants into the state civil service system; HB 802 by Rep. Jim Fannin would increase the use of the Mega-Projects Fund to hand out corporate welfare;; HB 839 by Rep. Patricia Smith would unduly restrict qualification to serve as the state’s superintendent of schools and stifle creativity in the job; HB 855 by Rep. Reed Henderson would create an unenforceable standard about usage of left lanes on highways.

(Similar bills to those previously introduced: for HB 271 – HB 331, HB 457, HB 458, HB 792, HB 811; HB 159 – HB 440; SB 47 – HB 485

THE UGLY: HB 309 by Gallot would create a new division in how judges to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals are selected; why go to all the trouble? HB 475 by Rep. Herbert Dixon would exempt a single high school from takeover for accountability purposes; what makes this school so special as to allow it to evade this measure?


Jess said...
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Jess said...
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Jess said...

*sorry for the deletions- I keep seeing bad typos!

Mr. Sadow,

First of all, thank you for this very informative blog. I know of no other way to get such a succinct update of what's going on up there.

I wanted to ask you about HB 705. First off, it seems clear to me that employment discrimination on the basis of sex does take place, especially in certain professions. Of course, it's difficult (arguably impossible) to fashion legislation that will address that sort of discrimination. But I don't know what the pitfalls of this "comparative work" standard is- other than being possibly too vague. But vagueness in this state of LA, seems to me, would usually give the judge the opportunity to rule for the alleged discriminator, rather than the woman. Unless you have some source that shows otherwise, I would guess that this statute would just be used by judges to rule in favor of a woman in a very egregious instance of discrimination.

Do you have a source that you could point me to for guidance on this issue? I'm not an expert in employment law by any means, and I was surprised to see that this bill was geared towards women when I clicked on your link.