04 April 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- Prefiled bills through Apr. 3, 2009

Welcome to the fifth anniversary of the Louisiana Legislature Log. To remind or inform readers, this space tracks what I consider to be important legislation (budget bills aside) that, at the end, are instrumental in calculating voting ratings for legislators and the governor. Prefiling began over a month ago, so here’s what has built up in the meantime, as far as the good, bad, and ugly ones:

THE GOOD: HB 15 by Rep. Joel Robideaux would increase the annual retirement income tax credit from $6,000 to $13,000 and index it; HB 26 by Rep. Eddie Lambert would remove the provision that diverts transportation-related revenues from being used for transportation infrastructure expenses when a budget deficit is projected; HB 28 by Rep. Ernest Wooton would allow people with concealed carry permits to have firearms on college campuses; HB 47 by Rep. Ricky Hardy would raise minimum academic standards to allow students to participate in extracurricular activities; HB 60 by Rep. Jonathan Perry would clarify listing of adoptive parents on Louisiana birth certificates to be consistent with Louisiana law allowing one parent or a married couple as defined by the state to be listed; HB 77 by Rep. Christopher Roy would index tax brackets, credits, and deductions; HB 84 by Rep, Simone Champagne would put terms limits of every elected or appointive office; HB 137 by Rep. John LaBruzzo would institute medical drug testing of welfare applicants and recipients; HB 148 by interim Rep. Greg Stiaes would consolidate criminal and civil functions in Orleans Parish ahead of schedule; SB1 by Pres. Joel Chaisson would bring greater flexibility to budget decisions; SB 2 by Chaisson would do the same for mid-year budget cuts; SB 34 by Chaisson would do the same; SB 37 by Sen. Jack Donahue would require public approval of increases in property tax revenues collected if greater than 2.5 percent a year

THE BAD: HB 31 by Rep. Joe Lopinto would allow continued corporate welfare for the film industry for infrastructure; HB 75 by Rep. Karen Peterson would raise taxes on tobacco products without committing it to health care uses; HB 101 by Rep. Dee Richard would allow state retirement income of a spouse to be excluded from elected official financial disclosure; HB 142 by Rep. Cameron Henry would continue corporate welfare for film industry production costs; HB 156 by Rep. Harold Ritchie will force teachers in charter schools into the state’s retirement system; HB 179 by Stiaes would weaken education accountability by allowing grade progression to student who fail tests that measure adequacy in learning; SB 3 by Sen. Robert Adley would force the state to adopt policy decisions of the federal government outside its jurisdiction; SB 43 by Sen. Edwin Murray would continue the extra charge Orleans Parish residents must pay for emergency communications.

THE UGLY: HB 116 by Rep. Billy Guinn would allow $100 per diems to members of two small, obscure boards in Jefferson Parish; HB 121 by Guinn would increase them to that for another one in Calcasieu Parish.

No comments: