11 April 2021

Good, Bad, and Ugly Bills for the 2021 Regular Session

Welcome to the first post of the 2021 Regular Session, as always the good, bad, and ugly bills prefiled. Given that particularly the tax-related bills interact so complexly with each other, bills could appear and disappear weekly from this list depending upon their amendments and combinations moving forward.

THE GOOD: HB 16 by Rep. Danny McCormick would reduce bureaucracy regarding the ability to carry a concealed firearm (similar bill: HB 596; SB 118); HB 20 by Rep. Blake Miguez would make more difficult private interests interfering with elections; HB 30 by Rep. Phillip DeVillier would reduce severance taxes to create a more balanced energy policy; HB 36 by DeVillier would reduce waste in the Motion Picture Production Tax Credit program; HB 40 by Rep. Mark Wright would wean off using money for transportation better suited for infrastructure from personnel costs; HB 61 by Rep. Valarie Hodges would reduce fraudulent Earned Income Tax Credit claims; HB 83 by Rep. Bryan Fontenot doesn’t allow bail decisions in one parish to override those of another; HB 103 by McCormick would reduce discrimination on the basis of coronavirus vaccine reception; HB 118 by Rep. Larry Frieman would strengthen Second Amendment protections; HB 138 by Rep. Les Farnum would strengthen ballot integrity (similar bills: HB 167, HB 581, HB 599, HB 653, SB 63, 64, SB 219, SB 220; SB 221, SB 224); HB 149 by Frieman would clarify emergency declaration powers; HB 154 by Rep. Zee Zeringue would amend the Constitution to allow for greater latitude in investments for some state funds; HB 180 by Rep. Jonathan Goudreau would reduce unemployment compensation waste; HB 203 by Rep. Stuart Bishop would amend the Constitution to change vote requirements that create more efficient use of tax exceptions; HB 204 by Rep. Christopher Turner would allow for greater flexibility in delivery of some Medicaid waiver services; HB 205 by DeVillier would amend the Constitution to eliminate the corporate federal income tax deduction (similar bills: HB 208, HB 209, HB 210, HB 274, HB 275, HB 292, HB 293, HB 454); HB 207 by Zeringue would amend the Constitution to broaden and flatten non-corporate income taxation (similar bills: HB 171, HB 206, HB 233, HB 278, HB 369, HB 376, HB 441, HB 475, HB 486, HB 488, HB 504, HB 546, SB 159), HB 211 by Rep. Mark Wright would strengthen public school choice options; HB 213 by Rep. Tony Bacala would strengthen accountability of Medicaid; HB 256 by Rep. Philip Tarver would end privileging of teacher unions under law; HB 273 by Rep. Beau Beallieu would amend the Constitution to create a more realistic expenditure limit (similar bill: HB 276); HB 279 by DeVillier would phase out the corporate franchise tax (similar bills: HB 520, HB 543, HB 547, HB 629); HB 280 by Rep. Rick Edmonds would expand access to and accountability of the state’s voucher program; HB 297 by Tarver encourages more responsible administration of mayor’s courts; HB 349 by Rep. Kathy Edmonston would prohibit the state from permitting use of potentially discriminatory medical information (similar bills: HB 498, SB 198); HB 352 by Hodges would clarify civics instruction; HB 356 by Bacala would improve Medicaid efficiency; HB 388 by Rep. Lance Harris would increase the efficiency of ballot tabulation; HB 393 by Rep. Joseph Oregon would remove impediments to wine sales; HB 423 by Julie Emerson would provide better data for policy-making concerning abortion; HB 428 by Rep. Brett Geymann would prevent federal disaster funds alone from increasing ordinary state spending; HB 438 by Miguez would prevent abuse of public records requests; HB 487 by Rep. Michael Echols would amend the Constitution to give greater latitude in addressing budgetary shortfalls; HB 496 by Harris would extend financial disclosure requirements to judges; HB 542 by Rep. Beryl Amedee would secure fairness in school sports competition (similar bill: SB 156); HB 556 by DeVillier increases school choice options; HB 564 by Rep. Ray Garofalo would generally promote intellectual rigor in education; HB 575 by Rep. Gabe Firment would protect children’s health (similar bill: SB 104); HB 578 by Amedee would provide more information to women seeking abortions; HB 579 by Amedee would prevent government intrusion on bodily autonomy in health care decisions; HB 597 by Miguez would promote greater fairness in state government contracting; HB 612 by Rep. Richard Nelson would simplify and update sales taxation rates; HB 630 by Rep. Dodie Horton would make more accountable a quasi-independent state agency; HB 650 by Rep. Thomas Pressly would depoliticize and improve operations and regulation of river port pilots and steamship pilots; SB 1 by Sen. Barrow Peacock would siphon temporary sales tax money to roads (similar bill: SB 30); SB 4 by Sen. Ed Price would remove arbitrary limits on financing campaign speech; SB 8 by Peacock would end a needless tax break; SB 91 by Peacock would facilitate estate transfers; SB 115 by Peacock would provide for sensible gun control; SB 124 by Sen. Sharon Hewitt would require national anthem performance before athletic contests in venues constructed with public dollars; SB 137 by Sen. Kirk Talbot would make progress towards lowering long-term care costs while providing better services; SB 177 by Sen. Barry Milligan would amend the Constitution to create a more efficient sales tax collection system (similar bill: HB 199); SB 194 by Sen. Gerald Boudreaux extends the existing moratorium on increasing nursing home beds until 2027; SB 235 by Hewitt would establish closed primaries without runoff for parties with a non-trivial amount of registrations for congressional elections.

