Dig Baton Rouge

Bills, Bills, Bills

By Nick BeJeaux

We’re past the point of no return, there’s no going back – things have gotten ugly and the show has only just begun. Of course, I’m talking about the Legislative Session. Here’s a quick and dirty update for the bills that have passed, failed, and been thrown up into the air this week. A LOT MORE than this happened. Curious? Check out www.legis.la.gov.

The position of Chief of Police in the Sorrento Police Department can now be abolished. The Senate voted unanimously to allow the Sorrento city council to choose whether or not to get rid of the position after a sexual assault scandal rocked the SPD.

The bill that would designate a 16th century copy of the Bible as the state book flopped. Rep. Thomas Carmody of Shreveport decided to pull the bill on Monday on the house floor after coming to the realization that this could eventually lead to lawsuits, litigation, and discrimination. Carmody also said that this bill would cross the line between church and state in Louisiana. Pfft…what line is he talking about?

The State Senate sided with Jindal to oppose lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. The bill, approved 23-15, states that the Louisiana flood authorities cannot hire lawyers not employed by the state without approval by the administration. Supporters say they’re protecting the state’s booming energy market, while detractors allege government is in Big Oil and Gas’ pocket.

House concedes to Family Forum and keeps Crimes Against Nature law on the books. Apparently, Louisiana’s representatives are not the ones making decisions on the House Floor. If you and your partner(s) enjoy oral and/or anal sex (hopefully in that order) congratulations, you’re breaking the law – it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight or if you’re doing it in public or in your own bedroom.

Senate shoots down unlimited conceal and carry for lawmakers. This bill existed on the Senate floor for about five minutes. A cynic would call this a rare display of common sense by the legislature.

The maximum penalty for selling and using heroin is now 99 years in prison. It’s understandable that legislators want to stick it to dealers in light of a surge in heroin-related deaths, but jailing addicts is a mistake. Addiction is a mental illness, and withdrawal from heroin use can be lethal – it’s cruel and unusual punishment.

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