Dig Baton Rouge

Legislative Roundup

By Matt Starlight

One week has passed the Legislative Session began, and we have yet to scratch the surface of the length and breadth of the bills that have been filed. However, we’ve combed (broadly) the vast plethora of legislation to bring you the most important, asinine, and crazy bills out there.

Drones

SB 183: Discusses the potential legalization of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, that are used for agricultural purposes (such as collecting data on crops). It would require the operator of the drone to obtain a license and the drone to be registered with the government. For obvious reasons, the drone has to be used on the owner’s property only and the data collected belongs to the owner and can only be seized by law enforcement with the owner’s written permission.

TOPS

HB 708: Adds a requirement that the student pursue a degree or skill or occupational training that would qualify him for employment in a four or five star job, on a statewide basis, as defined by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Examples of four and five star jobs include public relations specialist, chemical and civil engineers, and architects. Examples of two and three star jobs include film and video editors, interior designers, and wildlife biologists. Check out www.laworks.net to see if Louisiana has deemed your career choice worthy of funding.

Infrastructure Tax

HB 778: Levies a 1% state sales and use tax for 10 years to be used for construction of specific highway and bridge projects that are part of the major economic development corridors of the state, and investment in the La. State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. While additional taxes may not be what anyone wants to hear, neither is news about collapsed bridges.

Firearm Education

HB 446: Requires each city, parish, and other local public school board to provide age and grade appropriate classroom instruction regarding firearm familiarity and safety to elementary school students. Further requires that such instruction be integrated into an existing course of study. As if having elementary school students handling weapons in class isn’t scary enough, the bill doesn’t say anything about the qualifications of the teachers.

Abortion

HB 701: While abortion is still legal in Louisiana, this bill takes another step towards it’s outright banning. 701 prohibits the performance of an abortion and any attempt to perform an abortion by a person who has knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion because of the sex of the unborn child.

High School Graduation

SB 34: For all the people claiming immigrants should have to pass a test to live in the USA, that same test could apply to our high schools. For students who enter the ninth grade on or after July 1, 2015, the student must correctly answers at least sixty of the one hundred questions listed in a test identical to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to graduate.

Private Images

HB 489: In the wake of the new California law, Louisiana has set out to stop revenge porn. Creates the crime of nonconsensual disclosure of a private image and provides that a person commits this offense when all of the following occur: (1) The person intentionally discloses an image of another person who is seventeen years of age or older, who is identifiable from the image or information displayed in connection with the image, and whose intimate parts are exposed in whole or in part. (2) The person obtained the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private. (3) The person knew or should have known that the person in the image has not consented to the disclosure of the image. (4) The person has the intent to harass or cause emotional distress to the person in the image, or the person who commits the offense knew or should have known that the disclosure could harass or cause emotional distress to the person in the image.

Be sure to keep up with the proceedings at www.legis.la.gov and with DIG Magazine as we continue to keep you informed.

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