THE BAD: HB 7 by Rep. Aimee Freeman adds a needless sales tax exemption; HB 67 by Rep. Mandie Landry would make prostitution legal; HB 82 by Rep. Wilford Carter divides Lake Charles City Court into election subdistricts for no good reason; HB 84 by Rep. Denise Marcelle removes a disincentive to commit felonies; HB 88 by Marcelle overregulates groundwater use around Baton Rouge; HB 113 by Rep. Foy Gadberry would weaken ethics standards (similar bill: HB 491; SB 203); HB 132 by Vincent Pierre adds needless costs to school construction; HB 136 by Rep. Barbara Carpenter weakens discipline available to younger students carrying dangerous weapons; HB 158 by Rep. Frederick Jones would weaken disincentives against commission of some crimes (similar bill: HB 490); HB 175 by Rep. Tammy Phelps would permit too much school board micromanagement of personnel decisions; HB 196 by Rep. Edmond Jordan would amend the Constitution to prohibit “involuntary servitude” in criminal punishment but doesn’t define the term legally; HB 245 by Carpenter would prohibit employers from gathering information reasonably necessary to make informed hiring decisions; HB 248 by Rep. Ted James reduces discretion too much in determining probation and parole fees; HB 282 by Freeman unnecessarily attenuates rental decisions made by landlords; HB 286 by Jones introduces too much confusion into establishing election integrity; HB 299 by James would increase the productivity-sapping aspect of the Earned Income Tax credit (similar bill: HB 300); HB 315 by Goudreau would weaken election integrity; HB 318 by DeVillier would amend the Constitution to grant too much power to an unelected board; HB 324 by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty would make school discipline less effective; HB 344 by Rep. Marcus Bryant creates too many loopholes in paying traffic fines; HB 353 by Landry would create too onerous of a burden on lawful sales of firearms; HB 378 by Rep. Sam Jenkins would make too trivial the procedures allowing a felon to earn back the privilege of voting; HB 379 by Rep. Ed Lavardain would provide for needless additional penalties for certain infractions; HB 391 by Rep. Tanner Magee would encourage hooting up (similar bills: HB 524, HB 637, HB 652); HB 402 by Jones would reduce deterrence of criminal behavior; HB 425 by Wilford Carter would amend the Constitution to increase needlessly the size of the Supreme Court (similar bill: SB 163); HB 439 by Rep. Candace Newell needlessly limits options in sexual harassment accusation resolution; HB 468 by Landry needlessly would extend more Medicaid coverage; HB 480 by Rep. Matthew Willard would circumscribe arbitrarily criteria used in hiring decisions; HB 494 by Rep. Buddy Mincey would discourage on net public school choice; HB 497 by Rep. Mary Dubuisson could permit expansion of riverboat gambling (similar bill: SB 213); HB 529 by Landry would punitively redistribute wealth and depress economic growth; HB 538 by Rep. Cedric Glover would expand the wasteful film tax credit program; HB 554 by Rep. Larry Selders would add a needless extra state holiday; HB 555 by Rep. Francis Thompson would reduce teacher accountability; HB 580 by Rep. Kenny Cox would increase paid sick leave time for some local employees; HB 604 by James would remove a deterrent to commission of felonies; HB 608 by Rep. Randal Gaines would create an additional death benefit unnecessarily paid to certain state employees; HB 610 by Rep. Rodney Lyons would discourage employment with excessive unemployment benefits; HB 614 by Geymann would subvert the purpose of the Revenue Estimating Conference and constrain too heavy the operations of the Legislature; HB 615 by Rep. Barbara Freiberg would rases gas taxes; HB 635 by Glover adds a needless option to the TOPS core requirements; HB 645 by Glover would use state transportation funding wastefully; HB 651 by Willard would create a state venture capital fund and with distribution partially on affirmative action criteria;  SB 2 by Sen. Cleo Fields would mandate costly and largely ineffective environmental monitoring; SB 7 by Sen. Karen Peterson would kill jobs with a higher minimum wage (similar bill: SB 49); SB 16 by Peterson would increase corrections costs; SB 24 by Price would increase pension liabilities; SB 51 by Sen. Troy Carter creates an unneeded tax break (similar bill: SB 56); SB 55 by Sen. Jay Luneau would place counterproductive restrictions on calculating vehicle insurance rates (similar bill: HB 467); SB 116 by Sen. Greg Tarver would reduce accountability of some welfare recipients; SB 148 by Sen. Page Cortez would create an inefficient technical school student award program.

THE UGLY: HB 63 by Rep. Rhonda Butler would allow members of a small fire protection district to make $100 per meeting; HB 133 by Rep. Roy Daryl Adams creates a needless exception for a specific appointee; HB 163 by Rep. Ken Brass carves out a needless new small retirement fund; HB 301 by Landry would create a special tax credit for funeral expenses related to a rare form of death; why (similar bill: HB 513)? HB 405 by Jordan would allow taxpayer payment of planning commissioners of the mighty town of Brusly; HB 634 by Glover would shift the appointment of Shreveport’s police and firefighter civil service board’s secretary from the city to the board.

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