DALE N. ATKINS MELVIN J. BURMASTER CARLTON JONES, III J. KENTON PARSONS
JUDITH R. ATKINSON W. JOSEPH CLEVELAND† GAYLE T. KELLNER∆ CHRISTINA B. PECK
THOMAS E. BALHOFF KEVIN E. CUNNINGHAM JOHN D. KOCH LUKE F. PIONTEK
CECIL J. BLACHE TERRY T. DUNLEVY* MICHAEL R. MANGHAM† CLARK A. RICHARD
CORINNE M. BLACHE C. JAMES GELPI STEPHEN G. McCOLLISTER LARRY M. ROEDEL
ANDRÉ G. BOURGEOIS DAVID H. HARDY DAVID S. McFADDEN DON R. SCHNEIDER†
BRENT J. BOURGEOIS C. KEVIN HAYES SHERI M. MORRIS DAVID A. WOOLRIDGE, JR.
JOSHUA B. ZELDEN
The five month legislative session, beginning with the first special session on February
10, 2008 and concluding with the Sine Die gavel of the 2008 Regular Session on Monday, June
23rd brought a collective sigh of relief throughout the state as the 2008 legislative session came to
an end. The first special session devoted to ethics reform ended on February 26, 2008 and was
followed by a second dealing with the Louisiana economy and enactment of economic
development measures championed by Governor Jindal during his successful campaign in the
fall of 2007. Both ushered in the March 29th opening gavel of the 2008 Regular Session as
members of both the Senate and House gathered again in Baton Rouge excited and poised for
what promised to be the continuing remaking of Louisiana according to the plan envisioned by
Governor Jindal in his first primary election victory in 2007.
With sixty newly elected House members and five new Senate members, the 2008
Session settled in, guaranteeing or at least creating the anticipation of a continuation of successes
achieved in special sessions one and two. Governor Jindal brought forth a limited 2008 Regular
Session agenda focusing primarily on transferring the Louisiana Department of Labor into the
Department of Workforce Development, offering to the legislature “it’s time” to address issues
and campaign promises of successful elections bids in the fall of 2007. The Jindal team,
apparently a triumvirate of Chief of Staff, Timmy Teeple, Assistant Chief of Staff, Stephen
Waguespack, and Executive Counsel, Jimmie Faircloth were quickly recognized as the
gatekeepers for Governor Jindal and his legislative program and strategy in 2008. As
gatekeepers to the Governor, however, they largely guarded an absent governor who was on the
“short list” for consideration as the Vice Presidential choice of the Republican Presidential
nominee, John McCain, “Bobby” was making the national news media circuit of CNN, Fox
News, the “John McCain barbeque” and even an appearance on the Jay Leno late night show.
These absences together with a legislative strategy resembling that of Congress – “please deal
with my staff” – generated a swell of complaint over the vacuum created by the absence of direct
gubernatorial input, if not control.
The resulting “legislative independence”, fueled either by design or perhaps inexperience
on the part of the Governor and the controlling staff triumvirate of Teeple, Waguespack, and
Faircloth, legislative complaint generated, and in some instances concerted rebellion, at times
resulting in a confusing puzzle of legislative action in the vacuum of gubernatorial absence. This
was no more glaringly apparent than in the late session approval of the legislative pay raise, SB
672 by Senator Ann Duplessis, increasing the “part-time” income for legislators to almost
$60,000 a year, virtually doubling the legislative pay and made effective July 1, 2008. While I
will not even attempt to explain the politics and propriety of the passage of SB 672, the key
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Also licensed in Pennsylvania Also licensed in Virginia Of Counsel
interest and concern for this report is the impact the ultimate veto of SB 672 will have on the
relationship of the governor, the legislature and tandem of cooperation required to advance the
Governor’s agenda in future sessions of the legislature.
The narrowest approval of SB 672, 20-16 in the Senate and 56-45 in the House, created
perhaps the greatest public outcry I have seen in my almost thirty years of working with the
Louisiana legislature. The anger, frustration, shock and antipathy of the Louisiana electorate
quickly fomented demanding a veto of the legislative pay raise. In the week following the Sine
Die conclusion of the session, Governor Jindal remained sympathetic with the public outcry, “I
made a mistake”, but remained stoic in his intention to allow the bill to become law. However,
the growing fire storm of complaint including the filing of recall petitions against six House
members and even the Governor himself concluded on Monday, June 30th when the Governor
announced the veto of SB 672.
While the public response to the veto of SB 672 was immediate and well received, one
can only wonder as to the impact it will have on the legislature and its relationship with
Governor Jindal. In this writer’s opinion, if the Governor would have stated his intention to veto
the pay raise legislation as both “too much and too soon”, SB 672 would have not passed in
2008, and very likely would not have been heard. However and persistently as reaffirmed,
legislators were assured SB 672 would not be vetoed even though it was not supported by the
Governor. Although painful to admit, I do believe Governor Jindal’s spoken intention to allow
SB 672 to become law resulted, invariably in the passage, of the pay raise legislation.
Ironically, perhaps, it appears the public, is both relieved and energized by the veto of the
pay raise legislation, and that Governor Jindal as a result of the veto has sustained, if not
increased his pre session popularity. While I do not expect nor do I wish for hostility and
organized opposition towards Governor Jindal, his administration, and future legislative
programs, I do believe that the passage and ultimate veto of SB 672 will have enduring impact
on the remainder of his term in office.
As has been our custom over the years, we will now engage a review of legislation of
“particular” and “general” interest to the Louisiana Press Association. While it was seemingly a
“never ending session” beginning in February of 2008, each day proved to be interesting if not
controversial as the Roedel Parsons Koch team engaged the 2008 legislature representing your
interests. We would like to thank you for the opportunity and privilege of representing you and
on behalf of our families, the attorneys at Roedel Parsons Koch Blache Balhoff & McCollister,
and our mutual and concurrent interests in seeing not only the interests of the Louisiana Press
Association to be protected and advanced, but that of our wonderful state as we together seek to
complete the recovery of the statewide economy and incredible culture still impacted by the
ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, and has likewise become custom, this report
will first examine in brief review “other” legislation of significance considered in 2008 and
which formed the context in which legislation of “particular” and “general” interest is reviewed
in this legislative report.
On the final day to veto legislation enacted in the 2008 Session, Sunday, July 13, 2008,
Governor Jindal announced the line item veto of 258 projects as part of the general
appropriations bill, HB 1, approved in the 2008 Session. The veto of the projects, described as
NGO’s (Non-Governmental Projects), was hailed by the Governor in a lengthy post session news
conference, as representative of his intention to “reign in” government spending and to further
limit the appropriation of state funds to those projects having a statewide impact. In announcing
the line item veto of the NGO’s, Governor Jindal outlined the four parameters used in evaluating
the NGO’s included in his veto as follows: 1) The project must have statewide or substantial
regional impact 2) The project must have been presented/openly discussed during the legislative
session 3) The project must be a state agency priority 4) and, the project must have had the
proper disclosure form published online prior to consideration for funding. In my cursory
analysis of the 258 items, it would appear that neither project nor legislator was the direct object
of politically motivated veto. While some legislators complained that it was primarily the
“urban” projects that were spared in favor of their “rural” counterparts, it does not appear that
there was a preconceived notion of “punishing” a particular legislator or a particular part of the
The 258 projects in HB 1 subjected to the line item veto resulted in the removal in excess
of $16 million dollars, and, perhaps as never before generated a resounding clamor for the
calling of a veto session to override the Governor. However, even with the furor over the veto of
the legislative pay raise, that, together with the NGO’s, could not muster the required majority
vote of both Houses to convene in veto session. In the wake of the decision to forego the August
session to override the Governor, there remains in its wake, an enduring yet not determinable
impact upon the Jindal administration and its relationship with the legislature. Although the
Governor repeatedly warned of the veto of the NGO’s not meeting the four point test for
approval, the number and aggressiveness of the Jindal vetoes will no doubt have a lingering if
not straining impact on the legislative process.
Both the veto of the legislative pay raise and the line item veto of the 258 NGO’s have
been the object of open and direct public discourse, discussion and debate; and, it would appear
and not without a bit of irony, that Governor Jindal, is more popular and perhaps even stronger
with the Louisiana electorate than ever before. However, the public does not cast votes in the
legislature, and it will indeed be interesting to see and access the ultimate legislative impact on
the House and Senate. Many observers project a dramatic enhancement of power of both House
Speaker Tucker and Senate President Chaisson, sandwiching a distrust with the Governor and his
administration. Only time will tell and we will keep you posted as the 2008 Session fades, LSU
tiger football begins and end of year holiday celebrations usher in 2009 and a new legislative
Criminal Justice and the administration of our criminal justice system is always a key
area of endeavor of sessions of the Louisiana Legislature, and 2008 proved consistent, as
numerous measures were introduced and ultimately enacted. HB 726 by Representative Hardy
was approved creating a crime of public display of a noose with the intent to intimidate. The
Hardy measure makes it unlawful for any person with intent to intimidate to etch, paint, draw or
otherwise place or display a “hang-man” noose on the property of another. In addition to a
$5,000 fine there is a possibility of imprisonment of up to one year. HB 110 by Representative
Champagne would disallow persons convicted of armed robbery from being eligible for parole.
There were many bills introduced to address the continuing issue in society of juvenile sexual
crime and the effort to notify Louisiana citizens of the presence of sexual offenders, most
significant among the several enacted in 2008 was HB 1373 by Representative Baldone. The
measure amends the sexual offender registration and notification provision by requiring
registration “for life” of those convicted of sexual battery or molestation of a juvenile under the
age of thirteen and expands current law to require lifetime registration for offenders convicted of
more than one sex offense or if the court finds that the offender poses a substantial risk of
committing another sex offense or offense against a child.
Although it died a slow death on the house calendar after passage by the House
Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, HB 199 by Rep. Wooten caused quite a bit of
ranker as it would have authorized possession of a firearm on the campus of a college or
university or post-secondary vocational-technical school by a person issued a concealed handgun
permit. Quickly receiving committee approval, the organized opposition of the Louisiana higher
education community together with that of the public outcries fueled by the concern over the
mixture of “alcohol and handguns”, resulted in the decision by the author to refrain from having
the bill considered on final passage. Finally, with regard to criminal justice legislation
considered in the 2008 session, and as will be considered again in the subsequent section to this
report, HB 937 by Representative St. Germain, provided for the conducting of a local option
election in Iberville Parish to authorize horse racing, para -mutual wagering, off-track wagering
and slot machine gaming was approved but ultimately vetoed by the Governor. Advanced by
proponents as an opportunity to “let the voters decide,” Governor Jindal classified the measure as
an “expansion of gambling” and it was thereby subjected to his veto pen.
Agricultural, forestry and rural development is of great concern to the legislature as
issues related to the expansion of Louisiana rural economy is dominated by agricultural and
forestry interest. The ever increasing price of gasoline together with corn, cigarettes and other
potential agricultural feedstock for biofuel invested development in Louisiana, prompted the
approval of HB 1270, Act 382 of 2008, by Representative Perry. Designed to reduce the
dependency on foreign oil and increase economic opportunities, the measure provides for a
“four-year trial, pilot program” upon availability of blended fuels and fuel sampling of hydro-
ethanol usage in selected vehicles. Including the provisional state incentives for awarded
demonstration grants, the measure prohibits the Commissioner of Administration from
purchasing or leasing vehicles for state agencies that do not use certain alternative fuels. In
addition, the measure added hybrid vehicles as a choice for state purchase or lease of vehicles
and adds advance biofuel to the list of alternative fuels for use in state vehicles. SB 11, Act 515
of 2008, by Senator Nick Gautreaux, creates a Louisiana “right to farm” law, protecting
agricultural operations from being a nuisance if the operation is conducted in accordance with
accepted agricultural and traditional farming practices if the practice has existed for one or more
years and the condition or circumstances alleged to constitute the nuisance has existed
unchanged since the established date of the operation. NMBY “Not in my backyard,” has
become an ever-growing popular legal maneuver to prevent the continuation of operation of
agricultural endeavors which has historically been a part of Louisiana agricultural economy.
With the election of former State Representative Mike Strain as Commissioner of
Agriculture and Forestry, one of the most controversial offices of the previous administration
was addressed in SB 133, Act 117 of 2008, by Senator Donahue. As enacted, SB 133 requires
the Louisiana Agriculture Finance Authority to comply with the state’s public bid law and also
prevents the Department of Agriculture and Forestry from using rank-and-file employees to
perform construction work. Proposed, implemented and protected by the former Commissioner
of Agriculture, the elimination and appeal of both aspects of the department’s authority were
championed by candidate, Mike Strain and enacted through the Donahue legislation.
As previously noted the legislature approved a state operating budget of $30 billion
dollars, quite large for a state with a population of little over 4 million people but substantially
propped up by the infusion of federal, post-Katrina monies. HB 1, the appropriations bill, is a
legislative road map by which the expenditure of state funds is outlined and directed. The
general appropriations bill HB 1, Act 19 of 2008, appropriated $29.9 billion dollars, $9 billion of
which was state general fund dollars, $14.9 billion in federal funds and approximately $7.7
billion in federal and other funds related to hurricane-disaster relief and recovery efforts. As
previously noted, and in keeping with his campaign promise, HB 1 replaced almost $420 million
dollars in one-time spending with an equal replacement amount of recurring state general fund
dollars. Eliminating the long established practice of “credit card spending” for recurring
obligations, represents one of the most significant features of the Governor Jindal effort to
reform the Louisiana budgetary process. Important features of appropriated dollars in the 342
pages of HB 1 are $55 million dollars for future pay increases and $48 million dollars for the
onetime $1,000 bonus for support personnel in Louisiana public schools across the state. HB 1
also includes funding for an increase in per diem of $1 dollar per inmate at the local level for the
housing of state inmates and $3 million dollars for salary increases for assistant district attorneys
across the state. At a cost of $6.5 million dollars, funding for fifty positions were included for
the office of state police for a 50-member cadet class and $131 million was provided for the local
housing for adult state inmates. Of the $7 billion dollars appropriated for the state Medicaid
program, almost $2 billion dollars of the state general funds were allocated under HB 1 and $10
million dollars was appropriated to provide health coverage for uninsured children for
households with incomes between 200 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The LSU
Healthcare Services Division (HCSD) the division of LSU with the responsibility of maintaining
the state’s charity hospital system, received $14.65 million dollars for general hospital
operations, $46.5 million dollars that includes Medicaid reimbursement for hospital operations
and $9 million dollars to recoup uncompensated care cost and the reimbursement for hospital
operations. There remains quite a bit of interest in the funding of the LSU Healthcare Services
Division, particularly as the state prepares to embark on a $1.2 billion bidding program to
reconstruct “big charity” in the City of New Orleans to continue if not to expand Louisiana’s
unique and sometimes controversial charity hospital system.
State general fund appropriation for higher education under HB 1 represented a $61.2
million (4.3 percent) increase over FY 07 – 08 and included an additional $35 million to ensure
100 percent formula funding for higher education institutions. The minimum foundation
program, the constitutionally mandated fund by which elementary and secondary education is
funded in Louisiana received $3.27 billion in HB 1 which included a $1,019 dollar pay increase
for Louisiana certified teachers. The ever popular tuition opportunity program for students
(TOPS) was again maintained and HB 1 provided for more than forty-three thousand awards
with a $119 million price tag. Three other measures of interest considered in the 2008 session
dealing with the funding of state government are SB 18 by Senator Alario, SB 26, again by
Alario, and HB 910 by House Speaker Tucker. SB 18 by Senator Alario glided to the House
committee after overwhelming approval in the Senate and if enacted would have dedicated 1/20th
of 1 percent of the states sales and use tax to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation
Fund for conservation-protection, preservation, management and replenishment of the state’s
natural resources and wildlife. Championed by the department, the measure was introduced to
provide a steady and dedicated revenue source for this critical department of state government
which is currently funded exclusively by self generated fees. Effective July 1, 2009, SB 26, Act
664 of 2008, increases state supplemental pay from $425 per month to $500 per month for
firemen, police officers, full-time deputy sheriffs in the State of Louisiana. With former House
Speaker Alario as lead author the combined “lobby” of the entire law enforcement community in
Louisiana secured passage of SB 26 during the 2008 session. HB 910 by Speaker Tucker, Act
829, requires the Division of Administration to report monthly to the Legislative Audit Advisory
Council payments, sub-contract and performance by ICF emergency services under their contract
to administer the Louisiana Road Home program. The persistent complaint and question
regarding the post-Katrina contract by ICF to manage the Road Home Program resulted in the
passage of HB 910 which will no doubt generate information that can be the subject of
continuing legislative scrutiny and legislative or administrative action.
Civil law and procedure, the legal and the judicial realm upon which the interaction of
Louisiana citizens, attorneys and courtrooms are administered as always was the focus of
legislative inquiry in the 2008 Session. Legislation of interest included HB 55 by Representative
Henry which if enacted would have prohibited the use of all counter letters as of August 15, 2009
but with an exception for counter letters upon leases pertaining to expiration development of oil
and gas in Louisiana. Argued persuasively by Representative Henry, the measure was approved
by the full house but died in the Senate Commerce Committee. Two measures that would have
increased the amount of homestead exemption from seizure and sale from $25 thousand to $100
thousand dollars were both defeated. HB 11 by Representative Hardy and HB 372 by
Representative Chandler both died in House Committee, opposition arguing the negative impact
upon the ability of Louisiana consumers to purchase homes prevailing in the committee.
HB 484 by Representative Lorusso would have created the asbestos claims transparency
act and require claimants to provide a list of all existing and all anticipated claims against
asbestos trust and for the attorney to conduct a good faith investigation of all potential claims.
The measure would have essentially removed prospective asbestos tort claim litigation from the
court and the opposition of the organized plaintiff’s bar together with concern over the rights of
potential asbestos claimants, caused the measure to die in the House Civil Law Committee. One
of the more surprisingly controversial bills addressed in the 2008 session was HB 895 by
Representative Greene. The measure would have provided for the availability of a certificate of
completion of healthcare records by the healthcare provider having the records and would have
prohibited the assessment of any additional charges unless ordered by the court. The conflicting
interest of spiraling court cost and the recruitment of cost born by healthcare providers in the
production of records clashed, the measure was overwhelmingly approved by the House of
Representatives but rejected by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. The language was
ultimately amended in SB 332 which passed. In response to a recent Supreme Court decision,
SB 308 by Senator Donahue was introduced to clarify the qualifications and costs of expert
witnesses used during the course of civil litigation. Introduced on behalf of LABI and the
business community, the measure as finally approved in Act 787 of 2008, requires the trier-of-
fact to verify in writing an affirmation of the qualifications of a presumed expert with the
discretion of the court allowed to assess a non-prevailing party at the conclusion of a hearing on
a motion to qualify a party as an expert. In brief but poignant comment when presenting the
measure, Senator Donahue successfully and eloquently addressed the issue, his Senate floor
support together with an organized business community lobby in favor of the bill resulted in this
Medical malpractice and the continuing clash of the countervailing healthcare costs and
patient rights always results in numerous bills filed in Louisiana. HB 70 by Representative
Cromer would have included in the definition of “malpractice” transporting and monitoring
patients and would have added new legal responsibility to the healthcare provider arising from
accidents or omissions in the credentialing or re-credentialing of a healthcare provider. Designed
to further remove alleged healthcare related negligent acts from the general tort system in
Louisiana, the “patient rights” side of the argument prevailed and the measure strongly opposed
by the Louisiana plaintiff bar was defeated on the House floor. Legal immigration was the focus
of HB 877 by Representative Lorusso. The measure would have provided that a patient over the
age of 18 and not a citizen of the United States and not lawfully admitted into the United States
as verified by the U.S. immigration service would have no cause of action against a healthcare
provider for any damages or injury resulting from malpractice other than that for future medical
care as authorized under present law. The tense and acrimonious debate resulted in the defeat of
the measure in the Senate Judiciary A Committee. HB 339 by Representative Lopinto, Act 579
of 2008, provides that special expenses related to child support obligations to enhance the health,
athletic or social development of a child may be added to the basic child support obligation. HB
633 by Representative Anders, Act 591 of 2008, was approved providing a limitation of liability
for agritourism activities unless the aggrieved activity is willful wanton or the injury was
sustained because of a dangerous latent condition that was known or should have been known
and for which warning signs had not been conspicuously posted. The recent and continuing rash
of lawsuits impacting the growing agro-tourism industry in Louisiana prompted the legislation
and resulted in its passage. SB 301 by Senate President Chaisson, Act 538 of 2008, provides that
during a declared state of emergency, medical personnel who fail to render emergency care,
healthcare services or first aid shall not be held liable for any damages to a patient as a result of
an evacuation or treatment or failed evacuation or treatment conducted in accordance with
disaster medical protocol unless the damage or injury was caused by willful misconduct. The
numerous lawsuits filed as a result of the absence of this provision of healthcare services
prompted the successful passage of SB 301. SB 330, again by Senator Chaisson, Act 539 of
2008, again addresses healthcare services provided in good faith during an emergency and when
that emergency effects the rendering of the healthcare, these providers would not be liable for the
rendering or failure to render such services unless the damages or injury was caused by gross
negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. SB 311 and SB 330, will work together to assist
Louisiana healthcare providers rendering emergency healthcare services during times of disaster.
Commerce and the interaction of the Louisiana citizen in the economies both within and
without the borders of our state is always a popular area of legislative interest. Post Katrina
legislation related to building and fire code safety has been addressed in numerous bills in
succeeding sessions of the legislature and 2008 was no exception. HB 920, Act 830, by
Representative Fannin prohibits the building code enforcement officer contracted by a
jurisdiction from conducting a plan review inspection on a commercial or residential structure if
they own any interests in the entity that was constructed. HB 1308, Act 813, by Representative
Ellington allows the Office of State Fire Marshal to act as a third party provider of building code
inspections on commercial structures in parishes north of I-10 and with a population less than
40,000. HB 1308 was introduced to adjust the continuing complaint by “north Louisiana” over
the cost of building code inspections in areas generally not subjected to hurricane wind force
Cable Television and the manner in which it is provided, was the subject of SB 807 by
Senator Duplessis, Act 433 of 2008, which created the Consumer Choice for Television Act
authorizing an incumbent provider of cable services the option to terminate existing franchises
previously issued by local governmental subdivisions and instead to offer the cable video
services under a statewide franchise. SB 807 was strongly opposed by local government but
with the combined support of cable and commercial telephone service providers together with
the exemption from the provisions of the Act to only charter political subdivisions, the measure
was finally approved and signed into law by the Governor. Elementary, secondary, post
secondary and higher education were debated in numerous bills considered during the Session.
The House Education Committee Chairman, Representative Don Trahan, introduced HCR 207
which provides for the legislative formula for FY 08/09 determining the costs of the minimum
foundation program (MFP) of education in all Louisiana public elementary and secondary
schools. The $3.215 billion formula increased the base per pupil funding from $3,752 to $3,855
and included both the teacher and support worker pay raises. School choice and vouchers were
strongly promoted by Jindal during his successful run for Governor, and were addressed in HB
1347 by Representative Austin Badon, Act 509, creating the Student Scholarships for
Educational Excellence Program providing funds for eligible students to attend both participating
public and non public schools. The program to be administered by the State Department of
Education specified that the total amount of state funds expended to implement the program
could not exceed $10 million and as enacted applies only to students residing within
geographical boundaries of a covered district and the member of a family with an income that
does not exceed 250 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines. It was limited to school
systems found to be “in crisis” and transfers jurisdiction of a recovery school district located in a
parish with a population of at least 475,000 persons, the measure as finally enacted is limited to
only the City of New Orleans. HB 1377 was perhaps the most heatedly discussed bill in the
2008 Session, and ironically played a key role in the passage of SB 672, the legislative pay raise,
and the governor’s initial decision to withhold his veto of that legislation. Another bill
considered in 2008 still causing quite a stir is SB 733 by Senator Nevers, Act 473 of 2008. SB
733 created the “Louisiana Science Education Act” providing for assistance to public elementary
and secondary school teachers in promoting thinking skills, not logical analysis and open and
objective discussion of scientific theories including evolution, the origins of life, global warming
and human cloning. Widely panned to “sneak” “intelligent design” into the curriculum of
Louisiana schools, the measure was finally approved and sent to the Governor by a House vote
of 94 yeas to 3 nays and a Senate vote of 35 to 0. HB 321 by Representative Trahan, Act 350,
was approved increasing the amount of charter school proposals that can be entered into by all
charter authorities from forty-two to seventy. HB 734, again by Representative Trahan, Act 915,
of 2008 authorizes the management boards of LSU, Southern University, and University of
Louisiana Systems to establish tuition and mandatory fee amounts for students and to adjust such
amounts of increase to 3-5% annually. In an attempt to address the funding requests of the
higher education boards in Louisiana, the authority under HB 734 applies only to the academic
year ending June 30, 2012 and that beginning the 2009-2010 academic year, the authority to
raise the tuition fees would be subject to approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on the
Health and Welfare and the delivery of health care services within our state are always a
contentious feature. HB 370 by Representative Henry, Act 486 of 2008, prohibits the use of
federal state funds for human cell nuclear transfer or human cloning except for research using
amniotic stem cell lines approved for federal funding prior to August 9, 2001. It contains some
exceptions for certain kinds of scientific research for cloning techniques to produce cells other
than embryos tissues or organs. SB 287, Act 537 of 2008, by Senator Mount creates the
Louisiana Consumers Right to Know Act providing access to cost comparisons for specific
health care services and specific quality of care measures between and among medical facilities,
health care providers and health plans. SB 540 by Senator Mount failed to pass terminating the
moratorium on licenses for new hospices facilities in our state. SB 249 by Senator Mount, Act
187 of 2008, repeals the moratorium on the replacement of existing nursing home facilities
provided that the replacement facility does not increase the number of existing licensed beds.
As a precursor to other legislation which was introduced regarding the interchange of a
generic for a prescribed brand name drug, HB 660 by Representative Henry prohibited
pharmacists from interchanging an anti-epileptic drug without the prior notification of both the
prescribing physician and the patient. Lengthy and acrimonious debate resulted in the defeat in
the House Health and Welfare Committee of the measure, but spiraling health care costs
particularly evidenced in high cost treatment for relatively small number of impacted patients,
ensures the continued visitation of this issue in future legislative sessions. HB 509 by
Representative Hines would have required a food service establishment serving food containing
trans fat to disclose that fact on its menu together with a warning of the health risks associated
with trans fat. Popularized by passage in other jurisdictions, the measure was still defeated in the
House Health and Welfare Committee. SB 312 by Senator Mount, Act 761 of 2008, requires
public water systems with at least 5,000 service connections to install or operate equipment to
fluoridate water systems. The measure provides a procedure for public water systems to opt out
of the required fluoridation and is subject to appropriation from the state legislature.
After numerous successes with legislation introduced and enacted during the First Special
Session of 2008 devoted exclusively to ethics and ethics reform, there was still quite a number of
bills in the regular session dealing with the legislature, elections, ethics, financial disclosure,
campaign finance and public records. As previously discussed, HB 672 by Senator Duplessis,
enacted but vetoed by the Governor would have raised the base salary of Louisiana legislators
from $16,800 to $37,500. As introduced and passed by the Senate, the base salary of legislators
would have tripled and in the final version as vetoed by the Governor, the base salary for the
Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, would have been raised to $71,250 and
provided for an annual increase based on the Consumer Price Index. HB 1063 by Representative
Tucker, Act 838, 2008, created the Louisiana Budgetary Control Council to provide for the
salary schedule for legislative assistants and once established, salaries would be increased as
provided over the existing schedule. HB 939 by Representative Arnold, would have amended
current law under R.S. 45:1162 and increased the salary of each member of the Louisiana Public
Service Commission to $75,000 per year, an increase of $30,000 per year. The measure was
approved 64-26 in the House and 23-7 in the Senate, and in spite of indication of neither support
nor opposition by the Governor, HB 939 fell victim to the Governor’s veto pen and like their
legislative compatriots, failed to achieve the pay increase as approved by the legislature in the
HB 790, Act 134, 2008, by Representative Foil passed over the strong objection of local
governments, removed from the election code the July proposition date, the date most
popularized by successful passage of local government revenue initiatives due to a clearly
established pattern of low voter turnout. The measure retained all other dates on which bond tax
and other proposition elections can be held, including the spring primary and general elections.
HB 960 by House and Governmental Affairs Chairman, Rick Gallot, Act 135 of 2008, authorizes
the Secretary of State to continue the resounding successful program of early voting. Prior
authorization for what had previously been a private program and expanded July 1, 2008, the
permanent authorization of early voting program requires the Secretary of State to provide a
written review of the program to the Governmental Affairs Committee by March 1 of each year.
HB 1198 by Representative Tim Burns, Act 812 of 2008, prohibits certain false statements by
candidates; push polling that contains false statements with the intent to influence an election and
knowingly authorizing a call to be made that will be transmitted with deceptive caller
identification information. Seeking to address the issue of false and misleading campaign
activities and tactics, Act 812 is made a part of governmental ethics and subject to the applicable
penalties under that code. While overwhelmingly approved, I am not certain that this measure
would survive the scrutiny of a first amendment challenge of the right of free speech, and
particularly as granted in the particular instance of campaigning for public office.
Governmental ethics was broadly addressed in the 2008 Session. SB 53 by Senator Shaw
would have provided that the Board of Ethics should not accept, consider or investigate any
complaint not containing information identifying the complainant, including the complainant’s
name and contact information. Although containing the right of the board by two-thirds majority
vote to consider any matter, the legislation as finally passed by the legislature was ultimately
vetoed by the Governor, his veto message complained of the reluctance of those aware of ethical
violations to come forward in the event that their identity would have to be disclosed. SB 56 by
Senator Michot, Act 685, 2008, permits an appointed board or commission member to recuse
himself from voting on a matter in which he or a certain related person has a substantial
economic interest. While viewed as critical to the ability to impanel Louisiana boards and
commissions with those knowledgeable of the matter in which the board or commission has
interest or responsibility, many felt that it represented a serious retraction from the “gold
standard” which was promoted by the Governor in his effort to reform Louisiana’s ethics laws in
the First Special of 2008.
HB 499 by Senator Crowe, Act 769 of 2008, redefined the term “lobbyist” for the
purpose of lobbying the legislature or executive branch as any person employed for lobbying for
compensation for the purpose of lobbying if lobbying constitutes one of the principle duties of
such employment. The measure defining “principle duty” as twenty percent or more of a
person’s time in fulfilling the terms of his employment. Act 769 cleared up a serious question
under legislation enacted in the First Special Session requiring essentially any person making
any contact with a legislator to register as a lobbyist and thereby become subject to the expansive
lobbying rules and regulations previously enacted, the measure excluded from the term
“lobbyist” and thereby from the stringent regulations recently enacted, “grass roots” activities of
Louisiana citizens across the state called upon to make infrequent but critical contact with
legislators during sessions of the legislature. SB 769 by Senate President Chaisson, Act 514,
2008, was the designated omnibus bill designed to amend ethics legislation previously enacted to
“clean up” provisions perhaps unclear or were unworkable or perhaps too burdensome. As
enacted, SB 769 relative to contracting with state government requires the annual report of
allowed contracts be filed on May 15 of each year beginning on May 15, 2009. In addition, the
measure clarified the $50 cap on food and drinks to mean a person “invited” whether formally or
informally and allows a public servant to accept complimentary admission to a civic, non-profit,
educational or political events when the public servant is a program honoree. Act 514 contains
other provisions that I would invite you to examine more thoroughly in the event these or other
changes to our current ethics laws might be of interest to you. HB 290 by Representative Dixon,
Act 128 of 2008, requires the Board of Ethics to provide the accused and the complainant a
detailed explanation regarding a possible violation including the specific factual allegations upon
which the board bases its decision to investigate and the copy of any complaint, but excluding
the name complainant. A similar bill, HB 906 by Representative Hutter, requiring the Board of
Ethics to provide the same information to the accused and the complainant was approved by the
legislature but because it required the disclosure of the name of the complainant and any other
person providing information to the board considering the matter, the measure was vetoed by the
Governor. An important measure enacted in the 2008 Session, SB 718 by Senator Martiny, Act
472, is a complicated and convoluted measure creating a new tier “2.1” financial disclosure to
most boards and commissions, including those of political subdivisions in the state. In the event
you have a particular interest in the financial disclosure requirements regarding membership on
boards and commissions, because of the strict interpretation which is expected with regard to the
financial disclosure required under this law and those others enacted in both the regular and
special sessions in 2008, I would invite you to examine the legislation on the legislative website,
www.legis.state.la.us. I would invite any questions you might in regard to this measure, but I
would caution you that in the event you believe you are covered by the provisions of this or any
other ethical provision of state law, to consult an attorney or other appropriate party to ensure
compliance with the law. Because of the political nature of Act 472 and other ethics
requirements recently enacted, I am purposely not providing you with an overview of the
legislation which might mislead or otherwise confuse you in ascertaining the impact and degree
of disclosure that might be required under Louisiana law.
