Welcome to the 2010 edition of the Louisiana Legislative Log, starting with the marathon entry describing the good, bad, and ugly bills prefiled. These are bills that would make significant contributions or deductions to good public policy (others would marginally do either) or, as for the ugly, make you wonder why the Legislature would want to deal with them in the first place. Bill filing, however, will resume at the session’s start and go on for another three weeks or so. Let’s see what bills are worth tracking this session, so far.
HB 69 by Rep. Tony Ligi would amend the Constitution to prohibit paying the state-funded portion of a pension to a public official convicted of corrupt acts in performing public service. (Similar/companion bills: HB 72, HB 73, HB 143, HB 224, HB 228, SB 11, SB 12, SB 13)
HB 186 by Hardy would increase academic standards students would have to maintain to participate in extracurricular activities.
HB 200 by Rep. Patrick Connick would prohibit government contracts going to firms that had as a principal somebody who did not contest guilt to a felony charge. (Similar/companion bills: HB 407, HB 718).
HB 392 by Hardy would prohibit “double-dipping” by state and local government retirees.
HB 409 by
HB 450 by Foil repeals licensure requirements for retail florists.
HB 490 by
HB 611 by LaBruzzo would test for illegal drugs recipients of cash assistance. (Similar companion bill: HB 617).
HB 779 by Pearson closes loopholes and attenuates sweetheart deals from taxpayers going to fund activities of the association of racehorse owners. (Similar/companion bills: HB 827, HB 1208, SB 354).
HB 905 by Rep. Harrison would increase TOPS qualifying standards.
HB 930 by Tucker would mandate new hires into state employment be entered into a defined contribution plan. (Similar/companion bill: HB 931).
HB 958 by Ligi would create a fairer system of computing defined benefit retirement payments.
HB 969 by Pearson would require school board members have a high school diploma or equivalency and be residents of the parish in which they would serve for a minimum of two years.
HB 996 by Tucker would consolidate higher education governance boards. (Similar/companion bill: HB 1224).
HB 1171 by Tucker would grant broad authority to postsecondary institutions of higher learning if they achieve certain performance standards in the areas of tuition and retention of funding. (Similar/companion bill: SB 570).
HB 1179 by Ligi would allow the Board of Ethics to appeal certain decisions made by an Ethics Adjudication Board. (Similar/companion bill: HB 1202).
HB 1205 by
HB 1226 by Smiley would abolish needless boards and commissions.
HB 1229 by Tucker would save resources by combining the governing boards of the major pension funds in the state.
SB 78 by Crowe would amend the Constitution to extend civil liberties to unborn human beings
SB 186 by Nick Gautreaux would amend the Constitution so that no tax by a local governing authority can pass without at least a third of registered voters vote in that election.
SB 534 by Hebert would apply Second Amendment freedoms to certain state areas.
HB 157 by Greene would hinder a governor’s ability to receive information about bills in pondering a veto by requiring agencies to notify the bill’s author of a request for a veto on their part.
HB 274 by Rep. Rogers Pope would mandate passing along stipends to nationally certified school employees as an obligation of state taxpayers regardless of the district in which the educators are employed. (Similar/companion bill: SB 489).
HB 292 by Greene would abandon the closed primary system for federal elections in favor of the blanket primary system.
HB 470 by Hardy would amend the Constitution to limit electoral choices of voters to people under 70.
HB 487 by
HB 529 by Smith would mandate rather than make optional school districts teaching sexual education.
HB 566 by Rep Neil Abramson would create more bureaucracy and cost to government without effectively increasing transparency in requiring officials to separately report about their appointees who contributed at least $1,000 to their campaigns.
HB 650 by Rep. John Bel Edwards would needlessly constrain statewide elected officials in announcing or qualifying for candidacies to other offices (except for political parties) by requiring they resign their current office.
HB 658 by Rep. Harold Ritchie would undercut greater autonomy given to charter schools by forcing their teachers into the state’s Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana. (Similar/companion bill: SB 274).
HB 732 by Norton would reduce disciplinary options by schools with the prohibiting of corporal punishment.
HB 799 by Rep. Eddie Lambert would restrict checks and balances by allowing a legislative veto of a governor’s call to extraordinary session by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. (Similar/companion bill: HB 800).
HB 820 by Abramson would amend the Constitution to create an even greater straitjacket on budgeting by protecting higher education and health care funding. (Similar/companion bills: HB 1035, HB 1140).
HB 988 by Hardy would place an unreasonable burden on TANF recipients by forcing them to vote.
HB 1068 by Rep. Austin Badon would write into law a definition of graduate/completer of higher education that needlessly constrains the concept when applied to policy in the area of higher education so that it may not contribute validly to discussions of that policy.
SB 1 by Pres. Joel Chaisson would amend the Constitution to change scope of the Budget Stabilization Fund to be applied to changes in federal as well as state funds (Similar/companion bills: SB 2, HB 1109, HB 1111).
SB 122 by Adley would amend the Constitution to give an unprecedented criminal prosecution authority to the attorney general, in cases of felony violations of campaign finance laws. (Similar/companion bill: SB 259).
SB 333 by Hebert would discourage free speech through forcing campaign contributions into a quasi-public financing regime. (Similar/companion bill: SB 431).
SB 432 by Marionneaux would bring back the hydrocarbon processing tax that would discourage such business in the state.
SB 464 by Hebert would create a confusing means by which to have a contingent term limitation placed on statewide officials.
SB 491 by Nevers would constrain budgeting by forcing at least 2.75% annual increases into the Minimum Foundation Program regardless of factors such as enrollments.
SB 492 by Nevers would attempt to discourage charter schools by putting the needless burden of financial disclosure as with some government officials on the members of their governing boards
SB 566 by Dorsey would impose arbitrary demographic quota-like requirements on any firm receiving any state economic development funds.
HB 62 by Abramson would limit gubernatorial and candidate choices for the lieutenancy governorship by mandating appointees in the case of a vacancy in the office with more than a year to go in the term not run for election for the full term; what public interest is served by this? (Similar/companion bills: SB 33; SB 325, SB 369, SB 370).
HB 103 by Hardy would ban the wearing of saggy pants; why does the Legislature need to deal with this?
HB 467 by Pearson states any cable TV provider would have to offer as an option to subscribers channels that show publicly-funded professional sports franchises; why is government getting involved in such a picayunish thing?
HB 1054 by Norton would require an “African American section” in each public library; why must this be a mandate?
SB 128 by Adley would ban the sale of “energy drinks” to those under 16; so children can go drink as much coffee as they want but they can’t buy this?.
SB 250 by Dorsey declares the tea cake as the official state cookie; do we need to waste time on this?
SB 653 by Hebert would limit local voters’ choices by not allowing those appointed to fill vacancies in these offices to run for the next election for them; where’s the public interest in this?