HOUSE NOTES

Louisiana House of Representatives Communications Office 2013 Regular Session Wrap Up-Final, June 12, 2013

The 2013 Regular Session has adjourned Sine Die. Speaker Kleckley congratulated members on their hard work and bipartisan support to create the state's $25.4 billion budget. A total of 969 bills were introduced by both houses; 423 bills have completed the legislative process. At the end of the 2011 Regular Session, the last fiscal session, 443 bills completed legislative action, 20 more than during the current fiscal session. The governor has signed 215 bills into law as of June 11. The Legislature approved eight proposed constitutional amendments that will go before voters on November 4, 2014, the state's next general election. A brief description of a few of the bills that generated public interest during this session follow. The bills are hyperlinked to the most current posted version of the instrument.

BUDGET/REVENUE Key budget bills have completed legislative action: * House Concurrent Resolution 6, which has completed the legislative process, reduces the expenditure limit for fiscal year

2013-2014 from $15,686,646,424 to $12,916,140,954. * House Bill 1, the state's general operating budget, has completed the process and heads to the governor for executive approval. Among the many appropriations outlined in the 2013-2014 $25 billion budget are $69 million in additional funding for public schools, half of which will go to pay raises for certified teachers, and $20 million funding for the voucher program. * House Bill 2, the state's construction budget, has been sent to the governor. Capital outlay for the 2013-2014 fiscal year includes $1,121,958,273 in cash and $3,080,810,000 in general obligation bonds. * House Bill 168 provides for ancillary expenses of state government. * House Bill 452 provides for the transfer and deposit of monies among state funds. * House Bill 620 would require spending due to constitutional or other mandate 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. * House Bill 678, which has been signed by the governor, provides for supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, * House Bill 691, provides for funding of the Louisiana judicial system.

* House Bill 692 provides for the allocation and distribution of the state Revenue Sharing Fund. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS * House Bill 532 would create the Hospital Stabilization Fund to allow hospitals to deposit money in a state-operated fund for submission to the federal government to capture additional matching Medicaid dollars. The funding measure would establish a hospital Medicaid reimbursement formula; implement an annual hospital provider assessment through the formula; require revenues generated from the assessment to be deposited to the Hospital Stabilization Fund in the Treasury; and would establish reimbursement rate enhancements for Medicaid claims and uncompensated care costs. * House Bill 533 would create the Medical Assistance Trust Fund to allow healthcare provider groups to deposit money into a state-operated fund to receive Medicaid reimbursement. The legislation also establishes a Medicaid base rate of reimbursement. The legislature would annually appropriate monies from the fund necessary for Medicaid Program expenditures of each participating provider group. The healthcare provider groups who would pay fees into the account include nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, prescriptions, medical transportation providers, and health care premium assessments paid by Medicaid-enrolled managed care organizations. * Senate Bill 56 would exclude homeowners who are permanently, totally disabled from the requirement to annually certify their adjusted gross income in order to receive the Special Assessment Level on their

residences for property tax purposes, if that individual has applied for and received the special assessment level in the prior year. * Senate Bill 96, which has completed the legislative process, would qualify disabled veterans and their spouses to receive exemptions from ad valorem taxes. SB96 would add the disability rating of "totally disabled or unemployable" to current law which doubles the homestead exemption for veterans with a service-related disability rating of 100%. * Senate Bill 128, which has completed the legislative process, would create the Artificial Reef Development Fund, and provides for the use of grants, donations and other forms of assistance from private and public sources and for allocation for siting, designing, constructing, permitting, monitoring and managing an artificial reef system. CRIMINAL JUSTICE * House Bill 152, which has been sent to the governor, would grant parole eligibility to any person serving a life sentence who was under 18 years old at the time of the commission of the offense of first degree murder or second degree murder if a judicial determination has been made that the person is entitled to parole eligibility and all of the following conditions have been met: 1) served 35 years of the sentence imposed; 2) the offender has not committed any disciplinary offenses in the months prior to parole eligibility; 3) the offender has completed the mandatory minimum of 100 hours of pre-release programming; 4) the offender has completed substance abuse treatment; 5) the offender has obtained a GED or is deemed by a certified educator as incapable of

