Louisiana House of Representatives Communications Office 2014 Regular Session Week Five, April 11, 2014

WISE FUND * House Bill 1033 establishes the "Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund" (WISE) for programs offered by Louisiana's public post-secondary institutions to support degree and certification production and research priorities in highdemand fields. Under the proposed law, the state treasurer is required to deposit $40 million into the WISE fund at the beginning of each fiscal year, subject to appropriation by the legislature. The proposed law requires that monies in the WISE fund be appropriated to the Board of Regents to be distributed to and used by postsecondary education institutions in accordance with a statewide workforce demand and gap analysis. Funding shall only be distributed by the Board of Regents upon receipt of certification by the management board on behalf of the receiving institution that a 20% match of the amount of funding to be distributed has been guaranteed by a private entity. HB1033 establishes the membership of the WISE Council and associated meeting and reporting requirements. The WISE Council shall develop a method for the distribution of monies in the fund in alignment with the statewide workforce demand and gap analysis and research priorities. The methodology for

the distribution shall be re-evaluated no more than once every three years unless a majority of the WISE Council votes to re-evaluate the methodology more often. The methodology of distribution shall be as follows: 1). Eighty percent of funds distributed shall be based on degree and certificate production in fields required for Four and Five STAR Jobs, as defined by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and weighted by cost and a prioritization of high-demand degree and certificate production based on data provided by the Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. 2). Twenty percent of funds distributed shall be based on federally funded research expenditures as defined by the National Science Foundation. The bill specifies that private matching funds can include the following: cash, in-kind donation of technology, construction materials, facility modification or construction, internships, scholarships, sponsorship of staff or faculty, faculty endowment or tangible property. The WISE Council may authorize a match for an institution in types other than these upon request of the system president. Finally, any funds distributed to an institution that are not spent at the end of a fiscal year shall be available for use by the

institution in the next fiscal year. The House approved House Bill 1033 by a vote of 100 yeas, 0 nays. APPROPRIATIONS * House Bill 437 requires Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget review and approval of proposals and contracts with a total maximum amount of $100 million or more prior to its advertisement. Additionally, HB437 would invalidate any contact over $100 million entered into on or after Aug. 1, 2014, unless it has been reviewed and approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. * House Bill 1053, the supplemental appropriations bill, provides for net increases (decreases) in appropriations as follows: 1.) State General Fund (Direct), no change; 2.) Interagency Transfers, by $600,000; 3.) Fees & Self-generated Revenues, by $600,000; 4.) Statutory Dedications, by $4,400,000; and 5.) Federal Funds, no change. FIREARMS BUYBACK PROGRAM * House Bill 272 would authorize any municipality or parish to institute a firearms buyback program. Further, the bill provides that these programs be funded from cash donations from private businesses, but may include funding from participating law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the proposed law requires participating municipalities or parishes to promulgate rules of procedure governing the acquisition and disposal of firearms purchased through the program. Also, HB272 provides that departmental use may include the sale of the firearms at a public auction. If sold at public auction, the proceeds of the sales shall be used to defray the costs of administering the

auction, and any surplus shall be deposited into the training fund of the law enforcement agency conducting the sale or may be used by that agency to purchase law enforcement equipment. House Bill 272 passed the House, 94 yeas, 0 nays. CRIMINAL/VICTIMS * House Bill 1025, pending House Appropriations, creates the crime of unlawful purchase of commercial sexual activity, provides for penalties and expands present law crimes of human trafficking and trafficking of children for sexual purposes. HB1025 provides that it shall be a violation of law when a person 17 years of age or older knowingly contacts or communicates, through the use of electronic textual communication, with a person who has not yet attained the age of eighteen or a person reasonably believed to have not yet attained the age of eighteen, for the purpose of recruiting, enticing or coercing the person to engage in commercial sexual activity. HB1025 authorizes the interception of wire, electronic or oral communications in investigations involving commercial sexual exploitation. Additionally, HB1025 provides for the forfeiture of certain property used in the commission of certain offenses involving commercial sexual exploitation and provides for the deposit of monies realized from the sale of such property into the Exploited Children’s Special Fund. Next, HB1025 amends the purpose for use of monies in the Exploited Children’s Special Fund to include an appropriation of up to 50% to the Louisiana Commission of Law Enforcement and the Administration of Criminal Justice for the purpose of providing training to law enforcement on human trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

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HB1025 also requires the Council on Peace Officer Standards and Training to provide training for law enforcement agencies on the subject of investigating and preventing human trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Additionally, t he proposed law authorizes the district attorney to establish a diversion program and provides relative to monies collected from the programs. The legislation requires the Department of Children and Family Services to refer the adult trafficking victims to the appropriate department, agency or entity to provide the person certain services. The definition of "racketeering activity" is expanded to include pornography involving juveniles; computer-aided solicitation of a minor; prostitution, persons under eighteen; soliciting for prostitutes; inciting prostitution; promoting prostitution; letting premises for prostitution; enticing persons into prostitution; keeping a disorderly place; letting a disorderly place; and operation of places of prostitution. SECONDHAND DEALERS * House Bill 469, pending House floor consideration, prohibits cash payment for the purchase of used air conditioners and used aluminum-copper air conditioning coils. MOTOR VEHICLES/VIOLATIONS * House Bill 220, reported by substitute and became House Bill 1258, provides for motor vehicle inspection checkpoints and requires law enforcement agencies to follow the same guidelines for motor vehicle inspections as in seat belt and motor vehicle liability security checkpoints. Additionally, HB1258 provides that the location of the checkpoint shall not be less than 2,500 feet from a bridge, overpass or the intersection between two state highways or

between a state and federal highway. CONVENTION CENTER BONDS * House Bill 788, pending House final passage, grants additional powers and bonding capacity to the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority to provide for the issuance of nontraditional tax-free bonds to finance the Phase V Convention Center Expansion Project. The project includes enhancements to the facility and installation of basic infrastructure to facilitate private development of lodging facilities on property owned by the Exhibition Hall Authority. OIL AND GAS/SEVERANCE TAXES * House Bill 712, pending House floor action, prohibits the state from paying interest on refunds for overpayment of severance taxes by operators who qualify for the horizontal drilling and deep well severance tax suspension program, if the refund is processed and the Department of Revenue pays the refund within 180 days after the filed claim was submitted. House Bill 712 would become effective if House Bill No. 713 is enacted and becomes effective. * House Bill 713, pending House floor action, provides that severance taxes on the production of oil and gas from horizontally drilled wells do not have to be paid during a suspension period under the following requirements: 1.) The well operator must file, prior to first production, a preliminary application for well status determination along with a directional survey demonstrating that the well meets the requirements of a horizontal well or deep well with the Office of Conservation and requires the Office of Conservation to certify that the well meets the horizontal well or deep well requirements.

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2.) Within 270 days of first production, the well operator is required to file an amended application for well status determination with the Office of Conservation which shall include the date the well commenced production and the detailed itemized well cost statement in order for severance tax obligations to be suspended from the date production begins from qualified horizontal wells or deep wells. 3.) Failure to file an amended application for well status determination within 270 days of first production shall not affect the qualified well's suspension status provided that the amended application is received within 24 months or until payout of the well is achieved, whichever comes first. 4.) Well operators are required to continue to file severance tax returns with lease detail reports during the severance tax suspension period and to continue to pay royalty to the state throughout the severance tax suspension period if production from the well is attributable to a state lease. TAX SALES * House Bill 488, a proposed constitutional amendment, would authorize agents of tax collectors to sell property for delinquent taxes, and provides that the fees charged by the agents be included in the costs recovered from the tax sale proceeds. Additionally, the fixed or contingent fee amount charged by the authorized agent of the collector shall not exceed the maximum amount set by state law. Finally, HB488 provides that the ballot language shall read as follows: "Do you support an amendment allowing an authorized agent of a tax collector to assist in the tax sale process, including the sale of property for delinquent taxes and that the fee charged by the authorized agent be included within the costs that the collector can recover in the tax sale?"

House Bill 488 awaits action on the House floor TAX EXEMPTION * Present law provides for an ad valorem property tax exemption for agricultural machinery and other implements used exclusively for agricultural purposes on agricultural lands owned or leased by the person claiming the exemption. House Bill 1050 provides for an ad valorem tax exemption for agricultural machinery and other implements used exclusively for agricultural purposes on agricultural lands, regardless of who owns the land. HB1050 is pending House floor action. INTERMENT/ DE PARTM ENT OF DEFENSE * Under present law, the right to control interment of a deceased person's remains is established either by specific directions given in the decedent's written and notarized declaration. House Bill 466 adds that the right to control interment of the decedent's remains is also established when the decedent designates a specific person to control disposition in the form of a written and notarized declaration. Under the proposed law, if the decedent died during active duty in any branch of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Reserve Forces or National Guard, and the decedent executed a United States Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data, known as DD Form 93 or its successor form, the right to control interment for the decedent shall devolve upon the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition. HB466 further provides that there shall be no liability for a cemetery authority, funeral establishment, funeral director, crematory authority or the employees or agents of any of

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them to whom a copy of a DD Form 93 is presented for conduction of the interment or other disposition of the decedent's remains. Finally, in the event that the decedent has made multiple notarized declarations or designations of interment and the decedent executed a DD Form 93, the declaration or designation or the DD Form 93, whichever is dated last, shall control interment of the decedent's remains. HB466 is pending House final passage. PENSION PLAN * House Bill 6 establishes a minimum employer contribution rate of not less than 6.2% for each Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) participant of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) employed in higher education, effective July 1, 2018. Additionally, the employer normal contribution rate for each ORP participant of TRSL employed in K-12 will be equal to the greater of the employer normal cost rate applicable to non-OPR members and 6.2%. HB6 passed the full House by a vote of 96-0. VOLUNTEER FIREMEN/WORKERS' COMPENSATION * House Bill 803, pending House final passage, would authorize the state fire marshal to promulgate rules and regulations regarding workers' compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters. SALT DOMES * House Concurrent Resolution 54, pending House final passage, urges and requests the Office of Conservation to implement tighter restrictions on the use of salt domes for brine production and for storage, including public disclosure of such caverns by a sign located at the site of the

cavern or facility; an expanded buffer zone of500 feet surrounding the facility; scheduling public meetings at the request of 20 or more citizens residing within 2,000 feet of a facility; a security plan for response to acts of terrorism, natural disasters, accidents or equipment malfunctions submitted by the owner of the facility to the Office of Conservation of; and requirements for bonds and insurance by the owners and operators of such facilities at sufficient levels to secure the interests of the businesses and residents in the area around salt domes. LITTERING * House Bill 1075 (Substitute for House Bill 910) provides enhanced penalties for littering cigarettes or cigarette butts from a motor vehicle as follows: 1.) Changes the first-offense fine from $250 to $300; retains eight hours of community service in a litter abatement program. 2.) Changes the second-offense fine from $500 to $700; retains 16 hours of community service in a litter abatement program. 3.) Changes the fine for third and subsequent offenses from $1,250 to $1,500; retains 80 hours of community service in a litter abatement program and suspension of driver's license for one year. HB1075 passed the House by a vote of 95-1. WILDLIFE & FISHERIES * House Bill 1072, which passed the House by a vote of 95-0, authorizes the issuance of a retired military hunting and fishing license to a retired member of the United States Armed Forces, the La. Army National Guard, or the La. Air National Guard and who was either born in Louisiana or is a bona fide Louisiana resident. The fee for the license is $5 and it would be in lieu of basic hunting, big game,

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bow, primitive firearms, and waterfowl licenses, turkey hunting stamps, WMA hunting permits, and the basic and saltwater fishing licenses. The license also authorizes the use of a crossbow or a bow that is drawn, held and released by mechanical means, and provides that magnified scopes may be used with crossbows. USE OF FORCE * House Bill 325, pending House floor action, retains present law and adds that the use of force is justified when committed by a person lawfully inside a dwelling, a place of business or a motor vehicle when the conflict began, against a person who is attempting to make an unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle or who has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle, and the person using the force or violence reasonably believes that the use of force or violence is necessary to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave the dwelling, place of business or motor vehicle. Additionally, HB325 adds "when the conflict began" as an element of justifiable homicide. HB325 changes "premises" in present law to "dwelling, place of business or motor vehicle." CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES * House Bill 1126 requires the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) to develop a comprehensive plan to facilitate the housing of inmates in an efficient and cost-effective manner and to utilize state and local facilities prior to contracting with private prison facilities. The proposed law requires the secretary of DPS&C to house inmates in state correctional facilities and local jails based upon the security requirements of each individual, the medical needs of the individual

and in the most cost-efficient manner. Further, the proposed law provides that if additional space is needed to house inmates, after utilization of state correctional facilities and available local jail space, the department may enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with a private correctional facility to house inmates while maintaining rehabilitation, training and security compliance established by the department. GAMING/REVENUE * House Bill 1223 would dedicate 10% of "after-net slot machine proceeds" from the gaming operations at the Churchill Downs horse racing facility in New Orleans to be used for facility maintenance and capital improvement projects including frontside and backside projects, improvements to grandstands, stables, racetrack surfaces and turf racing surfaces. HB1223 requires maintenance and capital improvements plans to be submitted annually to the Louisiana State Racing Commission for approval, and requires the commission to set a time by which the projects must be completed. HB1223 also requires the commission to certify satisfactory completion to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. HB1223 awaits consideration by the full House. TULANE SCHOLARSHIPS * Under provisions of House Bill 307, each legislator has the right to appoint one student to receive a legislative scholarship to Tulane University. The proposed law would require the administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund to administer applications and granting legislative scholarships. HB307 provides that each nominee: (1) Meet all requirements for admission to a full-time undergraduate division of the

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university established by the administrators. (2) In accordance with procedures determined by the administrators and administered by the university, meet eligibility requirements and other program requirements established by the administrators and as provided in present law and proposed law. (3) Be a resident of the state, and if the university determines that there is at least one qualified applicant from the legislator's district, be a resident of the district. (4) Shall not be an immediate family member of the nominating legislator. (5) Shall not be an elected official of state or local government in Louisiana or a member of the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana. Additionally, HB307 provides that the scholarship recipient shall receive one academic year of free tuition, and allows granting free tuition for less than an academic year when the student graduates before the end of the academic year. Next, the scholarship shall not continue for a period exceeding the time remaining in the term of the nominating legislator, except specifies that a legislative scholarship that is in effect when the term of a legislator expires or a legislator vacates his office shall continue for the remainder of the academic year for which it was awarded. Finally, HB307 requires each legislator to publish pertinent information about the Tulane scholarship program on their website. Tulane would be required to publish each scholarship recipient's name, the name and district number of the nominating legislator, and if the scholarship recipient is a member of the immediate family of one or more elected officials, the name of and the office held by each such elected official. House Bill 307 awaits action by the full House.

MISDEMEANOR/MARIJUANA POSSESSION * House Bill 681, approved in the House, 92-1, amends the definition of "technical violations" in present law to include misdemeanor possession of marijuana for purposes of imposition of administrative sanctions and probation violations. If the subsequent alleged criminal act is misdemeanor possession of marijuana, it shall be considered a "technical violation."

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