HB 277 by Representative Richard died in Senate Committee but if enacted would have
prohibited a candidate or an individual required to file campaign finance disclosure reports from
using campaign funds to pay fines, penalties and fees accessed pursuant to Campaign Finance
Disclosure Act. This measure elicited particular interest in light of the fines imposed by the
Board of Ethics on the Governor Jindal campaign for failure to fully disclose a certain fund
during the course of his successful gubernatorial campaign. HB 371 by Representative Connick,
Act 821 of 2008, prohibits a candidate from using a contribution, loan or funds received by such
candidate to make any payment or expenditure to any immediate family member of such
candidate, the measure broadly defines the “immediate family member” of the candidate as the
candidates children, spouses of the children, brothers, brothers and sisters of their spouses,
parents of spouse. Although we will probably never know, it would be interesting to know the
impact of this measure on future campaigns in Louisiana.
HB 1100 by Representative Waddell and SB 629 by Senator Walsworth, both dealt with
the limitation placed upon the public records exemption of the Office of the Governor. HB 1100
by Representative Waddell would have provided laws regulating the public record applied to the
records in the custody or control of the executive offices of the Governor and would have
specified that such provisions would not apply to any agency transferred or placed within the
Office of the Governor. SB 629 by Senator Walsworth would likewise have specified that the
exemption from the public records law would not apply to any agency transferred or placed in
the Office of the Governor, that would have further exempted specifically from the public
records law the phone records of members of the House and Senate and to specific agencies of
state government including Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, Department of
Economic Development, the Inspector General and Executive officers of the Governor including
the Chief of Staff, Executive Counsel , Executive Director of Policy, Press Secretary and
essentially the entire 4th floor operation of the Office of the Governor. HB 1100 by
Representative Waddell was unanimously approved by the House but died ultimately in the
Senate. SB 629 by Senator Walsworth, was approved by the Senate and Governmental Affairs
Committee but died on the Senate calendar, “subject to call”. Although neither measure was
approved, in the whining moments of the legislative session, SB 363 by Senator Nevers, Act 765
of 2008, was approved adding students to serve as advisory, non-voting members of the
Louisiana legislative youth advisory council. However, pursuant to persistent meetings and
negotiations between the Governor’s Executive Counsel, Jimmy Faircloth, members of the
legislature and representatives of the Louisiana Press Association, SB 363 pursuant to
conference committee report was approved in the fading moments of the session removing the
public records exemption for any agency transferred or placed within the Office of the Governor.
While retaining the public records availability or records or documents pertaining any money or
monies or any financial transactions in control of or handled by the Governor.
SB 232 by Senator Mount was approved providing for the submission of a proposed
constitutional amendment to the electorate for statewide elections to be held on November 4,
2008. If approved in the public referendum, term limits will be imposed on any person who has
served as a member for more than two and one half terms and three consecutive terms shall not
be appointed or elected to the board or commission for the succeeding term. The three term
constitutional amendment includes in its short list two of those boards and commissions to which
it applies Public Service Commission, the BESE Board, the Board of Regents, the Boards of
Supervisors for the University of Louisiana system, the Board of Supervisors for LSU, Southern
University and the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical colleges. In a similar
measure also authored by Senator Mount, SB 233, Act 875 of 2008 imposes term limits on
persons appointed or elected to boards or commissions within the executive branch of state
government who have served for more than two and one half terms and three consecutive terms.
Following in the path of the constitutional amendment approved by Louisiana voters imposing a
three term limit on members of the legislator, the Mount measures imposed similar restrictions
on many of the boards and commissions operating in Louisiana.
Health insurance legislation was the object of significant legislative attention and more
particularly in the issue of “mandated benefit”, or the statutory coverage of healthcare services
required to be provided by healthcare plans in Louisiana. HB 318 by House Insurance Chair,
Kleckley, Act 349 of 2008, requires that any health coverage plan issued or otherwise contracted
for in the state on or after January 1, 2009 to provide coverage for prosthetic devices. The
measure was strongly opposed by insurance and employer interest as too costly for an already
fragile healthcare insurance market, the measure was finally approved and signed into law but
was amended to limit the benefit to $50,000 per year, per limb. In similar fashion, HB 958 by
Representative Foil, Act 648 of 2008, was approved requiring that any health coverage plan
issued for delivery or contracted for in the state after January 1, 2009 provide coverage for the
diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in individuals less than 17 years of age. As
finally approved, the maximum benefit is limited to $36,000 per year and capped out at $144,000
lifetime and does not apply to any health coverage plan issued to an employer with 50 or fewer
employees or to individual coverage. Together, HB 318 and HB 958 marked a departure from
recent sessions of the Louisiana legislature which had steadfastly drawn the line to preclude the
expansion of mandated benefit coverage under Louisiana law. However, with almost one half of
the 144 members of the Louisiana legislature being comprised of new-elected legislators, the
tradition and culture of expansion of mandated benefit requirement under Louisiana law was
abandoned in favor of the prosthetic and autism healthcare services. It remains to be seen if the
2008 departure was the unified position of a newly seated legislature, or whether there will be
further expansion of mandated healthcare services approved in future sessions of the Louisiana
HB 1312, Act 921 of 2008, by Representative Ponti was reluctantly signed into law by
Governor Jindal increasing the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance requirements from 10-
20-10 to 15-30-20 for bodily injury or destruction to property in any one accident. Strongly
opposed by insurance interest pointing to the large number of uninsured drivers already
operating on the Louisiana streets and highways, the argument that the measure would increase
the number of uninsured drivers, fell on deaf ears. Workforce development and legislation
impacting labor and industrial relations, HB 1104 by Speaker Tucker, Act 743 of 2008, was the
administration legislation transforming the Department of Labor into the Louisiana Workforce
Commission to operate an integrated workforce delivery systems. As enacted, the measure
replaces the Secretary of the Department of Labor with an executive director charged with
supervising the integration of all educational, training, employment, apprenticeship and related
programs of all federal and state agencies and workforce entities. Modeled after the
transformation of the Texas Department of Labor into a workforce commission, the Jindal
Administration early on adopted the Texas plan as the model for Louisiana and made SB 612 the
key administration bill introduced in the 2008 legislative session. With no objection and with the
strong support of both LABI and the Louisiana AFLCIO, the department transformation into a
workforce commission holds the highest of expectation for success as Louisiana seeks to address
the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing nature of the global forces which
impact employment within its borders. An interesting measure which would have impacted
Louisiana citizens across the state was HB 1050 and HB 1329 by Representative Hollis Downs.
The House Transportation Committee considered HB 1050 on April 21st, prohibiting local
government governing authorities from enforcing speed limits on certain sections of interstate
highway. The measure would have capped the amount a local government could have received
from speeding citations and required speed enforcement revenue above the cap to be forwarded
to the state Treasurer. After a lengthy and acrimonious debate, and with the organized and
strong opposition of the Louisiana Municipal Association, and the Louisiana Association of
Chiefs of Police, the measure was deferred, “killing” HB 1050. However, with time still left for
the introduction of new measures to be considered in the 2008 session, subsequently to defeat of
HB 1050, Representative Downs introduced HB 1329 which with a bit of creative drafting,
introduced the speed trap measure likewise prohibiting local government authorities from
enforcing speed limits on interstate highways. As rewritten, the speed trap measure was referred
to the House Municipal and Parochial Affairs Committee and was heard on May 14th, almost one
month after the defeat of the original speed trap measure, HB 1050. However, even as rewritten
the measure fared no better and the Municipal and Parochial Committee likewise deferred HB
1329, and what had obviously had become the mission of Representative Downs to eliminate
what he considered an abuse of speed traps by local governments across the state. The cultural
life of Louisiana was impacted in 2008 by two measures transferring a point of authority from
the office of the Governor to the Office of the Lt. Governor. HB 503 by Representative Gallot,
Act 804 of 2008, transfers the authority to appoint members of Louisiana Tourism Development
Commission to the Louisiana Promotion District, Louisiana Retirement Development
Commission and the Board of Commissioners of the State Library from the Governor to the Lt.
Governor. Similarly, SB 724 by Senator Thompson, Act 908 of 2008, transfers the appointing
authority from the Governor to the Lt. Governor for the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State
Museum. The boards and commissions impacted by the two bills as finally approved, impact the
membership of boards and commissions very important in and to the cultural life of Louisiana
citizens, and it was interesting that the Governor would not object to the transferring of that
authority to the office of the Lt. Governor.
Louisiana’s Natural Resources and Environment were examined in the 2008 Session as
1196 by Representative Juan LaFonta, Act 96, was enacted prohibiting the transporting of any
radioactive waste generated outside the United States into the state for disposal or storage in this
state or elsewhere. HB 695 by Representative St. Germain, Act 34, 2008, addresses boating
safety in Louisiana waters by requiring that at least two people be on a personal water craft
towing a personal water ski or surf board unless the personal water craft is operated by a person
sixteen years or older and has a wide angle mirror to observe the person being towed. The
boating safety implications of this measure are readily apparent.
Retirement and the various pension programs were the focus of controversial legislation.
HB 740 and HB 1022 by Representative Tony Ligi, respective constitutional amendment and
enabling legislation, would have authorized the legislature to provide for the forfeiture of
benefits from the Louisiana Public Retirement System if any person was convicted of a felony
associated with service in any public office or position. Even though the measure would have
required employee contributions to be refunded to such convicted individual, both measures
failed to pass due largely because of due process considerations and concern for the families of
the retirement system member, regardless of the conviction of the felony associated with the
public office. HB 783 and HB 1033 by Representative Patrick Connick, in like manner a
constitutional amendment and enabling legislation would have authorized the legislature to
provide for the forfeiture of retirement benefits and by a member of the system it provides the
retirement of teachers and public education system is convicted of certain sex crimes involving a
minor. The measure would have applied to both the teacher’s retirement and school employee’s
retirement systems, but both died on the House calendar, members expressing due process and
family concerns of the convicted sex offenders. Cost of living adjustments (COLA’s) granted
for Louisiana retiree’s and beneficiaries over the age of fifty-five for retiree members of the
Louisiana State Employee Retirement System passed, HCR 2 by Representative Robideaux;
Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana, SCR 1 by Senator Butch Gautreaux; and, assessors,
municipal employees and municipal police employment retirement systems, HB 1014 by
Representative Morris. The three measures impacting the noted retirement systems provided for
a COLA increase not to exceed 3% of the retiree’s monthly benefit, the increase to be effective
as of July 1, 2008.
Transportation, highways and public works legislation occupied much of the time of the
legislature and one of the more creative and aggressive bills considered and passed in the 2008
Regular Session was HB 1272, Act 927, 2008, by Speaker of the House, Tucker. As enacted the
measure creates the Southeast Regional Airport Authority and provides that the jurisdiction
authority will be comprised of boundaries coexistent with the boundaries of the parishes
Jefferson, Orleans and St. Charles. The authority created under HB 1272 is governed by a board
of nine commissioners with the authority to sell, transfer or convey the New Orleans
International Airport after approval of a two-thirds vote of the New Orleans City Council and a
majority of the voters voting in the local referendum in the City of New Orleans and has the
power by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the authority to expropriate property. It will be
interesting to see the development and operation of this airport authority and the grant of the
power to sell or convey the New Orleans International Airport. Although it was introduced, SB
212 by Senator Marionneaux would have terminated the existence of the Board of
Commissioners of the Louisiana Airport Authority, “cargo airport” long promoted and was to be
located in the St. James, St. John areas of the state. However, interestingly after the impassioned
testimony of the former governor, Mike Foster, in favor of the continuation of the existence of
the Airport Authority, SB 212 now Act 686 of 2008, has enacted the Louisiana Transportation
Authority, but only through July 1, 2009 and then only upon the recommendation of the
Department of Economic Development that the airport is “economically feasible”. The
Louisiana Department of Economic Development prior to March 1, 2009 is charged with the
responsibility of conducting studies and to make recommendations as to the Joint Legislative
Committee on the Budget as to the economic liability of the proposed cargo airport.
Motor vehicles and the use of cell phone communication while driving was the focus of
several bills during the recently completed session. HB 407 by Representative Hardy died in the
House Transportation Committee and would have prohibited operators of public transportation
including school buses, public passenger vans, cargo buses and taxicabs from using cellular radio
telecommunications while driving. The measure would have provided for penalties and would
have been a primary offense, allowing law enforcement to “ticket” these drivers for the sole use
of the cellular radio telecommunication devices. A similar measure by Representative Austin
Badon would have prohibited all drivers from using hand held wireless telephones or electronic
communication devices except in emergency situations. By a close vote, with only two votes to
spare, it passed the House Floor prohibiting all drivers from using hand held wireless devices.
With the violation being a primary offense, again allowing law enforcement to “stop and ticket”
a driver merely for the usage of the cellular device whether there is an accident or other traffic
violation. Although the measure survived a Senate Transportation Committee vote, it could not
overcome the hurdle of final passage in the Senate even though substantially amended, by a vote
of 27-6 HB 852 was summarily defeated.
Even though the Hardy and Austin Badon bills were defeated, three measures, SB 137 by
Senator Quinn, SB 159 by Senator Cravins, and SB 342 by Senator Erdey were all approved
addressing the usage of cellular telephone devices while on the highways and streets in
Louisiana. SB 137, Act 665, 2008, prohibits the use of wireless telephone communication
devices to write, send or read a text based communication by all drivers, regardless of age and
prohibits any person holding a class “E” learners license or intermediate license from using any
wireless telecommunication device, except a hands free wireless telephone to engage in a call
while driving. In both instances, text messaging or wireless telecommunication, the penalties
and prohibition are enforced as a secondary action with penalties increasing if a person is using
the wireless telecommunication device at the time of a crash. SB 159, Act 666, 2008, prohibits
all drivers seventeen years old or younger from using any wireless telecommunication devices
including hands free devices to engage in a call or write, send, or receive a text based message.
The violation of the law is enforced as a secondary action, again with increased penalties if the
underage driver is involved in an accident while using the telecommunication device. SB 342,
Act 667, 2008, prohibits the use of a cellular telephone device for any purpose while driving for
a period of one year after first being issued a drivers license. Like its other Senate bill
counterparts, the prohibitions were enforced only as a secondary action, the penalties again are
increased in the event that the wireless device is being used at the time of an accident.
The passage of three measures similarly impacting the use of telecommunication devices,
SB 137, SB 159 and SB 342, pursuant to Louisiana law, it will be the Louisiana law institute that
will examine the provisions of the three measures and will coordinate the three into a single
statute to deal with the usage of wireless telecommunication devices while driving in Louisiana.
It would appear a reasonable and final rendering of the three measures that “text messaging”
would be prohibited, while driving in Louisiana, regardless of age and that the underage or
transitional driver will be prevented from using a cellular telephone for any purpose including
the prohibition of the use the telephone by a hands free device. Even though the three measures
were approved and expected to be merged into one unified law, the ultimate issue of telephone
usage is that of “driver distraction”, and in a confusing mix of eating, putting on make-up,
adjusting audible radios, cd players and other accessories, enacting laws addressing only cellular
telephone woefully misses the point of the plethora of activities resulting in driver distraction and
unsafe driving on the roads of our state.
HB 1295 by Representative Smiley was defeated in the Senate Transportation Committee
and would have repealed the requirement that motorcycle drivers over the age of eighteen must
wear a safety helmet and would have required applicants for “M” endorsement to take the
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Operator Training Program beginning July 1, 2009. It is
incredible the amount of attention and rancor that the issue of motorcycle safety and how that is
impacted by the legal requirement of motorcycle helmets causes in virtually every year the
As we complete this review of “other” legislation that was enacted in the 2008 Session, I
would conclude with SB 87 by Senator Shaw, Act 396, 2008, restoring the individual income tax
brackets “in the two highest brackets” to the same amount prior to enactment of the “Stelly Plan”
(Act 51, 2002) requiring the Department of Revenue to amend the withholding tables after July
1, 2009. The Shaw measure proved to be one of the most controversial in the 2008 Session
while on final passage on the Senate floor, the measure was amended by Senator Nick Gautreaux
phasing in the complete repeal of the Louisiana personal income tax. The “cost” of the Nick
Gautreaux amendment was projected for fiscal year 2008-2009 to be $300 million, a $300
million impact resulting in a total of $1.4 billion. As originally introduced, repealing the Stelly
Plan, the Jindal administration opposed the measure, however, with the amendment including the
repeal of the personal income tax, outright defeat or at least amending the measure to impact
only the Stelly Plan became a key focus of the Jindal administration languishing before the
House Ways and Means Committee. Administration and House leadership sought to resolve the
issue of the repeal of the individual income tax, and finally the measure was reported
unanimously by the committee on May 14, 2008. When heard as special order, on final passage
in the House on June 4, 2008, House Ways and Means Committee amendments were adopted
and a House Floor amendment by Representative Tucker was adopted resulting in the unanimous
passage 102-0 of SB 87 - the Stelly Plan impacting the two highest income brackets and excess
itemized deductions was repealed and Senator Nick Gautreaux amendment repealing the
individual state income tax was deleted from the bill.
This completes the generalized overview of significant legislation enacted during the
2008 Session in order to create the context in which identified legislation of particular and
general interest to you is considered. While a representative sampling, the selected legislation
obviously does not include a complete listing of legislation considered and either passed or
defeated. Therefore, I will conclude this general review by referring you to the legislative
website, www.legis.state.la.us, where there is a simple format where by one can follow the
prompt to review and examine every item considered in the 2008 Session and to search for
legislation of interest by either bill number, author, statutory citation or “key word”. In the event
that you have any questions regarding the legislation above, please do not hesitate to contact us
and we will assist you in any way that we can for you to complete your inquiry and review of
legislation considered in the 2008 Session.
LEGISLATION OF PARTICULAR INTEREST
LOUISIANA PRESS ASSOCIATION
2008 REGULAR SESSION
HB 136 Author: Henry Act 625
Provides relative to the destruction of useless records.
Discussion: HB 136 provides that the clerk of court may destroy certain records when at least 10
years have elapsed since the last date of action, and the records are deemed by the judge to have
no further value. The bill changes the time elapsed for the destruction of records from 25 years
to ten years and otherwise retains all present law regarding the destruction of records.
The bill also enacts the same provisions for the destruction of records to provisions applicable to
the parish courts in Jefferson Parish.
HB 139 Author: Henry Act 482
Provides relative to the destruction of certain inactive and closed domestic relations and adoption
Discussion: HB 139 provides that domestic relations and adoption records may be destroyed, if
they have been reproduced electronically and if the medium of reproduction is approved by the
American National Standard Institute or the International Standards Organization. It further
provides that the electronic medium of recordation shall be deemed to be an original, when
certified by the clerk of court, and is admissible as evidence in a court or administrative
HB 392 Author: Gallot Act 131
Removes provision which allows a public body to take up a matter not on the agenda of a public
Discussion: HB 392 changes the vote required to take up a matter not on the agenda of certain
public bodies from a 2/3 vote of members present to a unanimous vote of members present. The
bill requires any such matter to be identified in the motion to take up the matter not on the
agenda with reasonable specificity, including the purpose for the addition to the agenda, and
entered into the minutes of the meeting. It further requires an opportunity for public comment on
any such matter in accordance with present law prior to any vote on the motion to take up a
matter not on the agenda. Finally, the bill prohibits taking up a matter not on the agenda as a
subterfuge to defeat the purposes of provisions in present law relative to open meetings.
HB 431 Author: Greene Died on House Calendar
(Constitutional Amendment) Removed the requirement that laws be published in the official
journal of the state after enactment.
Discussion: HB 431 provided for submission of the proposed amendment to the voters at the
statewide election to be held November 4, 2008. Representative Greene actively worked this bill
and HB 446 discussed below to try and round up the 70 votes needed to pass HB 431. It was
never brought up for a floor vote.
HB 446 Author: Greene Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Removed the requirement that Acts of the legislature be published in the official journal of the
Discussion: HB 446 would have repealed present law requiring that Acts of the legislature be
published in the official journal of the state. It further removed the requirement that the date of
publication in the official journal be printed under each Act in the publication of acts in book
The bill retained present law providing that any official document of the state which had been
previously published in the official journal of the state may be made accessible on the official
Internet web site or portal of the legislature and added specific authority to make accessible on
the web site of the legislature any Act of the legislature. Representative Greene moved this bill
through the process keeping the LPA active as the bill was scheduled several times in Senate
The proposed law repealed present law requiring the secretary of state to deliver copies of the
Acts of the Legislature to the state printer of the official journal of the state for publication. The
bill required the secretary of state within 60 days following final adjournment of a regular,
extraordinary, or emergency session of the legislature to cause a notification to be published in
the official journal of each parish having a population of greater than 100,000 according to the
latest federal decennial census informing the public of where the full text of the Acts of the
Legislature may be obtained.
The bill removed the requirement in present law that all laws and joint resolutions be
promulgated in the official journal of the state and removed the qualification for newspapers to
be the official journal of the state.
HB 560 Author: Hutter Died in House Governmental Affairs
Added an exception to Public Records Law for safety sensitive infrastructure.
Discussion: HB 560 would have provided that records of safety sensitive infrastructure in the
custody of DOTD would not be made available for examination, inspection, copying or
reproduction. The bill required the custodian of the records of safety sensitive infrastructure
when a request was made to examine, inspect, copy, or reproduce the records to notify the
requestor that the record was not available for examination, inspection, copying or reproduction
in order to protect the safety of the public.
HB 971 Author: Richard Died in House Municipal
Authorized a parish to designate its website as its official journal.
Discussion: HB 971 would have retained present law authorizing the governing authority of a
parish in all parishes but Orleans, to select a newspaper as its official journal, and additionally
authorized the governing authority of a parish to provide, by ordinance, that the official website
of the governing authority of the parish would be the official journal for the parish. The bill
further provided that upon the effective date of an ordinance enacted to so change the official
journal, all minutes, ordinances, resolutions, budgets, and other official proceedings of the parish
governing authority would be published in the official journal. The author brought the bill on
behalf of his local police jury.
The proposed law retained present law requiring each parish to file the name and address of its
official journal with the secretary of state except it required the governing authority of the parish
to provide the Secretary of State with the electronic mail address of its official website within 30
days after the effective date of an ordinance enacted to change the official journal pursuant to the
proposed law. The bill provided that for purposes of complying with the constitutional
requirements regarding the publication of a notice to introduce a local bill, the website with the
electronic mail address on file with the Secretary of State would be the official journal.
The bill included provisions similar to those in present law for penalties for the failure to furnish
the official journal with a copy of the items provided for publication. The proposed law included
similar provisions applicable to parishes which had enacted an ordinance to change the official
journal pursuant to the proposed law.
The bill retained all other present law authorizing political subdivisions to select auxiliary
journals for publication of notices and required parishes to publish notices in relation to judicial
and legal proceedings. The bill was never debated in House committee.
HB 984 Author: Monica Died in House Criminal Justice
Provided relative to the protection of a juror's identity.
Discussion: HB 984 would have required voir dire to be conducted in such a way as to preclude
the full identity of the juror or his address from being disclosed in the presence of the defendant.
It provided that prospective jurors would be referred to either by first name or by juror number.
HB 1035 Author: Waddell Withdrawn
Limited the public records exemption for the office of the governor to certain entities and
Discussion: HB 1035 would have specified that the public records exemption in present law for
records ordinarily kept in the custody or control of the governor in the usual course of the duties
and business of his office would apply only to:
(1) Any record of the executive office of the governor.
(2) Any record of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency
(3) Any record of the Military Department, state of La.
(4) Any record of product of joint work of the executive office of the office of the governor
and the DED or the division of administration relating to any economic development
The proposed law defined:
(1) "Executive office of the governor" as the governor and his chief of staff, executive
counsel, and legislative director, and their immediate staffs.
(2) "Record" as any of the kinds of material defined as "public records" by the public records
laws (R.S. 44:1(A)(2)(a)) (but specifies that to the extent provided by the proposed law,
such material shall not be public).
Finally, the bill provided that it would not prevent any person from inspecting, examining, or
obtaining a reproduction of any record pertaining to any money or monies or any financial
transactions in the control of or handled by or through the governor in accordance with public
records laws. This bill was a spillover following the first special session as Representative
Waddell was determined to open up records in the Governor’s office. See HB 1100 below.
HB 1100 Author: Waddell Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Limited the public records law exemption for the office of the governor.
Discussion: HB 1100 would have provided that the laws regulating public records exemptions
for the office of the governor would apply to records in the custody or control of the executive
office of the governor. It provided, however, that any such record would remain confidential for
a period of time not to exceed three years from the creation or receipt of the record if the
governor determined that confidentiality of the record was necessary. The bill specified that
such provisions would not apply to any agency transferred or placed within the office of the
The proposed law defined for its purposes "executive office of the governor" as the governor, his
chief of staff, and his executive counsel and each member of their respective staffs and "record"
as any of the kinds of material defined as "public records" by the present public records laws
(bust specified that to the extent provided by public law, such material would be confidential).
The bill provided that it would not prevent any person from inspecting, examining, or obtaining a
reproduction of any record pertaining to any money or monies or any financial transactions in the
control of or handled by or through the governor in accordance with public records laws.
The bill further provided that notwithstanding any provision of present law relative to public
records, any record prepared, possessed, or created by the governor or any agent of the governor
related to the proposed Cyber Innovation Center to support the Air Force Cyber Command
would remain confidential until Aug. 15, 2010.
Representative Waddell was able to get his bill through the House but it died in the Senate
committee with the opposition coming from the Governor’s office later, the LPA was successful
in adding openness language in SB 363 discussed below.
HB 1148 Author: Morrell Died on House Calendar
Provided relative to investigations of municipal police officers.
Discussion: HB 1148 would have provided that officers under investigation, upon written
request, would be furnished with an investigation report at least 15 days before the hearing on
the matter. It provided that a complaint on the personnel record of an officer would be expunged
at the written request of the officer when the complaint cannot be substantiated or proven. The
bill was not acceptable to the LPA and at the urging of the LPA, the author allowed the bill to die
in conference committee.
SB 167 Author: Murray Act 185
Allows meetings of legislative committees held in the interim between sessions to be conducted
by video conference.(gov sig)
Discussion: SB 167 retains present law allowing all or part of a public meeting to be video or
taped required and further allows meetings of legislative committees held between sessions of
the legislature and during which no votes on any matters having the effect of law are required to
be taken to be conducted by video conference.
The bill authorizes each house of the legislature to adopt rules to provide for and accommodate
committee meetings by video conference, including but not limited to rules for attendance and
participation of members of the legislature in such committee meetings and quorums of
committees for such meetings. The bill additionally requires that any such rules provide for
public participation in such meetings in accordance with present law provisions regarding public
The proposed law defines "video conference" as a method of communication which enables
persons in different locations to participate in a meeting and to see, hear, and otherwise
communicate with each other. Finally, the bill provides that no meeting shall be held pursuant to
the proposed law unless an in-person quorum is present at the location at which the meeting was
advertised to take place.
SB 204 Author: Walsworth Died on House Calendar
Revised laws regarding public printing.
Discussion: SB 204 would have retained present law providing for the printing of
advertisements, public notices, proclamations and the promulgation of all laws in the official
journal of the state, and added a provision requiring such publications to also be made available
to the public via the Internet at no extra charge and added provisions regarding procedures for
bids for Internet availability. The bill designated the Internet publisher as the “State Printer of
the Official Journal of the State.”
The proposed law, at the urging of Senator Martiny, excepted obituaries from the specifications
in present law on the required information in bids for printing and mandated there may be no
charge for such obituaries.
The bill imposed the publication deadlines applied to publications in the official journal of the
state in present law to Internet availability as well. The bill also required that cancellation
procedures for the contract with the state printer for non-performance be made available via the
Internet at no extra charge. Likewise, the bill required the printing of the official publications of
a parish to be made available via the Internet at no extra cost. Finally, official publication of the
proceedings and financial statements for levee, drainage, road, navigation, and sewerage districts
be made available via the Internet at no extra charge.
The proposed law retained present law providing that police juries, municipal corporations, and
school boards may have their official proceedings published by contract and set for rates for
contracts, and made the availability applicable to publications via the Internet. The bill also
provided that effective July 1, 2008, the maximum printing costs provided for in present law be
increased by ten percent.
The proposed law provided that effective July 1, 2009 and each year thereafter until June 1,
2014, for the maximum cost of advertisements charged to a state agency when publication was
required by law to be increased or decreased by an amount based on and in direct relation to the
annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, as published by the U.S. Dept. of Labor
Statistics, for the preceding calendar year.
SB 204 became a casualty of the furor surrounding the legislative pay raise issue with many
house members using the newspaper coverage of the pay raise to defeat the newspaper rate
SB 343 Author: Duplessis Act 450
Extends the sunset for confidentiality of economic development negotiations from July 1, 2008,
to July 1, 2012. (gov sig)
Discussion: SB 343 extends the confidentiality provisions of economic negotiations in present
law through July 1, 2012.
SB 363 Author: Nevers Act 765
Provides relative to the La. Commission on Civic Education and to the nature of student
applications, related information, and interviews seeking appointment to the Legislative Youth
Advisory Council. (gov sig)
Discussion: SB 363 retains present law establishing the LA. Legislative Youth Advisory Council
and providing for its membership, and adds the following persons to serve as advisory,
nonvoting members of the council:
(1) Up to seven persons who have completed high school and are 19 years old or young as
may be designated by the commission, and
(2) A representative of the Council of Student Body Presidents.
The proposed law prohibits the disclosure of any information contained in an application of an
applicant under the age of 18, except the name of the applicant, to protect the privacy and safety
of minors and provides an exception to the public records law for such information. It provides,
however, for non-identifying information of a general nature to be subject to public record. The
bill defines "non-identifying information of a general nature" as statistical data which may be
maintained, used, and disclosed only in aggregate form.
Although the LPA amended the bill early in the process, it also became the instrument to which
the compromise language opening up the Governor’s office records was tacked onto in the
waning hours of the session.
SB 493 Author: McPherson Act 693
Provides for records of "safety sensitive infrastructure" of DOTD. (7/1/08)
Discussion: SB 493 provides that records of sensitive security information or critical
infrastructure information pursuant to federal law and regulations will not be available for
examination, inspection, copying, or reproduction. If the custodian of such a record receives a
request to examine, inspect, copy, or reproduce a record of sensitive security information or
critical infrastructure information pursuant to federal law and regulations, the custodian will
notify the requestor that the record is not available for examination, inspection, copying, or
reproduction to protect the safety of the public.
SB 499 Author: Crowe Act 769
Provides exception to the definition of lobbyist.
Discussion: SB 499 addressed concerns following the first special session on ethics and defines
“compensation,” for the purposes of lobbying the legislature, to mean:
(a) Anything of value, whether received or to be received, for lobbying and when one of the
(i) Any preparation of research specifically intended, at the time it is performed, for
use in or support of an ongoing or planned direct act or communication with a
legislator, the purpose of which is to aid in influencing the passage or defeat of
(ii) Conducting or attending a meeting, the purpose of which is to discuss direct
communication with a legislator regarding the passage or defeat of any
(b) Salary paid to an individual whose principal duties are not related to lobbying shall not be
considered “compensation for the purposes of this Section.”
(c) Compensation does not include reimbursement of expenses related to travel, lodging,
phone calls, or postage where the individual is not otherwise compensated.
The bill defines “lobbyist” to mean either of the following:
(a) Any person who is employed for compensation or engaged for compensation to act in a
representative capacity for the purpose of lobbying.
(b) Any person who acts in a representative capacity and who makes an expenditure, as
defined by law.
The proposed law defines “principle duties” as any activity or activities which are an act or
communication with a legislator for the purpose of which is to aid in influencing the passage or
defeat of legislation, performed by an employee who meets the definition of a lobbyist where an
employer could reasonably expect the employee to engage in such activities for more than 20%
of the employee's time, calculated on an annual basis, as the employee's condition of
The law, regarding lobbying, does not apply to an elected official or his designee where the
designee is a public employee nor does it apply to the dissemination of any report, article, or
publication that has as its primary focus the nonpartisan analysis, study, or research of issues,
irrespective of whether or not such report, article, or publication may recommend a course of
SB 499 retains the provisions in present law regarding prohibited conduct as a lobbyist but
provides that a person who enters into a contract for reimbursement of expenses related to travel,
lodging, phone calls, or postage where the person is not otherwise compensated is not required to
register as a lobbyist.