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obtaining a GED due to a learning disability; 6) the offender has obtained a low-risk designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument; 7) the offender has completed a re-entry program to be determined by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. * House Bill 512 (Act 6) provides that if a criminal defendant who fails to appear in court and the defendant is subsequently arrested, the periods of limitations shall not commence to run anew until the defendant appears in person in open court where the case on the original charge is pending, or the district attorney prosecuting the original charge has notice of the defendant's custodial location. * Senate Bill 8 (Act 52) would authorize sheriffs to use prisoners to work at churches, synagogues, mosques, or other buildings or structures used primarily for religious worship. * Senate Bill 70 would classify the burning of a victim that results in serious bodily injury as a crime of violence, and provides for a penalty of five to 50 years without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. SB70 has been sent to the governor. * Senate Bill 72 (Act 30) provides that any intentional engaging in any act or any utterance, gesture, or display designed to disrupt a funeral, funeral route, or burial, during the period beginning 120 minutes before and ending 120 minutes after the funeral or burial and within 300 feet of the funeral or burial, would be prohibited. The proposal would prohibit the intentional blocking or interfering with a funeral route, including the blocking or interference with access into or from any building or parking lot of a building in which a funeral is being conducted, or any burial plot

or the parking lot of the cemetery in which a funeral or burial is being conducted, beginning 120 minutes before and ending 120 minutes after the funeral or burial and within 500 feet of the funeral or burial. Finally, SB72 increases in the maximum fine to $500 for disturbing the peace relative to a funeral or burial. * Senate Bill 88 provides for the proceeds from the public sale or auction of forfeited property of any person convicted of the crime of trafficking of children for sexual purposes. SB88 awaits the governor's pen. DRUG OFFENDERS * House Bill 10 (Act 7) adds 27 hallucinogenic substances to Schedule I of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law. * House Bill 15 (Act 8) adds certain compounds and substances to the listing of synthetic cannabinoids in the Schedule I classification of controlled dangerous substances. * House Bill 442, sent to the governor, authorizes the secretary of Department of Public Safety and Corrections to establish a substance abuse probation program to provide counseling and treatment for defendants sentenced to substance abuse probation. HB442 authorizes the secretary to enter into cooperative endeavors or contracts with DHH, training facilities, and service providers to provide for substance abuse treatment and counseling for defendants participating in the program. EDUCATION * House Bill 650, which has been sent to the governor, would reorganize the top tier of administration in the Department of Education.

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* House Bill 343 (Act 151) provides that a student with disabilities who is not pursuing a regular diploma shall not be administered any test pursuant to the La. Competency-Based Education Program or LEAP or the state's school and district accountability program, including the ACT unless student's Individualized Education Plan indicates that the examination is an appropriate assessment instrument for the student, and the student's parent or legal guardian requests in writing that the student be administered the exam. PRE K * House Bill 375, which has been sent to the governor's desk, provides for the EarlySteps childhood disability intervention program, and authorizes a fee schedule known as cost participation for services of the program. * House Bill 698, which awaits the governor's approval, provides for school readiness tax credits, and for the administration and recapture of tax credits. HB698 adds the definitions of Tiered Kindergarten Readiness Improvement System, Early Childhood Care and Education Network, and eligible learning centers to the School Readiness Tax Credit statute. * Senate Bill 222, which has been sent to the governor, provides licensure procedures for early childhood learning centers. HIGHER ED * House Bill 671, which awaits the governor's pen, would authorize the LSU Board of Supervisors to impose a digital media program fee of $2,500, a building use fee of $48 for building repairs and renovations, undetermined tuition and attendance fees for distance education degree programs, a school of dentistry fee of $300,

and a $275 prosthetic device fee for second year students in the dental surgery program. COMMUNITY COLLEGES/TECH COLLEGES * Senate Bill 45, which has been signed into law, transfers all funds, obligations, property, programs, facilities and functions related to all campuses of the Capital Area Technical College to the Baton Rouge Community College system. ELDERLY * Senate Bill 75, which has been sent to the governor, adds potential revenues that may be deposited into the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly. ENVIRONMENT/COAST * House Concurrent Resolution 42 creates the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board to represent the state's position in policy relative to the protection, conservation, enhancement, and restoration of the coastal area of the state through oversight of integrated coastal protection projects and programs. * House Bill 493, which awaits gubernatorial approval, requires the commissioner of conservation to make rules, regulations and orders to control solution mining injection wells and solution mined caverns. * House Bill 705, awaiting executive approval, repeals the wind energy systems tax credit, and converts the solar energy system tax credit to a solar electric system credit. Further, HB705 authorizes a credit for solar thermal systems. FIREARMS * House Bill 8, which prohibits the release of information associated with

