05 February 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Prefiled bills -- Week of Feb. 5, 2006

Welcome to coverage of the 2006 First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature. As in the past, this blog will identify the best and worst bills from the session from Feb. 6 to possibly Feb. 17, and periodically report on the committee and floor actions, and the ultimate fate, of these bills. Given the narrow subject areas of the call, obviously hurricane-related, we should not expect to see many bills with a substantial long-term impact emerge, but three areas that might spawn some are levee governance reform, consolidation of government, and loosening up of election standards.

The extra-short prefiling session permitted after the announcement of the call has produced some bills of note:

THE GOOD: HB 2 by Rep. Shirley Bowler could go a long way to prevent home insurance rates for all Louisianans getting jacked up. There’s been a run on the state insurance corporation because of all the hurricane damages which would have the ultimate impact of forcing insurers to raise everybody’s rates in the state. This bill could prevent that by funneling federal grant money into the fund rather than carving it out of ratepayers. HB 11 by Rep. Pete Schneider would start the process of levee board reform to allow for a statewide or regional board by removing district residency requirements.

THE BAD: Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock hit a trifecta of bills that would open up the state to widespread voting fraud. HB 12, HB 13, and HB 14 would allow “voters” whose identities cannot be confirmed, if they even exist, to vote in upcoming elections, either by mail or outside of their home parishes and precincts.

Couldn't find an ugly bill but I'm sure we'll get plenty before it's all over.

No comments: