Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part XVI

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: HB906, HB907, HB908, HB910, HB922, HB937, HB938, HB939, HB952, HB961, HB962, HB969, HB976, and HB999

House Bill 906 (HB906)  (Woodruff)   This bill would reduce penalties for marijuana possession of up to an ounce to a fine of $50 to $100 for the first offense,  a fine of $100 to $150 for the second offense, and either a fine of $150- $200, six months probation, or both for the third or later offense.

House Bill 907 (HB907)  (St Germain)  This is a bill to have Louisiana implement the Real ID standards for ID’s.  I have read articles suggesting that not implementing the standards could eventually lead to Louisiana residents not being able to use their state ID’s to fly.

House Bill 908 (HB908)   (Cox) This bill would require that when a private contractor contracts with a public entity in the state, the private contractor must provide documentation of equal pay practices.

House Bill 910 (HB910)  (Connick) This bill creates a penalty for disposal of a cigarette butt from a vehicle upon any public place, any private property not owned by him, any rural property not owned by him, or any waters of the state. The penalty is a fine of $300 and 8 hours of required community service. Update: This bill is scheduled for a March 26th committee meeting. Update: This bill was “reported by substitution” – Instead of creating a new law for cigarette littering the substitute bill would add cigarette butts to the items listed in the current littering law. The substitute bill will go before the house.

House Bill 922 (HB922)  (Bishop)  This is an anti-picketing law that could be used by companies in a broad range of situations to get injunctions against  picketers and creates penalties for violating such injunctions. Update: It seems this bill is not unique to Louisiana 

House Bill 937 (HB937) and House Bill 938 (HB938)  (Leger)  These bills are both about autonomous (self-driving) cars. HB937 authorizes their operation in the state and HB938 authorize research and testing of the vehicles in the state. Update: Both of these bills are scheduled for a committee meeting on March 24th. Update: At the March 24th meeting, these bills were voluntarily deferred.

House Bill 939 (HB939)  (Geymann)  This is a bill which is in opposition to the  Real ID standards. Under the bill, only people who specifically apply for compliant ID’s would have ID’s that meet the standards and without the specification by the individual ID’s issued will not comply with the standards.

House Bill 952 (HB952)  (Whitney)  This bill lays out a system for drug testing recipients of cash assistance and unemployment insurance. It also adds new restrictions related to receipt of cash assistance for individuals previously convicted of a drug offense. (because of course keeping people from getting help won’t encourage them to re-offend at all…  *eyeroll*) The law also says that people can be permanently barred from both systems for having had three positive tests.

I would like to note that unemployment insurance is paid into and barring people from that system while forcing their jobs to continue paying into it should seem messed up even to a Republican politician.

House Bill 961 (HB961)  (Pylant)  This bill would require that local governing bodies that get more than half their revenue from traffic citations be labeled as speed traps with signs. Update: This bill is scheduled for  a committee meeting on March 24th. Update: This bill has been reported from committee to the house with an amendment (just inserting one clarifying word) by a 9 to 3 vote.

House Bill 962 (HB962)   (Barrow)  This is a bill to outlaw “speed traps” which are defined in the law “as either a particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance, or a particular section of the highway with a prima facie speed limit as provided by statute or local ordinance, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five to seven, as specified prior to the date of an alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects.”  Update: This bill is scheduled for  a committee meeting on March 24th. Update: At the March 24th meeting, this bill was voluntarily deferred

House Bill 969 (HB969)  (Hunter)  This bill is designed to mirror the executive order that federal contractors and subcontractors make a minimum wage of $10.10.

House Bill 976 (HB976)  (Stokes)  This is a bill to regulate the health care navigators of the Affordable Care Act. It requires a licensing process and forbids some actions such as “Providing advice concerning the benefits, terms, and features of a particular health plan or offering advice about which exchange health plan is better or worse for a particular individual or employer,” “Recommending or endorsing a particular health plan or advising consumers about which health plan to choose,” and “Providing any information or services related to health benefit plans or other products not offered in the exchange.”

House Bill 999 (HB999)   (Williams)  This bill states that no more than 10% of the funding allotted to a charter school may be used to pay the management fees of an organization, corporation, or other legal entity with which the school has a contract or agreement for the management or operation of the school.