13 March 2016

The Good, Bad, and Ugly -- prefiled 2016 Regular Session bills

As if the Louisiana Legislature ran out of things to do, there’s still a regular session to contend with. The good, bad, and ugly bills of that now receive vetting.

THE GOOD: HB 6 by Rep. Barry Ivey would remove need for permitting for concealed carrying of handguns (similar bill: HB 176); HB 15 by Rep. Kevin Pearson would prevent backloading of pension administrative costs (similar bill: HB 47); HB 45 by Ivey would amend the Constitution to give the state greater flexibility in pension beneficiary payouts; HB 46 by Ivey would amend the Constitution to induce more fairness in contributions to pensions (similar bills: HB 49, HB 50); HB 62 by Ivey would shore up unfunded accrued liabilities more quickly; HB 65 by Ivey would establish a fairer and financially sounder pension system for new hires (similar bill: HB 66); HB 83 by Rep. Ray Garofalo would amend the Constitution to fix a drafting error disallowing unpardoned felons from running for office (similar bills: HB 153, HB 274, HB 275, SB 66, SB 69); HB 103 by Rep. Dee Richard would eliminate free scholarships doled out by legislators to Tulane University; HB 104 by Rep. Sherman Mack would reduce Taylor Opportunity Program for Scholars dropout rates (similar bill: HB 581, HB 759, HB 846); HB 106 by Rep. Jay Morris would increase legislative oversight over implementation of Medicaid reimbursement changes authorized by the Constitution; HB 121 by Rep. Valarie Hodges would reduce crime by expanding latitude of concealed carry of handguns (similar bills: HB 255, HB 315, HB 316, SB 46); HB 131 by Rep. Patrick Connick would amend the Constitution to provide for more rational collection of sales taxes (similar bills: HB 243, HB 645, HB 825, HB 826); HB 151 by Hodges would prohibit existence of “sanctuary” cities (similar bill: HB 453); HB 161 by Rep. Rick Edmonds would remove superfluous election dates (similar bill: SB 245); HB 173 by Rep. Kenny Havard would introduce cost sharing for Medicaid to fund New Opportunity Waivers (similar bills: HB 309, HB 324, HB 435, HB 461, HB 492, HB 517, HB 551, HB 566, SB 38); HB 185 by Jay Morris would prohibit government from becoming bill collectors for unions; HB 263 by Mack would discourage crime and save taxpayer dollars; HB 367 by Rep. Beryl Amedee would pay TOPS recipients’ tuition only to the extent need-based financial aid does not cover it; HB 386 by Rep. Frank Hoffman would increase the waiting period for abortion to 72 hours;  HB 390 by Rep. Nancy Landry would induce TOPS cost controls (similar bills: SB 88, SB 89); HB 392 by Nancy Landry would give schools greater flexibility to manage financial affairs; HB 421 by Amedee would pass control of waiver of welfare work requirements for some recipients to the Legislature (similar bill: HB 594, SB 344); HB 437 by Ivey would increase TOPS standards (similar bills: SB 174, SB 329); HB 439 by Ivey would give more control for higher education to raise tuition unilaterally (similar bills: HB 586, SB 80); HB 488 by Rep. Katrina Jackson would increase the chance of mothers surviving abortions; HB 558 by Jay Morris would ensure validity of entities that contract with the state; HB 573 by Rep. Tony Bacala to grant great latitude in deficit reduction; HB 584 by Rep. John Schroder would amend the Constitution to provide for greater latitude in deficit reduction (similar bill: HB 657); HB 587 by Jay Morris would increase legislator transparency in contracts with the state; HB 606 by Hoffman would better ensure that gamesmanship is not played by abortion providers with public money (similar bill: SB 264); HB 609 by Rep. Marcus Hunter would levy penalties on contractors with government who knowingly use illegal aliens on the job; HB 750 by Garafalo would reduce the costs of litigation; HB 812 by Schroder would optimize state government space utilization; HB 820 by Rep. Steve Pugh would bring more transparency to lobbying activities; HB 828 by Rep. Lance Harris would induce greater accountability of elementary and secondary education related to higher education; HB 842 by Rep. Chris Broadwater would streamline higher education commissions (similar bill: HB 843, SB 307, SB 351, SB 358); HB 889 by Rep. Alan Seabaugh would allow state to fund only nongovernment agencies that meet federal qualifications for matching funds in performing abortions; SB 67 by Sen. Conrad Appel would amend the Constitution to reduce duplicative higher education systems (similar bills: HB 152, HB 169, HB 510, HB 647; SB 168); SB 77 by Sen. Ryan Gatti would abolish statutory dedications (similar bill: HB 742); SB 116 by Appel increases the ability to induce efficiency into higher education; SB 214 by Sen. Mike Walsworth would amend the Constitution to undo constitutionally-dedicated funds; SB 226 by Sen. Jack Donahue would provide information on fees for service; SB 282 by Appel would align the state’s requirement to provide indigent care with federal law; SB 317 by Donahue would set up a mechanism to create better balance in school discipline of students with exceptionalities; SB 346 by Sen. Troy Carter would abolish many special funds.

