Mid-Session Update


We are in the middle of Louisiana’s 2024 Regular session, which includes significant legislation on various topics, from education freedom to constitutional convention discussions. Naturally, covering every bill in this article is impossible, but we have been closely monitoring a few noteworthy ones.

HB 47 Communication on Immunization Exemption

HB 47, by Representative Kathy Edmonston, requires that communication about immunization requirements include exemption information. This bill passed the House Education Committee without opposition. Representative Jessica Domangue amended this bill on the House floor to require a doctor’s note for immunization exemptions – which would change long-standing state law dating back to the 1970s. The amendment was an incredibly close 51-50-4. Traditionally, if a legislator comes to their senses later, they can change their vote at the end of the day. However, by rule, their change can’t affect the outcome (pass-fail). Several legislators have said they would have changed their amendment vote to “no” if they could have.

We have indications that this amendment will be stripped in the Senate. The bill passed as amended with a vote of 77-28. Now, HB 47 is currently pending in Senate Education.

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HB 76 Medical Noncompete

Currently, it’s nearly impossible for doctors to change employers. Representative Michael Echols‘s HB 76 prohibits the restraint of the practice of medicine in contracts/agreements. It passed the Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations 12-2. I can’t link you to the vote, though. As of this writing, the House Labor Relations Committee minutes for April 2, 2024, haven’t been published. The bill died on the floor with a vote of 47-55.

HB 87 Covid Vax Liability

HB 87 by Representative Michael Echols prohibits government entities and employers from mandating masks or vaccines. It passed the Committee on Civil Law and Procedure by a vote of 10-2. The bill was heard on the floor on March 20, 2024, but failed to pass 51-50. It was reconsidered on March 27, 2024, and passed 70-31. Currently, HB 87 is pending a hearing in Senate Judiciary A.

HB 122 Anti-Groomer

HB 122, by Representative Dodie Horton, prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. This bill passed the House Committee on Education by a vote of 9-3. Although Barbara Freiberg voted against it in committee and attempted to amend it not once but twice, it passed the House with a sizable 69-28. Currently, this bill is pending in the Senate Education Committee.

HB 166 Castrate Sex Offenders

HB 166 by Representative Delisha Boyd would create the punishment of a vasectomy for any person convicted of a sex offense. An amended version got through the House Committee on Criminal Justice without opposition. It passed the House floor by a vote of 80-12 and is currently pending Senate Judiciary C.

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HB 288 Inclusion of Immunization Records on Autopsy of Infants

HB 288, by Representative Beryl Amedee, requires immunization records to be included in infant autopsy reports. It passed the House Committee on Judiciary without opposition but was killed on the House floor by a razor-thin margin of 51-50.

HB 317 Helmet Requirement

HB 317 by Representative Rodney Shamerhorn would remove insurance liability for motorcycle operators not wearing helmets. An amended version passed House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works by a vote of 10-3. This bill also passed the House floor 60-43. HB 317 was heard on April 24, 2024, in Senate Transportation, Highways, and Public Works. The committee took no action.

HB 344 Inspection Sticker

HB 344, by Representative Larry Bagley, removes the requirement for inspection stickers. It was reported with amendments and recommitted to the House Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6-5-1. The bill was voluntarily deferred by the author due to concerns about the state losing that revenue stream.

HB 545 Crime of Obscenity

HB 545, by Representative Beryl Amedee, removes public schools’ exemption from obscenity laws. This bill passed the House Committee on Criminal Justice by a vote of 8-4 after Bryan Fontenot made a surprise substitute motion to report the bill favorably. It’s scheduled to be heard on the House floor on April 29, 2024.

HB 608 What is a Woman

HB 608 by Representative Roger Wilder distinguishes between male and female and protects women and girls against sexual assault and harassment by biological men. It passed Civil Law and Procedure 10-0-1. Although the number is odd, there was no opposition to the bill being reported favorably. The only abstention was the chairman, which is not unusual. This bill passed the House floor with a vote of 80-17. Currently, it’s pending Senate Judiciary C.

HB 721 Teacher Carry

Representative Lauren Ventrella‘s HB 721 would allow teachers to conceal carry on a school campus. It is still pending a hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

HB 745 LA Gator Scholarship Program (School Choice)

HB 745 by Representative Julie Emerson creates the LA Gator Scholarship Program. This program brings universal school choice to Louisiana. HB 745 sailed through the House Committee on Education without objection. It was recommitted to Appropriations, where Aimee Freeman objected to its being sent to the floor. However, the committee disagreed, and it passed with a vote of 13-9, mostly on party lines. Two unfriendly amendments were beaten back, allowing the bill to finally pass the House floor with a vote of 71-32. Now, it’s pending in the Senate Education Committee.

HB 777 Disassociate from the American Library Association

HB 777, by Representative Kellee Hennessy Dickerson, prohibits using public funds for transactions involving the American Library Association. This bill is currently pending House Municipal, Parochial, and Cultural Affairs.

HB 800 Constitutional Convention

HB 800, by Representative Beau Beaullieu, calls for a constitutional convention to begin on May 20, 2024. The draft must be submitted to the Governor by July 15, 2024. If signed by the governor, Louisiana citizens would vote on the new constitution in November. Should it pass, the new constitution will go into effect on December 31, 2024. HB 800 passed in the House and Governmental Affairs Committee by a vote of 13-9 and is now scheduled for the House Appropriations Committee on April 29, 2024.

SB 98 Cell Phone

SB 98, by Senator Patrick McMath, prohibits using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. This bill passed the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works without objection. It passed the Senate floor by a vote of 33-6. SB 98 passed the House of Transportation, Highways, and Public Works without opposition. Its next stop is the House floor.

SB 208 Sanctuary Cities

SB 208, by Senator Blake Miguez, prohibits sanctuary cities in Louisiana. Although Royce Duplessis attempted an unfriendly amendment, the bill passed Senate Judiciary B by a vote of 3-2, with Royce Duplessis and Joseph Bouie being opposed. It passed the Senate floor 22-11. Now, it’s pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 482 Public Records

Senator Heather Cloud‘s SB 482 removes certain records from public records laws. It passed Senate and Governmental Affairs on a party-line vote of 6-2 and is scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor on April 29, 2024.

Are you wondering why we did not share a photo of our beautiful chamber? We are no longer allowed to take pictures from the balcony, chamber, or committee rooms. We’re working to acquire press credentials, which are now required to take photographs inside the public meeting spaces.


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