BATON ROUGE, LA (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) STATE POLITICS 5-30-08: Have you wondered lately just which bills in the Louisiana Legislative Session are getting the Bobby Jindal "Seal of Approval"?
Well, your questions have been answered thanks to the Governor's office in Baton Rouge. (I must warn you though, it is a lengthy bunch, so sit back, relax, and read awhile. TP)
[Editor's Note: Keep watch on SB343 Extending the sunset provision from July/2008 until July/2012 keeping confidential, any negotations with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) for active negotations for the purpose of retaining, expanding, or attracting economic or business development. In other words, while the governor wants transparency in all other areas of state government, he wants to keep any details of ongoing business development secret. Very interesting. TP]
The legislation supported by Governor Jindal listed below, also includes bills supporting the Governor’s legislative agenda for this regular session of the lesislature.
Bills Included in Governor Jindal’s 2008 Legislative Package:
HB1104 (Tucker), SB612 (Chaisson) - Replaces the existing Department of Labor with the Louisiana Workforce Commission; requires the new Commission to coordinate with other state agencies to integrate the delivery of all education, training, employment, and apprenticeship programs across the state; replaces the existing Louisiana Workforce Commission in the office of the governor with the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council; encourages the consolidation of workforce training and support services at the local level into a real “one-stop” center with job training.
HB1018 (Tucker), SB420 (Chaisson) – Establish a standard training fund for high-demand, high-cost training programs at LCTCS, as determined by market demand and economic employment projections.
HCR65 (Tucker), SCR46 (Chaisson) - Concurrent resolution to urge the Board of Regents to link the funding for two-year institutions to real program costs, workforce demand, and training programs.
HB672 (Trahan) - Reaffirms the authority of teachers to maintain a classroom environment conducive to learning; notifies parents and students of the various rights conferred upon teachers by law.
HB757 (Trahan) - Increases the penalties for assault and battery of a teacher.
HB1347 (Badon), SB795 (Duplessis) - Provides scholarships for students (grades K-3, family income 250% FPL) to attend non-public schools approved by DoE.
HCR114 (Trahan) - Concurrent resolution to urge the Board of Regents to hold four-year colleges and universities more accountable for performance in retaining and graduating students and leveraging state funding for external research grants.
SB287 (Mount) - Provides for the LA Health Care Consumer's Right to Know Act; empowers consumers with access to health plan and health care provider specific cost, quality and outcome data as well as trends and patterns in health care; allows DHH to develop a data collection and publication process.
HB930 (Mills) - Supports the delivery of locally operated behavioral health and developmental disability services through the implementation of effective planning, uniform accountability, and readiness standards for new and existing human services districts.
SB 182 (Gray) – Allows certain health officials to petition for an order of assistive outpatient treatment, requiring a patient to receive the help they need when they themselves will not do so voluntarily.
HB 914 (Fannin) – Provides that monies in the New Opportunities Waiver Fund shall be used for the purpose of adding additional waiver slots and for the support of any such slots in subsequent fiscal years.
SB228 (Heitmeier) - Calls for licensing standards designed to ensure only qualified institutions serve as a crisis receiving center, and that they be appropriately staffed, equipped and prepared to identify the immediate needs of the patient.
HB 653 (Labruzzo) - This bill allows a medical exam conducted via telemedicine by certain qualified medical professionals to be accepted in the issuance of an emergency certificate. These certificates are executed if a patient who is considered dangerous to themselves or others and might need to be institutionalized on an involuntary basis.
HB193 (Katz) - Provides for Medicaid malpractice coverage for physicians who offer voluntary telemedicine services for DHH.
HB366 (Katz) - Provides for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to former foster children who have reached adulthood.
HCR155 (Mills) - Urges and requests DHH to study the development and implementation of civil commitment procedures for the treatment of sexually violent predators and child sexual predators.
SB701 (Mount) - “No wrong door”: Provides for service integration of health and social services; creates a framework of accountability for service integration and rapid implementation of a model that coordinates, collaborates and co-locates entities that serve children and families.
HB850 (Fannin), SB808 (Marionneaux) - Revises the capital outlay process, priorities, and other content of the capital outlay bill.
SB343 (Duplessis) - Extends the sunset provision (from 7/08 to 7/12) to maintain confidentiality in LED's active negotiations for the purpose of retaining, expanding, or attracting economic or business development.
SB367 (Dupre) - Clarify and simplify language in RS 49:213.1 to address integrated concept of hurricane protection and coastal restoration, make up of the board, and other house keeping measures such as infrastructure issue with the formulation of the annual plan.
HB622 (Tucker) - Reduces the number of LRA board members; reduces the terms from six to two years; provides for the powers and duties of the board and the executive director to more clearly reflect the new responsibilities of the LRA.
HB544 (Hutter), SB491 (McPherson) - Changes the authorization for DOTD design-build contracts from a limited duration pilot program to a permanent program.
SB517 (Amedee) - Increases the registration requirements for sexual offenders; allows a judge to require lifetime registration based on the circumstances of the crime.
SB510 (Amedee) - Increase the minimum sentence for computer-aided solicitation of a minor from one year to a 5-year minimum when the victim is 13 or older and a ten-year minimum when the victim is 12 or younger; prohibits the use of electronic communications to establish other forms of communications in order to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage or participate in sexual conduct.
SB514 (Amedee) - Increases the minimum sentence for molestation of a juvenile from one-year to a 5-year minimum when the victim is 13 or older.
HB694 (St. Germain) - Allows 16 and 17-year-olds to participate in special youth hunting seasons.
HB699 (St. Germain) - Authorizes Louisiana to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact to as a convenience for hunters, fishers, and trappers in 26 member states.
SB68 (Dupre) - Allows military personnel and POST-certified law enforcement personnel to file for firearm and hunter education exemption at certain offices.
SB596 (Walsworth) - Provides the Inspector General with access to law enforcement databases; protects confidentiality of investigations.
Some Additional Bills Governor is Supporting in Session:
HB321 (Trahan) – Increases the number of charter school proposals that may be approved by BESE.
SB 337 (Michot) – Provides that all state and non-state hospitals and other health care facilities report patient specific data on the amount and type of uncompensated care provided and other services and activities financed by uncompensated care payments.
HB349/SB127 (Trahan/Nevers) – Provides BESE with greater flexibility in approving charter school renewals and the ability to grant renewals based on school performance.
HB370 (Henry) – Prohibits use of public funds for human cloning.
SB403/SB504 (Nevers) – Requires LCTCS and BESE to institute a system of competency-based testing to ensure that students who earn an industry-based certification are adequately prepared for the workforce.
HB463 (Trahan) – Provides relative to the retention period for schools transferred to the Recovery School District and requires that BESE study and recommend whether schools should remain in the RSD, be closed, or return to the local school system from which it was transferred.
SB499 (Crowe) –Clarifies the lobbyist definition so that grassroots activists and concerned constituents are not captured inadvertently and made subject to new reporting requirements.
SB548 (Nevers) - Requires BESE to adopt rules requiring local school systems to conduct exit interviews for teachers who leave their employment to determine their reasons for leaving. This will help to address teacher concerns and improve recruitment and retention of the state’s educators.
SB749 (Cravins) - Closes the Jetson Center for Youth by summer 2009, converts the site into a Department of Corrections-run workforce training campus, and allows dollars to follow the youth to smaller, regional facilities and community-based programs.
SB1105 (Trahan) – Limits administrative fees that school boards can withhold from charter schools.
HB1273 (Tucker) – Directs the Department of Health and Hospitals to develop and implement cost control mechanisms for the Long-Term Personal Care Services program and the New Opportunities Waiver.