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concealed handgun permits or permit applications, has been sent to the governor for executive approval. * House Bill 277, which awaits the governor's signature, prohibits the possession and purchase of a firearm that has not been registered or transferred in accordance with federal law. * House Bill 717, on its way to the governor's desk, would tighten up reporting requirements submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for residents prohibited from possessing a firearm. HEALTH * House Bill 173 , which has been signed into law, amends Louisiana's safe haven law to provide that a child 60 days old or younger may be relinquished to a designated emergency care facility. * House Bill 322, which awaits gubernatorial approval, requires birthing facilities to perform congenital heart defect screening by pulse oximetry on newborns. * House Bill 557, which has been sent to the governor, requires training be made available for mandatory reporters relative to mandatory reporting of child abuse, and authorizes state regulatory departments, boards, commissions, and agencies to offer continuing education credit for training on the statutory requirements and responsibility of reporting child abuse and neglect. HOMELAND SECURITY * House Bill 718 (Act 50) provides for a school crisis management and response plan to address school safety and the incidence of a shooting or other violence at schools, on school buses, and at school-related activities. * House Bill 368, which awaits the governor's pen, would require twice-yearly

crisis safety drills at all public schools. Additionally, HB368 says public school boards and governing authorities of nonpublic schools should make every effort to provide for the presence of an armed school resources officer at each school for the duration of each school day. * House Bill 6, which has been sent to the governor, would exempt law enforcement officers from the crime of carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon on school property. HOSPITALS * House Bill 383 (Act 111) allows hospital service districts in Jefferson Parish to lease hospitals owned by the hospital service district with approval of the governing authority. * House Bill 720, which awaits the governor's pen, provides for the existing lease for the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital property to be converted to a sale. * Senate Concurrent Resolution 98 expresses support of and provides authority for actions by the LSU Board of Supervisors for the strategic collaboration among the division of administration, the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the LSU Board of Supervisors in planning for a new model of health care delivery in the Lake Charles region. INSURANCE * Senate Bill 120 (Act 23) allows the commissioner of insurance to grant reinsurance credits to captive insurers. JUVENILE JUSTICE * House Bill 177 (Act 3) designates the Institute for Public Health and Justice as an adviser to the legislature on matters related to youth in the criminal justice system and youth with behavioral needs.

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* Senate Bill 107, which allows for proactive treatment of youth who are involved in both child welfare and juvenile justice systems, has been sent to the governor's desk. RETIREMENT * House Bill 36 (Act 10) changes current law eligibility for Sheriffs' Pension and Relief Fund (SPRF) members to transfer prior service credits. Under HB 36, a member of SPRF is required to be an active member for at least one year before becoming eligible to transfer prior service credit into the Fund. * House Bill 41, which has been sent to the governor, provides for the board of trustees for the New Orleans Firefighters Pension and Relief Fund (NOFF), for terms, powers, elections, voting limitations and votes, and requires 2/3 approval for an annual cost-of-living increase. * House Bill 44, which has been signed into law, provides an exception to confidentiality provisions of the Public Records Law to allow for disclosure of the home addresses of members of the Firefighters' Retirement System, if requested by a member of the Legislature, an agency or employer reporting information to the system, or a recognized association of system members. * House Bill 46, waiting on executive approval, authorizes a one-time cost-of-living adjustment to: retirees and beneficiaries and survivors who retired prior to July 1, 2001; entered DROP prior to July 1, 2001, and retired prior to July 1, 2012; any beneficiary of a retiree who met the above criteria if he were still alive. The maximum benefit increase permitted under HB 46 is 3.75% of the member's annual pension. The increase becomes effective July 1, 2013. * House Bill 50, which awaits

gubernatorial approval, increases the employee contribution rate for members of NOFF with less than 20 years of service from 6% to 10% with a 2 year phase-in, and increases the employee rate for members with more than 20 years from 0% to 10% with a 3 year phase-in. * House Bill 51 and House Bill 42 provide for calculation of final average compensation for members of NOFF. For retirements occurring on or after July 1, 2013, the number of months of earnings included in the calculation of final average compensation for members will be 60 months. For NOFF members retiring or entering DROP or participating in DROP on a retroactive basis on or after July 1, 2013, and on or before June 30, 2014, the period used to calculate the monthly final average compensation will be 48 months plus the number of whole months since July 1, 2013. * House Bill 128, which awaits gubernatorial approval, provides for survivor benefits for the surviving spouses and children of firefighters and full-time law enforcement officers employed by federally- or staterecognized Indian tribes. HB128 additionally provides that all full-time correctional officers employed by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall be eligible as well. SEIZURES/SALES/LEASES * Senate Bill 27 requires additional information on the notice of seizure provided to judgment debtors whose property is seized by the sheriff and scheduled for sale. * Senate Bill 156, provides that prior to entering into a lease agreement for a residential dwelling unit within a multi-family residential dwelling, the lessor shall disclose in writing to the prospective lessee, at the time of the signing of the lease, any pending

