07 February 2006

Legislative first extraordinary session through Feb. 6

Since it’s such a compressed session, things happen fast. Dozens of more bills got introduced today and just a few more days remain for them to be introduced. So, I’ll to identify them and tell when they’re scheduled to be heard in committee on the fly here.

THE GOOD: HB 36 by Rep. Peppi Bruneau and HB 37 by Speaker Joe Salter largely do the same thing, consolidating the clerks of courts office in Orleans Parish. Salter’s HB 50 and HB 51 also do basically the same thing, creating a single tax assessor in Orleans. Bruneau’s HB 56 and Salter’s HB 57 also are essentially the same, creating a single court system in Orleans. Sen. Walter Boasso’s SB 8 and SB 9 create a single regional levee authority. Rep. Pete Schneider’s HB 72 will then not permit that new authority to raise money through taxation on its own without a vote of the people in all parishes involved. Sen. Edwin Murray’s SB 13 has the salutary effect of getting the Orleans Levee District out of activities that have nothing to do with flood control. And Bruneau’s HB 24 prevents expropriation of private property by government for transfer to another private holder, in response to last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that said local governments did have this power, although Rep. Billy Montgomery’s version HB 34 is a near-substitute.

THE BAD: A slew of bills threaten to increase voter fraud: HB 30 by Rep. Charmaine Marchand, HB 63, HB 66, and HB 67 by Rep. Cedric Richmond, and HB 64 and HB 65 by Rep. Juan LaFonta all would strip away standards that could make fraudulent voting in the next election far easier. Add to that SB 16 by Sen. Charles Jones.

TUESDAY: HB 2 is scheduled to be heard by the House Insurance Committee; HB 11 and HB 72 are scheduled to be heard in the House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee.

WEDNESDAY: SB 8, SB 9, and SB 13 are scheduled to be heard in the Senate Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee; HB 12, HB 13, HB 14, HB 30, HB 63, HB 64, HB 65, HB 66, and HB 67 are scheduled to be heard by the House and Governmental Affairs Committee; SB 16 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Total House introductions: 74; total Senate introductions: 18.

Total House good bills: 11; total Senate good bills: 2.

Total House bad bills: 9; total Senate bad bills: 1.

No comments: