Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part XIV

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: HB707, HB719, HB720, HB727, HB732, HB733, HB746, HB749, HB753, HB754, HB755, HB759, HB797, and HB801

House Bill 707 (HB707)   (Garofalo)  – This bill would create an exception to the law prohibiting carrying firearms at schools. It would create an exception for teachers and administrators who have a concealed carry permit and have taken an 8 hour training course.

House Bill 719 (HB719) (Hollis) This bill “prohibits an agency, officer, or employee of this state, acting on behalf of the state, from engaging in an activity that aids in the implementation or enforcement of the provisions of PPACA and any subsequent federal act that amends PPACA ” until December 31, 2016. (PPACA = Affordable Care Act) Classic republican effort to outlaw federal laws…

House Bill 720 (HB720)  (Honore) This is a medical marijuana law for the state of Louisiana. It limits the doctors who can prescribe it to neurologists, oncologists, or ophthalmologists – I would guess to prevent a situation like in California where it is very easy to get a “weed card.” 

House Bill 727 (HB727)  (Ivey) This bill would require doctors to have women who are having abortions to sign a form stating they have been given “information on resources that she can review to learn the increased risks of psychiatric and psychological harms associated with abortion.” It also requires the state to create an internet database of “helplines” women who are considering abortions or “who are experiencing psychiatric or psychological distress after an abortion” can call. One of the people overseeing the database has to be a “layperson who provides pre-abortion or post-abortion counseling in association with a nonprofit organization that does not counsel for or provide abortion.” So basically the information has to be approved by an antichoice activist!

House Bill 732 (HB732)   (Jackson) This bill would authorize waiver of minimum mandatory sentences for certain crimes which they can’t currently be waived for.

House Bill 733 (HB733)   (Jackson)  This bill would require age appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention in public schools.

House Bill 746 (HB746)  (Moreno) This bill would ban minors from using tanning beds. It is scheduled for floor debate on 3/19/2014 after having passed through committee. Update: This bill has passed the house with only one nay- From Representive Richard T Burdord.  It is now pending a Senate committee meeting.

House Bill 749 (HB749)   (Moreno) This bill would add circumstances with abuse or protective orders to circumstances where an immediate divorce may be granted (in most cases there is a required time period for a divorce of 180 days- including currently in abuse cases where there are shared children). It also requires courts to consider abuse and criminal convictions when granting awards in divorce cases.

House Bill 753 (HB753)  (Moreno)  This bill would make three changes surrounding firearms and domestic abuse.  First, it adds convictions of misdemeanor domestic abuse battery to the crimes which prohibit a person from possessing a firearm. Second, it requires law police to seize firearms at the scene of an act of domestic violence if they believe there could be impending danger. Third, it states that for anyone against whom the court has issued a permanent injunction or a protective order relative to domestic abuse, they shall be prohibited from possessing a firearm for the duration of such injunction or order. Update: This bill is scheduled for a March 26th committee meeting. Update: This bill was reported from committee with amendments. The amendments remove the part of the law relating to police seizure of firearms when responding to domestic violence. (Thus making immediate threat mitigation from the bill less effective). They also add requirements to the injunction/ protective order section of the law. Thirdly, they create a crime specific to possession of a gun by someone found guilty of domestic battery rather than having the law related to individuals convicted of crimes of violence owning firearms be extended as the original bill did. I feel like the amendments have watered down the bill and it is sad that politicians are so terrified of the NRA that they are willing to water down an attempt to protect domestic violence victims.

House Bill 754 (HB754 ) and House Bill 755 (HB755)  (Moreno)  both are related to naloxone. HB754 authorizes first responders to carry it and administer it to someone who is over dosing. HB755 protects from liability a medical practitioner who prescribes or a third party who administers naloxone (in good faith).

House Bill 759 (HB759)   (Norton)  This bill would require Louisiana’s medicaid eligibility standards to come in line with those in the Affordable Care Act.

House Bill 797 (HB797)  (Huval)  This prohibits the use of non-hands free cell phones by all drivers. (Currently only learners permits and intermediate license holders are prohibited) Update: This bill is scheduled for a committee meeting on March 24th. Update: At the meeting on March 24th, this bill was voluntarily deferred.

House Bill 801 (HB801) (Arnold) This bill seeks to limit automated speed camera systems to issuing citations only when the driver is going over 10 mph over the posted speed limit or is in a school zone.