Written by the author of the blog "Between The Lines," Louisiana State University Shreveport political science professor Jeffrey D. Sadow, this blog provides commentary on actions of the Louisiana Legislature during its sessions, and even a little in between them. Check daily when the Legislature meets to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly of its legislative process with special guest appearances by various state elected executives.
09 June 2010
Committee action, Jun. 9: HB 1474, SB 596
DID YOU KNOW?
HB 1474 would prevent Louisiana residents from being forced to buy health insurance. Author Rep. Kirk Talbot said this was a continuation of the previous week’s debate, and he and supporters made almost no comments about it to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
Opponents did want to speak extensively. They claimed a mandate was necessary, the bill would not improve health care coverage, and it was a political tool against Pres. Barack Obama. They also claimed dramatic benefits would occur with the implementation of Obama’s plan, even though the bill doesn’t affect any of this.
SB 596 by Sen. Sharon Weston Broome would create as official chamber leadership positions a majority and minority leader. She said it would enhance policy-making by providing positions responsible for this, and present additional opportunities for leadership.
Chairman Bob Kostelka of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee wanted to know how selection would occur. Broome said that could be made part of the institution’s rules or within the parties themselves. He also wanted to know what would happen to independents. She said she really was not concerned with them with the bill, but did not think they’d be cut out of the policy-making process.
Sen. Mike Walsworth asked where she thought this would go from here. Broome was not specific although, as she noted to remarks to Sen. Dan Claitor, other states presented a variety of potential duties for these officers. Claitor was somewhat suspicious of the idea of party leaders, as he asserted it didn’t work well and was divisive. Broome said in essence Louisiana, through its caucuses, already had such leaders, so why not institutionalize them?
Sen. Rob Marionneaux said he was concerned about non-party members, who in registration totals were fast-growing, and he thought this would create divisiveness, and promised a move to defer. Broome said perhaps the bill could be amended to include them somehow, and defended again that she didn’t see any divisiveness additionally, that a mere title would not change collegial attitudes or promote adversarial ones. She also said this could lead to greater legislative independence. Marionneaux said leaders don’t need titles.
Sen. Edwin Murray said the bill should be moved now as almost everybody was affiliated in the body with the two major parties, so let her get on with it. Marionneaux then moved to defer, to which Murray objected. Murray and Walsworth voted against joined by Sen. Lydia Jackson, but Marionneaux and Claitor with Sens. Jack Smith and Jack Donahue voted with them to provide the winning margin. Broome remarked she would be addressing the outcome that afternoon on a point of personal privilege.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
We'll hear from .... the King of Bologna …
Mount, ribbing former Sen. now Rep. Noble Ellington who had come to testify.
That was an understatement.
Marionneaux about his defeated SB 432 which the previous day had gone down 31-6 in the Senate; Broome had exhorted him to accept “change” as he had articulated then when debating the merits of his bill even though he was not “successful.”