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2013 House Notes - Week 6

2013 House Notes - Week 6

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Published by RepNLandry
Summary of Louisiana House of Representatives action, week 6, regular session 2013
Summary of Louisiana House of Representatives action, week 6, regular session 2013

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Published by: RepNLandry on May 17, 2013
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07/21/2014

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On Wednesday, the RevenueEstimating Conference recognized an extra$155 million available for the upcoming budget year. The additional revenue estimateis due to stronger personal income taxcollections.The following are highlights of someof the issues considered this week thatgenerated public interest.
TRSL MEMBERSHIP
*
, approved by theHouse, 57-40, provides for membershipeligibility to the Teachers' Retirement Systemof Louisiana (TRSL), and provides that thefollowing persons shall be included:1. The president and staff of the LouisianaFederation of Teachers hired by the federation before September 1, 2013, who were membersof TRSL prior to such employment.2. The president or secretary and staff of theLouisiana Association of Educators, hired bythe association before September 1, 2013.3. The director and staff of the AssociatedProfessional Educators of Louisiana, hired bythe association before September 1, 2013.4. The director and staff of the LouisianaResource Center for Educators hired by thecenter before September 1, 2013.However, employees of theseassociations hired on or after September 1,2013, will
not 
be allowed to become membersof TRSL. 
CASH BALANCE PLAN /ENROLLMENT
*The House Retirement Committeereported favorably
, which would suspend theimplementation date of the cash balance lawuntil July 1, 2014. The committee alsoreported House Bill 68 by substitute
, which delays the implementation of the cash balance plan provisions until the datesix months after the Division of Administrationreceives a favorable ruling from the InternalRevenue Service regarding the Social Securityequivalency of the cash balance plan.Additionally, HB729 makes the cash balance plan optional for judges.
STATE CONTRACTS
*
, pending House final passage, would cut the state's professional, personal, and consulting contracts by 10%.The proposed legislation would requirethe Office of Contractual Review (OCR) tosubmit reports on the implementation status of the contract reduction to the Joint LegislativeCommittee on the Budget.OCR would not be required to approveany contract if such approval would increasethe total dollar amount of contracts above theminimum 10% reduction, unless the contractmeets all of the following criteria:1.) either no employee of the contractingdepartment is both competent and available to perform the services,
HOUSE NOTES
Louisiana House of RepresentativesCommunications Office2013 Regular SessionWeek Six, May 17, 2013
 
Page -2-2.) the services are not available as a productof a prior existing contract,3.) the contracting department has submittedto OCR a written plan to monitor and evaluatethe performance within the contract,4.) it is more cost effective to obtain the proposed services through the contract,5.) the commissioner of administrationdetermines that the proposed contractrepresents a priority expenditure for Louisianastate government.
STATE CONSTRUCTION BILL
*
, passed unanimously inthe House, provides for the capital outlay budget and program for FY 2013-2014.
SURROGATE BIRTH CONTRACTGUIDELINES
*
, pending House final passage, provides for gestational surrogacycontracts, for definitions, birth certificates andnumerous related matters.Gestational surrogacy contracts may becourt approved after record checks by thelocal sheriff or state police, the Department of Children and Family Services, and theSupreme Court.SB162 provides, through court order,that the intended parents shall be recognizedas the legal parents before the birth of thechild.All court proceedings shall beconfidential.The legislation provides that theDepartment of Children and Family Servicesmay request a post-birth order from the courtif the intended parents fail to do so. Thecourt, through a post-birth order, would directthe issuance of a new birth certificate andspecifies the contents of the birth certificate.
COERCED ABORTION
*
, which passed theHouse, 93-0, would add "coerced abortion" tothe definitions of child abuse listed in presentlaw.HB278 defines coerced abortion as theuse of force, intimidation, threat of force, threatof deprivation of food and shelter, or thedeprivation of food and shelter by a parent or any other person in order to compel a femalechild to undergo an abortion against her will.
WHERE'S BABY? LOOK BEFORE YOULOCK 
*
,which has completed the legislative process,urges and requests the Department of Childrenand Family Services, the Department of Healthand Hospitals, and the Department of PublicSafety and Corrections, Public Safety Services,and the Office of Motor Vehicles to promotestatewide, the National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration's "Where's baby? Look beforeyou lock campaign."The campaign is a joint effort betweenthe National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration and Safe Kids Worldwide to prevent child deaths from heatstroke.
NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT
*
, reported favorably andrecommitted to Appropriations, would createthe Southeast Baton Rouge Community SchoolBoard and school system in East Baton RougeParish.The legislation provides for the schoolsystem, including its establishment andgeographic boundaries; the school board andinterim school board; board membership,apportionment, qualifications, method of selection, terms of office, filling of vacancies,compensation, expenses, powers, duties, andresponsibilities; facilities and property; the
 
Page -3-collection and remittance of taxes; studentservices; applications for funding; thereapportionment of the East Baton RougeParish School Board; costs related to retiredemployees; effectiveness and implementation;and for other related matters.
NEW MARKETS JOBS TAX CREDIT
*
would establish theLouisiana New Markets Jobs Act for purposesof a tax credit that may be claimed againstinsurance premium tax.Eligibility for the credit would be based on the investment of private capital inthe amount of $110 million to trigger taxcredits for low-income rural or urbancommunity businesses located in Louisiana.House Bill 726 passed the House by avote of 65-31.
NEW ORLEANS RIVERFRONT
*
, pending House floor action, would grant authorization to the Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Exhibition HallAuthority to borrow money and issue bonds to pay for the Convention Center's Phase VExpansion Project along the Mississippi River in the Central Business District of NewOrleans.HB516 would allow a joint venture between the authority and a private entity for a tourism development plan to enhance theconvention center and install basicinfrastructure to facilitate private developmenton property owned by the authority.
EAST FELICIANA TAX EXCLUSION
*
, pending House final passage, would make a mandatory exemptionfrom sales and use taxes for repair charges inEast Feliciana Parish, when the repairedtangible personal property is delivered to acustomer out of state.
CHALMETTE FERRY SERVICE
*
, reported withamendments and recommitted toAppropriations, would require the Departmentof Transportation and Development to own,and provide insurance and contribute$4,000,000 annually from its operating budgetfor the continued operation of the Chalmetteferry, formerly operated by the Crescent CityConnection.Additionally, SB215 would create the New Orleans Ferry Fund, and would authorizecooperative agreements for ferry service,establish ferry fares, and dedicate permit feesand taxes.
JUDICIARY
*
, a proposed constitutionalamendment, would remove the mandatoryretirement age of judges.SB5 is pending the House Committeeon Civil Law and Procedure.
COMMUNITY COLLEGESCONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
*
, pending HouseAppropriations, is a mechanism that wouldallow Louisiana’s community and technicalcolleges to borrow more than $250 million for 28 specific construction projects around thestate, including upgrades to Baton RougeCommunity College and Delgado CommunityCollege in New Orleans. The bonds would beissued outside of the capital outlay process andnot subject to legislative approval.The project would be funded with$251,610,500 in appropriation dependent bonds issued through the Louisiana LocalGovernment Environmental Facilities andCommunity Development Authority or other  public trust with the approval of the State BondCommission. The projects would require private matching funds of no less than 12% .

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