Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part X

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: SB406, SB422, SB424, SB440, SB485, SB493, SB496

Senate Bill 406 (SB406) (Walsworth) – Exempts people who are at least 21, have completed a particular motorcycle safety course, and have certain minimum insurance requirements from the state’s motorcycle helmet law.

Senate Bill 422 (SB422) (Broome) – This proposed law would create protections for people who are trying to aid others in the case of a drug or alcohol overdose. There is evidence that these protections have life saving effects.   Update: This bill is scheduled for a March 25th committee meeting. Update: This bill has been reported favorably from committee. Update: The bill will go before the Senate on March 31st

Senate Bill 424 (SB424) (Morrell) This adds sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and marital status to the protections under the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act.

Senate Bill 440 (SB440)  (Martiny) This bill would make it so public employees in the state can no longer authorize their union dues to be withheld from their pay checks. (Attacking unions of public employees is a popular GOP strategy in the states.)

Senate Bill 485 (SB485)  (Peacock) This bill was to outlaw local anti-discrimination ordinances and seemed to be designed to prevent cities from preventing employment discrimination against lgbt individuals (New Orleans and Shreveport have ordinances to that effect). Luckily this bill has been withdrawn thanks to a strong response from activists.   I will however be keeping an eye on Peacock for more anti-gay bills.

Senate Bill 493 (SB493) (Heitmeier) This bill says that contracts for Medicaid managed care programs contracted on or after January 1, 2015 will prohibit the hospitals in the contracts from advertising emergency room waiting time. Update: This bill is scheduled for a committee meeting on March 18th.  Update: This bill is scheduled for a March 25th committee meeting. Update: This bill did not progress after the March 25th meeting

Senate Bill 496 (SB496) (Heitmeier)  This adds three new restrictions to prescriptions for Schedule II substances 1) They may not be filled more than 90 days after the date of the prescription 2) No prescription for any controlled substance may be written or issued for more than the greater of 120 dosage units or a 30-day supply of the maximum total daily dosage 3) No more than three controlled substance prescriptions may be written or issued to a patient by a licensed practitioner during the same 30-day period.  Update: This bill is scheduled for a committee meeting on March 18th.  Update: This bill is scheduled for a March 25th committee meeting. Update:  This bill did not progress after the March 25th meeting

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