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foreclosure action to which the multi-family residential dwelling is subject. SEX OFFENDERS * House Bill 145, which has been sent to the governor, establishes that the duration of registration for anyone who has been convicted of a sex offense in another state and who establishes residency in Louisiana shall be the duration of his or her lifetime, and that the frequency of in-person renewals shall be every three months from the date of the initial registration. * House Bill 167, which has been sent to the governor, requires information concerning prior arrests for sex offenses, crimes of violence, and dismissed convictions be provided to colleges that request criminal history information of an applicant or prospective employee. STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT * House Bill 629, which has completed legislative action, creates the Office of Debt Recovery 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. TAXES/TAX CREDITS * House Bill 316, which has been sent to the governor's desk, would require agencies administering a tax incentive outlining the purpose and success of each incentive, the return on investment, economic benefits and unintended consequences. * House Bill 456, awaiting executive approval, establishes the Louisiana Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2013. * House Bill 571, which has been sent to the governor, removes part-time jobs from eligibility under current project qualifications

for LED rebate programs, and increases employment requirements from 35% to 50% of employees within criteria listed in current law. Additionally, HB571 limits those retailers with 100 or more employees to groceries and pharmacies located in an Enterprise Zone. Retailers smaller than 100 employees are still eligible. * House Bill 630, headed to the governor's desk, allows a single taxpayer to claim $5 million of credit per year for expenses to rehabilitate nonresidential and rental historic structures in downtown development and cultural products districts. * House Bill 653 changes the state sales and use tax rate and provides for the taxability of sale and services. * Senate Bill 37, which has completed the legislative process, authorizes corporations a net operating loss carry-back of 5 years if the loss is attributable to Hurricane Isaac. * Senate Bill 122, awaiting executive approval, would expand the investor credit to ship building and repair and oil and gas support activities. SB122 would lower the minimum project size to $1.5 million for expenses paid after July 1, 2013; exclude industrial projects and bulk liquid/gas facilities; modify the revenue neutrality requirement; and limit infrastructure projects to $2.5 million per year per project with a cap of $6.250 million per fiscal year. The cargo credit would begin with the 2014 tax year. TRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC SAFETY * House Concurrent Resolution 67 creates the "Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial 1815-2015" as an official state license plate, and requires the Department of Public Safety to issue the plate beginning Jan. 2, 2014. * House Bill 147 creates the "I'm Cajun...and Proud" and "I'm Creole...and

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Proud" prestige license plates. * Senate Bill 201 (Act 55) provides that upon request, the designation words "I'm a Cajun" shall be exhibited below the person's photograph on their driver's license. * House Bill 386 (Act 41) authorizes the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to regulate sponsorship signs on state-owned ferries, rights-of-way and assets of the department, including the state's nine rest areas. * House Bill 396 (Act 43) provides that vehicular traffic may cautiously turn in the direction of a flashing yellow arrow signal, and shall yield to other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, vehicles in the intersection and pedestrians. * House Bill 409, which has been signed into law, provides for safety regulations for contract carriers transporting railroad employees. * House Bill 415 requires DOTD to adopt a process to allow parish governing authorities to request bilingual guide signs along state and federal highways within their boundaries. The guide signs would display terms in both English and the language requested by the parish governing authority. * House Bill 721,which has been signed by the governor, requires DOTD to provide maps of highway priority projects by House and Senate districts to all members of the legislature. * Senate Bill 103, which has been signed by the governor, provides for the economic and medical hardship appeal of a suspended driver's license. * Senate Bill 147 (Act 62) prohibits any device from being used to access, read, or post to a social networking site while operating a motor vehicle and requires that tests administered to driver's license applicants include the applicant's knowledge of

distracted driving issues. * Senate Bill 215, which has been sent to the governor, requires DOTD to own, insure and contribute $4,000,000 annually from its operating budget for the continued operation of the Chalmette ferry. SB215 creates the New Orleans Ferry Fund, and which will authorize cooperative agreements for ferry service, establish ferry fares, and dedicate permit fees and taxes. * Senate Concurrent Resolution 119 establishes a task force to study and make recommendations on implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 in Louisiana. VETERANS * House Bill 312 (Act 5) gives military service members extra time, up to 180 days after return from active duty or a hospital discharge, to renew government-issued or professional licenses. * Senate Bill 32 (Act 29) authorizes courts to check on a defendant's military or veteran status. If the veteran has been diagnosed as having a mental illness, the court may order a presentence investigation and is required to consult with veterans agencies regarding treatment options. Additionally, the court would be required to consider the treatment recommendations before imposing a sentence. * Senate Bill 60 (Act 90) creates the crime of impersonating a veteran with the intent to injure, defraud, obtain economic gain, or obtain or secure any special privilege or advantage. SB60 provides for a fine of $1,000, six months imprisonment, or both, for committing the crime of impersonating a veteran or veteran-owned business. WORKERS COMPENSATION * House Bill 728, which

awaits

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gubernatorial approval, provides for physician choice, medical exams, benefits payments, hearing procedures, notice requirements, modification, suspension, termination, controversion of benefits; procedure, payment of benefits for rehabilitation of injured employees; disputes; and other matters related to workers' compensation.

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