10 March 2024

Good, Bad, and Ugly Bills for the 2024 Regular Session

Welcome to the Louisiana Legislature Log, 2024 Regular Session edition. It’s the fourth gathering already this year, with the organizational session, the two short extraordinary sessions that featured almost all good bills, and now this one. Let’s see what good, bad, and ugly we have.

THE GOOD: HB 8 by Rep. Mike Melerine would prevent watering down of high school graduation standards; HB 25 by Rep. Danny McCormick would prohibit government from imposing COVID-19 vaccination requirements on businesses; HB 46 by Rep. Kathy Edmonston would prohibit imposing COVID-19 vaccination requirements on school attendees (similar bill: HB 711); HB 48 by Rep. Tony Bacala would amend the Constitution to require proper deliberation of appropriations bills; HB 66 by Rep. Rhonda Butler would increase the chances of students with disabilities receiving a quality education; HB 68 by Rep. Brian Glorioso would level the playing field for home-schooled students to receive TOPS awards (similar bills: HB 70, HB 548, HB 549); HB 79 by Bacala would encourage truth in advertising about school quality; HB 90 by Rep. Beau Beaullieu would provide oversight of election officials; HB 99 by Bacala would ensure proper bail decisions are recognized; HB 103 by Rep. Mike Johnson would increase transparency in local government deliberations; HB 114 by Rep. Les Farnum would increase election integrity with an additional annual canvass; HB 119 by Rep. Troy Romero would create better work incentives and promote fiscal health; HB 121 by Rep. Raymond Crews would protect teachers from harassment over the use of students’ legal names; HB 122 by Rep. Dodie Horton would assure age-appropriate and unbiased instruction for students on matters of sexuality; HB 138 by Rep. Laurie Schlegel tightens laws concerning unauthorized use of images; HB 162 by Beaullieu provides for better oversight over capital outlay spending; HB 174 by Rep. Dixon McMakin would strengthen college student protections against arbitrary punishment; HB 180 by Rep. Mark Wright increases oversight over agency rule-making; HB 188 by Rep. John Wyble would require high school diplomas or equivalency for school board members; HB 201 by Rep. Chuck Owen would save taxpayer dollars by limiting state purchases of vehicles operating through overly-expensive technology; HB 210 by Rep. Debbie Villio would increase deterrence of juveniles for serious crimes; HB 260 by Romero would limit SNAP purchases to healthier choices; HB 267 by Rep. Jason Hughes would strengthen students’ numeracy skills; HB 273 by Rep. Rodney Schamerhorn would amend the Constitution to impose term limits on parish elected officials; HB 303 by Rep. Chad Boyer would discourage both crime and SNAP fraud; HB 306 by Owen would ensure visiting rights at health care facilities; HB 341 by Rep. Phillip Tarver would prevent government from imposing mandates on vehicle sales (similar bill: HB ; HB 344 by Rep. Larry Bagley would rid the useless vehicle sticker requirement where appropriate; HB 383 by Rep. Jay Galle would prevent legal actions against motorists acting reasonably by lawbreakers; HB 407 by Rep. Joe Stagni would bring order and integrity to use of service animals; HB 452 by Rep. Vinny St. Blanc attenuates TOPS; HB 481 by Schamerhorn would require drug testing of FITAP recipients (similar bill: HB 482); HB 502 by Rep. Brett Geymann would amend the Constitution to limit state spending and encourage rebates to residents (similar bill: HB 709); HB 526 by Beaullieu would amend the Constitution to strengthen expenditure limit procedures (similar bill: HB 619); HB 568 by Wright would increase state government transparency and responsiveness; HB 571 by Crews would prohibit public funds being spent on collective bargaining unit activities; HB 595 by Rep. Julie Emerson expands closed primary use; HB 596 by Rep. Daryl Deshotel clarifies rules for creating home rule charter commissions; HB 608 by Rep. Roger Wilder would prevent persons of a biological sex from being put into environments where they could harm those of the other sex; HB 611 by Rep. Gabe Firment would remove anti-competitive elements in insurance (similar bill: SB 370); HB 640 by Galle would clarify removal of library board of control members; HB 644 by Rep. Kellee Dickerson clarifies that home school students can participate in public school extracurricular activities; HB 678 by Firment would clarify and streamline insurance claim proceedings (similar bill: SB 323); HB 680 by Rep. Josh Carlson would give governments the option of using government web sites as their official journals; SB 8 by Sen. Rick Edmonds would increase transparency of funders of legal actions (similar bills: HB 336, SB 355); SB 13 by Sen. Alan Seabaugh would prohibit an elected official who has been removed from office from filling the vacancy created by the removal; SB 21 by Seabaugh would ban speed enforcement cameras; SB 60 by Sen. Thomas Pressly would remove unnecessary obstacles to occupational licensing (similar bill: HB 716); SB 79 by Jay Morris would amend the Constitution to prevent lax bail decisions; SB 101 by Sen. Blake Miguez would support party-building through elections; SB 134 by Seabaugh would increase requirements for felons to be eligible to vote; SB 155 by Caleb Kleinpeter would increase absentee ballot security (similar bills: HB 476, HB 506, HB 581, SB 202, SB 218, SB 226, SB 261); SB 181 by Morris would amend the Constitution to expand choices for the Civil Service Commission; SB 182 by Seabaugh would amend the Constitution to allow attorney general prosecution of election offenses; SB 194 by Miguez would bring local firearms laws in concordance with state laws; SB 195 by Miguez would implement work requirements for certain welfare recipience; SB 196 by Miguez would reduce inappropriate welfare payments; SB 208 by Miguez would prohibit governments from enforcing sanctuary policies for illegal aliens; SB 214 by Miguez would expand Second Amendment rights; SB 234 by Miguez would prohibit government contracting to entities that discriminate against the Second Amendment (similar bill: SB 301); SB 262 by Sen. Valarie Hodges would prevent educators from discriminating against elementary and secondary education students by maintaining they are oppressor or oppressed by virtue of their race or national origin; SB 263 by Seabaugh would prohibit governments from compulsory deduction of labor organization dues from employees’ pay and prohibit use of dollars authorized for deduction for political advocacy (similar bills: SB 264, SB 331, HB 712); SB 275 by Sen. Eddie Lambert strengthens standards for applicability of air pollution monitoring; SB 276 by Pressly would strengthen protection of the unborn; SB 279 by Sen. Mike Fesi would prohibit operating an motor vehicle and without proper insurance by illegal aliens; SB 292 by Seabaugh would require annual recertification of bargaining units (similar bill: HB 523); SB 294 by Hodges clarifies college campus free expression law; SB 295 by Sen. Heather Cloud streamlines the insurance rate change process; SB 299 by Seabaugh prohibits public sector collective bargaining (similar bill: HB 572); SB 313 by Edmonds creates education savings accounts; SB 316 by Miguez better defines charter school regulation; SB 319 by Seabaugh reasonably caps workers’ compensation case attorney fees and fines; SB 350 by Edmonds strengthens charter school regulation (similar bill: SB 362); SB 357 by Seabaugh more realistically defines emergency powers law.

THE BAD: HB 30 by Bagley would reduce needlessly retirement ages and service and pass these costs onto employers; HB 31 by Rep. Barbara Freiberg would force taxpayers to cover the costs of poor retirement savings decision-making by education employees; HB 54 by Rep. Candace Newell would make selling dope legal (similar bill: HB 707); HB 64 by Stagni would interfere with carrying out judicial sentences; HB 95 by Johnson would provide too much chance of subversion of transparency in local government deliberations; HB 133 by Rep. Kyle Green weakens party-building activities; HB 164 by Rep. Delisha Boyd would allow killing the unborn for reasons of their parentage; HB 165 by Boyd would weaken laws against dope-smoking (similar bill: HB 391); HB 199 by Rep. Vanessa Lafleur would remove an accurate pricing tool for vehicle insurance (similar bills: HB 671, HB 673, SB 74); HB 234 by Boyd would restrict unduly business hiring decisions; HB 245 by Aimee Freeman would amend the Constitution to allow abortion on demand; HB 248 by Green would unduly restrict discretion in statewide official salary changes (similar bill: HB 249); HB 261 by Rep. Mathew Willard would permit election-influencing activities within the restricted zone for elections; HB 293 by Freeman would weaken protection of the unborn (similar bills: HB 395, HB 630, SB 225); HB 310 by Freeman would make a government benefit an inexpensive and easily-obtainable product to waste taxpayer dollars; HB 332 by Robbie Carter would induce an unnecessary pay raise for judges; HB 347 by Green would extends needlessly early voting; HB 416 by Rep. Edmond Jordan would reduce deterrence by making criminal record expungement automatic; HB 498 by Rep. Alonzo Knox would restrict too much the carrying of firearms (similar bills: HB 627, SB 256); HB 524 by Willard would cause the state home insurer to compete with private insurers; HB 562 by Knox would expand without good reason the footprint of the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Economic Growth and Development District; HB 582 by Rep. Joy Walters would reduce inappropriately the voting age in certain cases to 17; HB 604 by Green would allow convicted felons to possess immediately and automatically weapons after sentence completion; HB 649 by Newell would call for a statewide vote to legalize hooting up; HB 662 by Tehmi Chassion would weaken education standards; HB 705 by Jordan would remove needlessly the charging authority for an inmate use of telecommunications; SB 30 by Sen. Gregory Miller would weaken elected officials’ and public servants’ reporting requirements; SB 153 by Sen. Regina Barrow would inappropriately loosen campaign finance laws; SB 173 by Sen. Gary Carter would trigger a job-killing minimum wage increase (similar bills: HB 290, HB 431; SB 180); SB 174 by Carter would restrict unduly business employment practices; SB 212 by Sen. Royce Duplessis would make it easier for illegal aliens to obtain drivers’ licenses and thereby ability to register to vote; SB 222 by Sen. Katrina Jackson-Andrews would endanger juvenile offenders; SB 255 by Sen. Cleo Fields would create needlessly racially-gerrymandered Supreme Court districts; SB 272 by Edmonds nearly quadruples the amount of money that can go to the unnecessary M.J. Foster Promise awards program; SB 314 by Barrow creates a needless free college education program; SB 327 by Barrow would let stressed students miss school four days a year.

THE UGLY: HB 351 by Romero would force electric vehicles to be charged by electricity generated by solar or wind – good symbolic idea to demonstrate the hypocrisy behind EV claims, but utterly impractical;  HB 632 by Joseph Orgeron would make an end run in one instance around state licensing for additional nursing home beds; SB 329 by Sen. Patrick McMath would establish a state registry for people with ALS – good idea, but why not extend it to all people with muscular dystrophies?

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