The bill also- defines “compensation” relative to executive branch lobbying, to mean:
(a) Anything of value, whether received or to be received, for lobbying and when one of the
(i) Any preparation of research specifically intended, at the time it is performed, for
use in or support of an ongoing or planned direct act or communication with an
executive branch official, the purposes of which is to aid in influencing the
passage or defeat of any executive branch action.
(ii) Conducting or attending a meeting, the purpose of which is to discuss direct
communication with a executive branch official regarding an executive branch
(b) Salary paid to an individual whose principal duties are not related to lobbying shall not be
considered “compensation” for the purposes of this Section.
(c) Compensation does not include reimbursement of expenses related to travel, lodging,
phone class, or postage where the individual is not otherwise compensated.
The law defines “lobbyist” to mean either of the following:
(a) Any person who is employed or engaged for compensation to act in a representative
capacity for the purpose of lobbying if lobbying constitutes one of the duties of such
employment or engagement and such person makes an expenditure as is defined by law
(b) Any person who is engaged or employed to provide a professional service to a person and
incidental to such professional service such person communicates with an executive
branch agency or official or makes an appearance or assists in an appearance with an
executive branch agency or official shall not be a lobbyist unless such person or the
person who engaged the professional services of or employed such person makes an
expenditure as defined by law
The bill defines “principal duty” to mean any activity or activities of a lobbyist performed by an
employee where an employer could reasonably expect the employee to engage in such activities
for more than 20% of the employee's time, calculated on an annual basis, as the employee's
condition of employment.
Finally, the bill retains the provisions in present law regarding prohibited conduct as a lobbyist
but provides that a person who enters into a contract for reimbursement of expenses related to
travel, lodging, phone calls, or postage where the person is not otherwise compensated is not
required to register as a lobbyist.
SB 596 Author: Scalise Died in House Governmental Affairs
Revised the laws regarding the state inspector general.
Discussion: SB 596 would have retained present law providing for the office of the state
inspector general and its power to examine and investigate the management and affairs of
covered agencies concerning waste, inefficiencies, mismanagement, misconduct, abuse, fraud,
and corruption, including misuse of state property, patterns of excessive bills on state contracts,
unauthorized use of leave, mismanagement of governmental operations, waste or abuse of things
of value belonging to or used by covered agencies, and construction, operation, and maintenance
of facilities. The bill provided that the inspector general was authorized to investigate such
matters within the state or outside the state.
The proposed law retained present law requiring the inspector general to submit an annual report
to the governor and to the Joint Legislative Committee on Budget and further provided that all
final reports of the inspector general are deemed completed by the signature of the inspector
The proposed law expanded the records specified in present law to which the inspector general
would have access, to include: “the records, information, data, books, reports, documents,
contracts, memoranda, papers, correspondence, accounts, audits, inspections, reviews,
recommendations, plans, projections, films, tapes, pictures, computer hard drives, software data,
hardware data, e-mails, instant messages, text messages, and any other data and material relevant
to any matter under audit, investigation, inspection, or performance review of all covered
agencies." The bill further gave the inspector general the authority to examine, review, audit,
inspect, and investigate these records, in addition to the access provided under present law.
The bill designated the office of the inspector general as a law enforcement agency, and confers
on the office all investigative powers and privileges appurtenant to a law enforcement agency
under state law, but these powers and privileges would not include arrest powers. It allowed an
attorney of the office of the inspector general to also be designated an assistant U.S. attorney,
assistant attorney general, or assistant district attorney for purposes of cooperative efforts in
criminal prosecutions and without additional compensation.
The proposed law retained present law maintaining any information obtained by the inspector
general confidential if it was confidential pursuant to any other provision of law. The bill made
it a misdemeanor for any other public official, corporation, or individual to make such
information public. The proposed law was not to be interpreted to prevent public access to
publish records during the course of an investigation. It required the custodian of any public
record to provide such record and if the only copy of the record was in the hands of the inspector
general, the custodian was to certify such and the record may be examined and copied at the
office of the inspector general.
SB 629 Author: Walsworth Died on Senate Calendar
Limited the public record exemption for the office of governor and the legislature.
Discussion: SB 629 would have provided that the public records exception for the office of the
governor applied only to:
(1) The executive office of the governor (which includes the governor and his chief of staff,
executive counsel, director of policy, press secretary, legislative director, director of
boards and commissions, director of inter-governmental affairs, director of constituent
services, communications director, director of scheduling, and each member of their
(2) The office of the inspector general.
(3) The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
(4) The Military Department, state of Louisiana.
(5) Any record reflecting work product between the executive office of the governor and the
Department of Economic Development or the division of administration relating to any
economic development project.
(6) Any record reflecting a direct communication between the governor and his chief of staff
or executive counsel or his director of policy and any employee of any of the agencies or
offices placed under the office of the governor of any of the agencies or offices under the
office of the governor, except for persons within the agencies referenced in R.S. 36:4 and
The bill additionally specified that the exemption would not prevent any person from inspecting
or obtaining a reproduction of any books, records, papers, accounts, or other documents
pertaining to any money or monies or any financial transactions in the control of or handled by
or through the governor. Finally, the bill added to the public records exception any
correspondence, including but not limited to electronic mail, addressed to an individual member
of the legislature. The bill was filed by the administration to counter Representative Waddell’s
administration open records bill.
SB 672 Author: Duplessis Vetoed by Governor
Provided for a pay raise for legislators.
Discussion: SB 672 created turmoil in state government and caused public uproar as the
legislature voted to double its salary. After repeatedly stating that he would not veto the
legislation, the governor concluded that he must veto the bill.
Current law provides that in addition to per diem and all other allowances, members of the
legislature would be paid an annual salary of $16,800. The bill would have increased the annual
salary for members of the legislature to $37,500.
It provided an annual salary of $54,750 for the chairmen of the following legislative committees:
the Senate Committee on Finance; the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs; the
House Committee on Appropriations; and the House Committee on Ways & Means.
Additionally, it increased the annual salary for the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
House of Representatives from $32,000 to $71,250 and increased the annual salary for the
President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of
Representatives from $24,500 to $54,750.
Finally the bill provided salary adjustments if there was an increase in the Consumer Price Index
for all urban consumers (CPI-U).
It would have been effective July 1, 2008.
SB 718 Author: Martiny Act 472
Provides relative to financial disclosure requirements of members of state boards and
Discussion: SB 718 was filed to address issues resulting from the first special session on ethics
and retains provisions in present law requiring financial disclosures from members of state
boards and commissions authorized to expend, disburse, or invest $1,000,000 or more in a fiscal
year, except that persons receiving $16,800 or more per year in compensation be a member of a
board or commission which has rule-making authority under the Administrative Procedure Act.
The bill also adds to the “Tier 3” reporting requirements, any member of a state board or
commission that has rule-making authority under the Administrative Procedure Act and who
receives a salary or compensation for such public service in the amount of $16,800 or more per
year. However, under present law, such members will report under “Tier 2.”
SB 718 creates a fourth “tier” of reporting requirements for state board and commission
members who are not otherwise included in “Tiers 1, 2, or 3” including each member of the State
Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It requires that these persons annually file a
financial statement by May 15 of each year during which the person holds office, and by May 15
of the year following the termination of the holding of such office. The financial statement shall
be filed on a form prescribed by the Board of Ethics and shall include the following information
for the preceding calendar year:
(1) The full name and residence address of the individual required to file.
(2) The full name of the individual’s spouse, if any, and the spouse’s occupation and
principal business address.
(3) The name of the employer, job title, and a brief job description of each full-time or part-
time employment position held by the individual or spouse.
(4) (a) The name, address, brief description of, and nature of association with and the
amount of interest in each business in which the individual or spouse is a director, officer,
owner, partner, member, or trustee, and in which the individual or spouse, either
individually or collectively, owns an interest which exceeds ten percent of that business.
(b) The name, address, brief description of, and nature of association with a nonprofit
organization in which the individual or spouse is a director or officer.
(5) The name address, type and amount of each source of income received by the individual
or spouse, or by any business in which the individual or spouse, either individually or
collectively, owns an interest which exceeds ten percent of that business, which is
received from any of the following:
(a) The state or any political subdivision as defined in Article VI of the Constitution
(b) Services performed for or in connection with a gaming interest as defined in R.S.
(6) A certification that such individual has filed his federal and state income tax return, or
has rifled for an extension of time for filing such tax return.
(7) A certification that such individual or any member of his immediate family does not have
a personal or financial interest in any entity, contract, business, or personal relationship
that would in any way pose a conflict of interest in the impartial performance of his
duties as a member on the board or commission.
The law will be effective January 1, 2009, and relative to members of state boards and
commissions in Tier 3 will be effective January 1, 2010.
SB 723 Author: Smith Died in Senate Revenue
Repealed certain notice and publication requirements and deadlines which were in addition to
those provided for in Const. Art. VII, Sec. 23(C) in order for property tax recipient bodies to roll-
forward mileages without voter approval. (gov sig)
Discussion: SB 723 would have repealed present law requiring any tax recipient body which
proposed to hold a public hearing in any tax year for the purpose of levying additional or
increased mileages on property without further voter approval (i.e. rolling forward mileages) to
meet certain publication requirements and deadlines in addition to those provided for in Const.
Art. VII, Sec. 23(C) including: deadlines; publication in a newspaper with a larger circulation
than the tax recipient's official journal; placement, size, and font requirements; and the issuance
of a press release to newspapers with substantial distribution within the parish of the tax
recipient's jurisdiction and to area broadcast media.
LEGISLATION OF GENERAL INTEREST
LOUISIANA PRESS ASSOCIATION
2008 REGULAR SESSION
HB 1 Author: Fannin Act 19
Provides for the ordinary operating expenses of state government.
HB 34 Author: Katz Died on House Floor
Changed the hours the polls are required to be open.
HB 47 Author: Lambert Died in House Criminal Justice
Provided for notification and public inspection of records of parish prison and jail escapes.
HB 77 Author: Geymann Died in House Criminal Justice
Created the crime of the manufacture, sale, or distribution of fraudulent identification
HB 80 Author: Lopinto Act 245
Exempts certain transactions from certain disclosure requirements.
HB 91 Author: Arnold Act 124
Provides for changes to the release of certain information by certain financial.
HB 106 Author: Morrell Died on House Floor
Prohibited certain false statements by a candidate.
HB 115 Author: Lambert Act 715
Provides for the release of certain information upon escape from a juvenile facility.
HB 123 Author: Wooton Act 251
Provides for the release of certain information pertaining to a prisoner's activities while
HB 137 Author: Hill Act 253
Creates the crime of the production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of fraudulent
HB 145 Author: Barrow Died on House Orders
Required clerks of the district courts to assess an additional fee in certain civil matters for the
support of various nonprofit organizations.
HB 212 Author: Arnold Act 257
Provides relative to the sale of property by parishes and municipalities.
