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Louisiana House of Representatives Communications Office 2013 Regular Session Week Three, April 26, 2013
As the third week of the session ends, a total of 956 bills has been filed. The House has introduced 703 bills, and the Senate has introduced 253 bills. At the same time during the 2011 Regular Session, a total of 889 bills was introduced. House bills totaled 629 and Senate bills totaled 260. TRANSFER OF NOAH TO CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL House Bill 595, reported by substitute House Bill 720, provides for the existing lease for the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH) property to be converted to a sale. Under the proposal, Children's Hospital has agreed to provide extensive additional mental health services for children and adolescents; more in-patient beds; a new program to treat children from birth to five years; an expanded autism program; and a transitional program from in-patient to out-patient services. The state would re-allocate money that was set aside last year for NOAH and related mental health care facilities to Children's Hospital. In exchange, Children's Hospital would in good faith consider and plan additional services, including drug and alcohol addiction programs; day treatment services; longer-term in-patient care with educational
and therapeutic services; and devices for children in the juvenile justice program. BILINGUAL HIGHWAY GUIDE SIGNS * House Bill 415 would require the Department of Transportation and Development to adopt a supplement to the specifications manual, subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, to contain a process to allow parish governing authorities to request bilingual guide signs along state and federal highways within their boundaries. The supplement would require uniformity for all bilingual guide signs. The guide signs would display terms in both English and the language requested by the parish governing authority. Submissions of Louisiana French terms would require the approval of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. The legislation requires DOTD to bear the cost of the production and installation if a bilingual guide requested by the parish governing authority is set for replacement or installation in the fiscal year that the request is made. The parish governing authority shall bear any increased costs in production and/or installation. However, the proposal requires the parish governing authority to bear the entire
cost of the production and installation if a bilingual guide sign is not set for replacement or installation in the fiscal year the request is made. TRANSPORTATION * "Contract carrier" is defined as a transportation company operating in intrastate commerce by motor vehicle or bus under contract to transport railroad employees for compensation, under provisions of House Bill 409. The proposed law would create safety regulations for contract carriers transporting railroad employees, including provisions for driver qualifications, drive time, alcohol and controlled substance testing, vehicle inspections, records, violations and penalties, definitions and related matters. HB409 is scheduled for floor debate April 30. BUDGET * The House Committee on Appropriations considered several instruments this week aimed at clarifying the state's budget process, the Revenue Estimating Conference's role in the process, which provisions can be appropriated and which provisions cannot, and discretionary vs. non-discretionary spending. Under the state's constitution, appropriations of all money are required to be deposited in the state treasury, except federal source funds, higher education self-generated revenue, interagency transfers, and the constitutional allocations to the parish severance tax and royalty receipt distributions (oil and gas). * House Bill 437, pending House floor debate, provides for the Revenue Estimating Conference forecast to include a projection of all state general fund, self-generated revenues
and statutorily-dedicated funds, and requires the conference to designate certain funds as nonrecurring. HB437 provides for limitations on appropriations, as well. * House Bill 435, reported favorably, provides for the role of the Revenue Estimating Conference in the expenditure of state funds, including determining what money is defined as nonrecurring. The legislation also provides that the governor's budget recommendation shall not contain contingent appropriations or use nonrecurring revenues for purposes other than those specifically authorized by the constitution. A proposed constitutional amendment, HB435 will be submitted to voters at the statewide election on November 4, 2014. * Both House Bill 434, a proposed constitutional amendment, and House Bill 620, pending House final passage, would require spending due to constitutional or other mandates to be considered in a separate appropriations bill from spending that is not required to be funded, if health care or higher education funding is reduced. Both instruments would require the legislative auditor to determine if the proposed budget for higher ed or health care are less than the executive budget than previously appropriated in the last legislative session. * HCR6, pending House final passage, would, with a two-thirds vote of both houses concurring, direct the commissioner of administration to reduce the expenditure limit for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 from $15,686,646,424.00 to $12,916,140,954.00. The provisions of HCR6 would establish the expenditure limit for FY 2014 at $12,916,140,654 for the purpose of
calculating the limit for 2015 and thereafter. CENTRALIZED DEBT COLLECTION * House Bill 629 would create the Office of Debt Recovery (ODR) within the Department of Revenue, and would require the office to collect delinquent debts on behalf of all state agencies that do not have debt collection contracts with the attorney general's office. The statutory collection authority of each agency to collect the debt would be transferred to ODR, which is authorized to use any means to collect that agencies can currently use, including bank account garnishment as authorized for child support collections. Finally, HB629 would authorize the ODR office to exercise authority relative to the suspension or denial of drivers' licenses, the suspension, revocation, or denial of hunting or fishing licenses, or to withhold, offset, levy, garnish, or seize payments of progressive slot machine annuities and cash gaming winnings in collecting delinquent debt. The office would be authorized to suspend, revoke, deny, or request the suspension, revocation, or denial of any license, professional license, or permit issued, granted, or renewed by the state due to a debtor owing the state a delinquent debt. House Bill 629 is pending consideration by the full House. CREDIT CARDS/STATE AGENCY TRANSACTIONS * House Bill 488, pending House final passage, would require all state agencies to accept credit cards, debit cards or similar payment devices as payment for state charges on transactions, including taxes, fees, charges, licenses, service fees or charges, fines, penalties, interest, sanctions, stamps,
surcharges, assessments, or obligation to any state entity.
