Special Interests Own the Louisiana Legislature


The legislative session ended on Monday, June 6th and despite the many opportunities to pass legislation that would protect Louisiana from special interests and government overreach, the legislature failed miserably. Of the fifty plus bills we had on our watch list at Health Freedom Louisiana, only three made it past the finish line and await the signature of the governor: SB141 by Senator Jay Morris, HB145 by Representative Kathy Edmonston, and HB54 by Representative Larry Bagley

Senator Morris’ SB141 prohibits medical insurance providers from discriminating based on vaccination status. Several Louisiana companies implemented discriminatory policies following the rollout of the covid vaccines requiring the employee to pay an additional monthly fee if they or a family member were unvaccinated. This is a coercive measure intended to increase vaccination rates. What other medical procedure are employees fined for not undergoing? 

After the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) added covid vaccination to the list of required shots for school attendance, and has since been rescinded, Representative Edmonston introduced HB145 to improve the administrative rule change process so that the entire legislature will be informed of a Notice of Intent (NOI) and not just a certain few legislators. Those few legislators who were informed of LDH’s NOI to add the covid vaccine to the required list—House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Senate President Page Cortez, Representative Larry Bagley, and Senator Fred Mills—decided not to inform the legislature or the public of the NOI for fear it would interrupt the momentum of the four constitutional amendments going on the ballot in November of 2021. 

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Rep Larry Bagley’s HB54 looks very different from the original bill introduced months ago, yet does offer protection against scenarios where vaccine passports might be introduced by government entities, including public schools like LSU, and it provides protection against covid vaccine requirements in the public employment sector.  Will it be vetoed by Governor John Bel Edwards? More than likely. Edwards has a fanatical attachment to covid vaccines despite his own announcement in a press conference in August of 2021 that vaccinated individuals can carry and transmit just as much virus as an unvaccinated individual. 

As for the average Louisianan though, the legislature was greatly influenced by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) which lobbied heavily against every single health freedom bill and instead for the “rights” of businesses to determine what medical interventions and procedures are best for their employees. Legislators I spoke with were extremely hesitant to impose any restrictions on private businesses that might protect the rights of Louisianans despite the extreme restrictions placed on businesses and schools in 2020 which requires them to comply with federal, state, or local health guidelines for covid in exchange for immunity from liability. In essence, the Louisiana Legislature created an opportunity for tort in 2020 where none existed before. Prior to 2020, do you recall a private business ever being burdened with mitigating a respiratory virus?

What protections did the Louisiana Legislature pass to protect the rights of the individual in the private workplace or the rights of parents to determine what medical intervention is appropriate for their child? 

None. Not one.

The Louisiana Legislature appears to be pathologically opposed to protecting the rights of Louisiana citizens to determine the appropriate medical decisions for themselves and their families, instead favoring the rights of business owners to force medical decisions upon their employees under threat of job loss. 

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After two years of unconstitutional, unethical, and unscientific health measures and government overreach that wrecked the economy and our children’s educational and social experiences, the Louisiana Legislature snubbed its nose at the average citizen and left work an hour and a half early with crucial bills left at the finish line. For example, HB47 by Rep Edmonston, which would require schools to inform parents and students of the entirety of the vaccine exemption law for school attendance, was never voted on despite it having “lots of interest” in being heard, according to one senator.

House Concurrent Resolution 1 by Rep Barry Ivey, which would suspend RS 17:170(F), the exclusion of unvaccinated individuals from schools during the outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, was never debated on the Senate floor. Why is HCR1 important? Many colleges and universities, along with 86 New Orleans city schools, require covid vaccination for school attendance despite covid not being a vaccine preventable disease. HCR1 would have prevented those unvaccinated students from being excluded from school during an outbreak because both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can contract and transmit covid. 

Other bills neglected before Sine Die: HB600 by Rep Larry Frieman, which would require the Louisiana Department of Health to make vaccine exemption information available on the LDH website, and HB427 by Rep Beryl Amedee, which would prohibit the administration of vaccination on school property except for those institutions with school based health clinics. 

Do you see a theme?

In light of this bias for the billion dollar vaccine program, it remains for the consumer, employee, parent, and student to be vigilant and persistent. Know your rights in regards to vaccination if you are a student or an employee. Information regarding student and workplace exemptions can be found at HealthFreedomLA.org, as well as information on reporting vaccine adverse events and applying for compensation if injury or harm should occur. 

As your legislators make their way back to their local communities, make sure you inquire of their thoughts on health freedom and more importantly their voting record on these bills. So many good bills died in committee – for example, HB232 by Rep Edmonston, the driver’s license bill (prohibiting vaccination status to be used as a requirement in getting a license or that any vaccination information be placed on the state issued driver’s license), HB53 by Rep Frieman, the constitutional amendment on bodily autonomy, HB640 by Rep Wright, the bill that would require labeling of aborted fetal cell containing vaccines, HB407 by Rep Amedee, the bill prohibiting the addition of an experimental EUA vaccine to the required list for school attendance, and HB1022 by Rep Amedee, the bill that would prohibit the mandate of a liability-free medical intervention. More on those and many other spectacular losses to follow. You need to know who is on your side and fighting for your rights in the state legislature and who is fighting for the special interests that ruled this legislative session. 


If we’re not watching them, who will?

Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution. Will you join us?

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