HB 234 Author: Geymann Died on House Calendar
Provided for the time period in which a sex offender must notify persons of their presence in the
HB 281 Author: Jones, R. Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Prohibited a public servant from creating a public service announcement during time periods
around an election if such public servant qualified to be a candidate in such election.
HB 295 Author: Gisclair Died in House Governmental Affairs
Required certain political advertisements and communications made within 30 days of an
election to include a statement identifying the person responsible for the advertisement and
stating whether it was authorized by the candidate or his committee.
HB 314 Author: Cortez Died in House Governmental Affairs
Required members of parish executive committees and state central committees to disclose
certain financial information. Identical to HB 732.
HB 337 Author: Burrell Act 819
Provides relative to tax sales and adjudicated property.
HB 367 Author: Mills Withdrawn
Provided relative to the disclosure of vital records by DHH.
HB 436 Author: Arnold Died on House Floor
(Constitutional Amendment) Provided for restrictions on millage increases after reappraisal and
HB 439 Author: Dove Act 278
Provides relative to abandoned mine reclamation.
HB 440 Author: Lorusso Died in House Ways & Means
Provided for centralized collection of local sales and use taxes.
HB 453 Author: Tucker Withdrawn
Provided for centralized collection of local sales and use taxes.
HB 464 Author: Hardy Died in House Governmental Affairs
Provided for protection of voter registration information.
HB 487 Author: Lorusso Died in House Governmental Affairs
(Constitutional Amendment) Provided relative to the conduct of legislative sessions.
HB 558 Author: Downs Act 726
Requires public entities which advertise bids for construction of public works project to include
an estimate of budget in the advertisement.
HB 563 Author: Downs Act 727
Provides relative to the bid form for bidding on public works contracts.
HB 570 Author: Ellington Died in House Natural Resources
Provided for litter abatement.
HB 593 Author: Carmody Died on House Floor
Increased the contract limit on certain contracts advertised and let by Caddo Parish.
HB 600 Author: Jones, S. Act 289
Provides relative to procurement of materials and supplies by the Morgan City Harbor and
HB 610 Author: White Act 590
Provides for electronic bidding at the local level.
HB 611 Author: Simon Died on House Orders
Created a "Silver Alert" system for missing senior or mentally impaired citizens.
HB 635 Author: Greene Died on Senate Orders
Required financial disclosure by certain persons as related to the Governor's Transition Team.
HB 647 Author: Baldone Died on House Calendar
Provided for a request for qualifications process for procurement of professional services.
HB 648 Author: Gallot Died on Senate Calendar
Required members of levee boards and port commissions to disclose certain information.
HB 727 Author: Hardy Died in House Criminal Justice
Required immediate media notification upon escape from correctional institution.
HB 732 Author: Ellington Died in House Governmental Affairs
Required members of parish executive committees and state central committees to disclose
certain financial information.
HB 761 Author: Richmond Died in House Education
Required BESE to establish a committee to advise the board on matters related to public
elementary and secondary schools under the jurisdiction of the Recovery School District.
HB 774 Author: Waddell Died in House Governmental Affairs
Provided relative to the agency of certain public servants for purposes of the Code of
HB 779 Author: St. Germain Died in House Governmental Affairs
Removed certain provisions requiring certain public servants and affiliated persons and entities
to file annual reports with the Board of Ethics relative to certain contracts with state government.
HB 789 Author: Nowlin Died in House Governmental Affairs
Required a background check on a candidate who qualified for office.
HB 802 Author: Smith, J. Died on House Orders
Provided relative to nonprofit organizations sales tax exemptions.
HB 838 Author: Tucker Died on House Orders
Required a review of healthcare services rendered during an emergency prior to criminal
HB 842 Author: Gallot Act 162
Provides relative to financial disclosure as relates to candidates.
HB 843 Author: Gallot Died in House Governmental Affairs
Provided relative to financial disclosure as related to candidates.
HB 880 Author: Jackson, G. Withdrawn
Provided an exception for certain publicly bid contracts from the prohibition on state contracts.
HB 910 Author: Tucker Act 829
Require ICF Emergency Management Services to disclose all of its subcontractors to the
Legislative Audit Advisory Council.
HB 934 Author: Templet Act 601
Provides relative to the removal of dangerous structures by the governing authority of parishes
HB 1016 Author: Smiley Died on House Orders
Abolished certain boards, commissions, authorities, and like entities. Became HB 1372.
HB 1036 Author: Harrison Died in House Appropriations
Required itemized monthly spending reports to be maintained on a website established and
maintained by the commissioner of administration.
HB 1049 Author: Smiley Died in House Transportation
Provided with respect to the La. Airport Authority.
HB 1052 Author: Cazayoux Died on House Orders
Provided for revisions to the sex offender and child predator registration and notification
provisions. Became HB 1373.
HB 1073 Author: Hines Died in House Health & Welfare
Provided for the privacy of personal health information.
HB 1079 Author: Fannin Died in House Governmental Affairs
Provided a public records exemption for certain documents of certain internal auditors.
HB 1218 Author: Burrell Died in House Criminal Justice
Required registration and public notice for identity theft offenders.
HB 1219 Author: Lorusso Died on House Floor
Provided relative to the taking of private property.
HB 1234 Author: Leger Died on House Floor
Provided relative to the recovery of damages resulting from the disclosure of personal
HB 1297 Author: Barrow Act 896
Authorizes parish and municipal ordinances to secure or condemn and demolish and remove
structures that endanger the public health and welfare, including payment of costs, and provides
for National Guard assistance.
HB 1320 Author: Jones, S. Died in House Appropriations
Created the Louisiana Municipal Equity Act.
HB 1351 Author: Roy Died in House Health & Welfare
Limited third party access to a patient's medical or hospital records.
HB 1372 Author: Smiley Act 815
Abolishes certain boards, commissions, authorities, and like entities. Substitute for HB 1016.
HB 1373 Author: Baldone Act 816
Provides for revisions to the sex offender registration and notification provisions. Substitute for
HB 1378 Author: Simon Act 662
Provides for a Silver Alert Network for locating missing senior citizens. Substitute for HB. 611.
HB 1379 Author:Tucker Act 758
Establishes an Emergency/Disaster Medicine Review Panel. Substitute for HB. 838.
HCR 5 Author: Greene Enrolled
Requests the Louisiana State Law Institute to study the law on successions.
SB 4 Author: Shepherd Died on Senate Floor
Required registration and public notice for identity theft offenders.
SB 63 Author: Kostelka Act 520
Prohibits the registrar of voters and Department of State from disclosing registration data
received from another state pursuant to cooperative agreement and geographical coding of
addresses of registered voters. (gov sig)
SB 72 Author: Crowe Act 391
Authorizes the city of Slidell to enter into design-build contracts.
SB 109 Author: Morrish Act 438
Increases the amount for projects for minor repairs, renovation, or construction of facilities or
purchase of land and facilities which may be undertaken outside of the capital outlay process by
SB 113 Author: Smith Died in Senate Revenue
Eliminated certain parishes from the additional notice required to be given to taxpayers
concerning certain property tax assessments and meetings to increase millage rates without voter
SB 121 Author: Dupre Died on Senate Calendar
Increased the contract limit amount for which the public bid process was required to $200,000.
SB 133 Author: Donahue Act 117
Requires the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority to comply with the public bid law.
SB 136 Author: Quinn Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Authorized certain technical evaluation committees to meet and conduct business through
teleconferencing and video conferencing.
SB 142 Author: Scalise Died in House Governmental Affairs
Provided for the confidentiality of certain information submitted to the deputy secretary of public
safety of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
SB 189 Author: Marionneaux Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Provided for automatic removal of appointees not reappointed by the governor.
SB 221 Author: Quinn Died on Senate Calendar
Changed the hours the polls are required to be open on election day.
SB 243 Author: McPherson Act 530
Provides procedure for closing or removal of private farm railroad crossings.
SB 336 Author: Michot Act 121
Provides for certain tax records. (8/15/08)
SB 409 Author: Hebert Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Provided certain restrictions and disclosure requirements for funds expended on electronic media
for certain candidates for public office.
SB 431 Author: Hebert Died in Senate Commerce
Provided relative to prohibitions on telephone solicitation.
SB 498 Author: Crowe Died in Senate Judiciary B
Provided for the credentialing and centralized registry of certain individuals authorized to serve
in post emergency response activities.
SB 517 Author: Amedee Act 462
Provides relative to the duration and notification period of convicted sex offenders. (gov sig)
SB 529 Author: Michot Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Provided for an exemption to public records for the actual working papers of certain internal
SB 552 Author: Heitmeier Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Prohibited the communication of any false statement about a candidate or issue.
SB 607 Author: Heitmeier Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
When robo-calls are performed, the company or person paying for the call must be identified.
SB 609 Author: Crowe Died in Senate Revenue
Required tax recipient bodies to adopt a third ordinance or resolution levying millages which had
been "rolled forward' by a 2/3's vote of the tax recipient body.
SB 611 Author: Murray Act 791
Provides relative to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.
SB 634 Author: Quinn Died in Senate Judiciary C
Required a review of healthcare services rendered during an emergency prior to criminal
SB 651 Author: Dorsey Died in Senate Governmental Affairs
Removed certain provisions requiring certain public servants and affiliated persons and entities
to file annual reports with the Board of Ethics relative to certain contracts with state government.
SB 665 Author: Cassidy Died in Senate Municipal
Required certain local governmental subdivisions to include expenditures on the website of the
division of administration.
SB 716 Author: Martiny Died in House Criminal Justice
Provided for the confidentiality of juvenile records.
The 2008 Regular Session of the Legislature was incredibly busy as 2,202 bills were filed
along with hundreds of resolutions during the legislative session, which as provided for in the
Louisiana Constitution could only meet sixty days during the eighty-five calendar day period.
Additionally, with two special sessions completed during 2008, the roughly fifty percent of the
Legislature who were new to the process quickly became veterans based on the number of days
spent at the Capitol.
The 2009 Regular Session will convene at noon on April 27th and must adjourn by June
25th at 6:00 p.m. Although that session will be a “fiscal” session, each legislator may introduce
up to five (5) “general” subject matter bills. There is another special session being discussed and
the time frame for it appears to be early 2009.
With the number of new legislators and the fact that they have been in Baton Rouge most
of the time since last fall’s election, now is the opportune time for the Louisiana Press
Association to get to know those new legislators and become better acquainted with veteran
lawmakers. Remember, to continue to be successful we must have knowledge of the process and
players, political activity and grass roots to maintain and strengthen LPA’s message.
In conclusion, the law firm of Roedel, Parsons, Koch, Blache, Balhoff and McCollister is
extremely pleased and honored to represent the interest of the Louisiana Press Association before
the Louisiana Legislature. On behalf of our family and the incredible governmental attorneys,
friends, and legislative team of which we are so proud, Johnny Koch, C.J. Blache, Kevin Hayes
and Kevin Cunningham and critical support staff, Tisha Theriot and Katie MacMurray, we wish
to thank you personally for the privilege of working with you. Please feel free to contact us if
you have any questions regarding this report or any other issue.