EDUCATION * House Bill 466, reported favorably, would require the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to revert to the formula used for the 2011-2012 school year to determine letter grades for schools or school districts. The legislation also requires that granting rewards or taking corrective actions based on letter grades be made according to the same rules used in the 2011-2012 school year. TRACKING DEVICES FOR MINOR CHILDREN * House Bill 361 provides an exception to the crime that prohibits the uses of tracking devices. When the parents of the minor child are living separate and apart or are divorced from one another, this exception would apply only if both parents consent to the tracking of their minor child's location and movements. If one parent has been granted sole custody, the consent of the non-custodial parent would not be required. HB361 is pending House floor action. FORGED INSPECTION STICKERS * House Bill 364, pending House consideration, would create the crime of forgery of a motor vehicle inspection certificate. Under this proposal, the criminal penalty for the commission of the offense is five years imprisonment with or without hard labor, a fine of $5,000, or both. PRIOR ARRESTS * House Bill 167, pending action by the
full House, provides that if an institution of postsecondary education requests the criminal history of an applicant or prospective employee, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information would be required to provide state or national criminal history information, including all conviction information of the applicant or prospective employee. The proposed law also requires the reporting of felony arrests of the applicant, including dismissed convictions. REGULAR SESSIONS * Under the provisions of House Bill 407, any bill that seeks to legislate tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions, reductions, repeals, rebates, incentives, abatements, or credits shall be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 45th calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session. Additionally, any joint resolution proposed at a regular session of the legislature that would amend the constitution relative to tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions, reductions, repeals, rebates, incentives, abatements, or credits shall be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 45th calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session. HB407, a proposed constitutional amendment, would be submitted for voter approval at the next statewide election. SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT * House Bill 314, pending House final passage, creates the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act, which seeks to protect students, employees or an applicants for employment from an educational institution or employer’s request to grant access to allow observation or disclose information to access the student's, employee’s or applicant’s
personal online account. The proposed legislation also prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, failing to hire, or otherwise penalize or threaten to penalize such a student, employee or applicant for failure to grant access, allow observation of, or disclose information of the employee’s or applicant’s personal online account. However, the legislation allows employers and educational institutions to require disclosure of access information to electronic communications devices that are supplied and paid for by the employer or the institution. Finally, the provisions of HB314 would only apply to public educational institutions, not private ones. HORSE RACING * House Bill 187, pending consideration by the full House, would increase the number of quarter horse racing days from 10 horse racing days conducted during three consecutive weeks to not less than 24 quarter horse racing days during six consecutive weeks at any facility where the purse revenue derived from slot machines is limited by law to a certain expressly stated number. SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATE * HCR 67, approved favorably, would create the "Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial 1815-2015" license plate. The instrument would authorize and direct the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to issue the plate for private passenger motor vehicles with a design proposed by the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission, replacing the pelican imprint, and "Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial 1815-2015" at the bottom of the plate, and replacing the words "Sportsman's
Paradise." The resolution provides that no additional state funding would be required--the plate would be an official license plate.
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