THE BAD: HB 7 by Rep. Ed Price would reduce disincentives to commission of serious crimes; HB 32 by Rep. Sam Jones could increase pension payments more than the prudent standard under law; HB  33 by Jones would remove democratic accountability over pension increases; HB 69 by Rep. John Bagneris would put people at risk by limiting Second Amendment rights (similar bill: HB 693); HB 74 by Richard would cut spending indiscriminately; HB 82 by Richard would remove accountability over the reapportionment process; HB 84 by Richard would amend the Constitution to prevent the Legislature from opting out of a veto session; HB 98 by Rep. Pat Smith would place unnecessary restrictions on charter schools (similar bills: HB 167, HB 168, SB 260); HB 101 by Rep. Barbara Norton would mandate nonsensical mandates on movie theaters (similar bill: HB 102); HB 109 by Rep. Terry Brown would lead to greater abuse of handicap placards; HB 113 by Broadwater would amend the Constitution to create too many logistical problems in amending the Constitution; HB 125 by Smith places too many restrictions on municipal incorporation; HB 126 by Smith puts needless restrictions on eligibility for school vouchers (similar bills: HB 137, HB 550); HB 155 by Richard would amend the Constitution remove a desirable check on spending; HB 159 by Smith removes needed oversight from Baton Rouge’s mass transit system; HB 163 by Havard would place unnecessary restrictions on state contracting procedures (similar bill: SB 340); HB 201 by Hunter would amend the Constitution to increase the latitude to impose unwise minimum wage laws (similar laws: HB 256, HB 297; HB 425, SB 347); HB 221 by Hunter would allow extra cash benefits to go to some convicts; HB 223 by Rep. Terry Landry would encourage increased criminal activity; HB 231 by Smith would unwisely reduce employer latitude in hiring decisions (similar bills: HB 265, HB 266); HB 305 by Norton would make conforming to expanded Medicaid provision a matter of law; HB 370 by Rep. Joseph Bouie would establish a state minimum wage (similar bill: SB 269); HB 387 by Jackson would create wasteful bureaucracy; HB 397 by Rep. Helena Moreno would introduce the unsound concept of comparable worth into the state regulating pay (similar bill: HB 450); HB 416 by Jones would amend the Constitution to add a useless elected office to each school district (similar bill: HB 443); HB 428 by Broadwater would prohibit school districts from requiring uniforms; HB 454 by Richard would promote too much legislative involvement in administration; HB 479 by Ivey would return too much subjectivity to evaluating certain teachers (similar bills: HB 543, HB 650, HB 723, SB 279, SB 342); HB 501 by Smith would add protected status in state law to certain groups on basis of their behavior (similar bill: SB 332); HB 563 by Richard would cause confusion in candidate partisan labelling; HB 576 by Rep. Walt Leger would amend the Constitution to allow a needless to be imposed in Orleans Parish (similar bill: HB 753); HB 598 by Smith would devalue the right to vote (similar bill: HB 851); HB 599 by Rep. Randal Gaines would cheapen the quality of elections; HB 629 by Leger would amend the Constitution to allow unelected officials unilaterally to levy property taxes; HB 691 by Jackson would reduce deterrence by weakening parole standards; HB 771 by Schroder would weaken educational standards by eliminating proficiency exams as a toll for promotion or graduation; HB 805 by Broadwater would allow a fee increase on phones that should be the responsibilities of local districts; HB 877 by Hunter would increase election expenses unnecessarily; HB 879 by Bouie would prohibit for-profit charter school operators and thereby needlessly restrict educational options; HB 892 by Rep. Ted James would weaken teacher accountability standards; SB 76 by Gatti would increase politicization of the civil service (similar bill: SB 84); SB 147 by Gatti would unfairly penalize charter and virtual schools whose teachers participate in a state retirement program; SB 149 by Gatti would take money owed to virtual schools for services rendered and transfer it to school districts; SB 170 by Sen. Blade Morrish would make ineligible some poorly performing schools to be converted to charters (similar bill: SB 198); SB 212 by Sen. Karen Peterson would force a needless unfunded mandate onto businesses (similar bill: SB 298); SB 254 by Sen. J.P. Morrell would add needless compensation mandates on employers (similar bill: HB 878); SB 256 by Walsworth would dedicate appropriations without a review for its demonstrated need; SB 262 by Morrish would unduly restrict use of accountability data; SB 321 by Morrell would allow the state to interfere with the hospital marketplace using tax dollars; SB 330 by Sen. John Milkovich would disrupt the state’s ability to establish educational standards.

THE UGLY: HB 28 by Terry Brown would close government offices in Grant Parish to celebrate pecans; HB 31 by Rep. Rob Shadoin would close government offices in Union Parish to celebrate watermelons; HB 342 by Jones would carve out an exception in the Constitution for the composition of the St. Mary Parish School Board (similar bill: HB 343); HB 631 by Rep. Truck Gisclair would expand bureaucracy to allow World War II veterans to drive over one toll bridge for free.

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