by Nancy Johnson & Sheila McCant
Public Information Office
With only a few days remaining before the 2007 Regular Legislative Session convenes, lawmakers have prefiled 592 House Bills, 169 Senate Bills, four House Concurrent Resolutions, three Senate Resolutions, and three Senate Concurrent Resolutions. The following is a sample of instruments that legislators will consider over the 45-day legislative calendar that begins April 30.
HB324 would provide a state income tax exemption for all full-time classroom teachers of parish and city public school systems.
HB502 would authorize an individual income tax credit for the actual amount of costs and expenses incurred to retrofit an individual's residence to meet State Uniform Construction Code standards.
HB 385 establishes the La. Insurance Catastrophe Fund and dedicates certain insurance premium taxes to the fund.
HB401 creates the Driver Responsibility Program under which points, ranging from three to six, are assigned for convictions for motor vehicle violations and penalties are imposed on drivers who accumulate a certain number of points within three years. Additional penalties for DWI convictions are included. The revenues from this program are to be dedicated to highway construction.
HB 486 provides for enforcement of the International Residential Code and other changes to the State Uniform Construction Code. Among other provisions, all municipalities and parishes are required to use building code enforcement officers to enforce the provisions of the law and enforcement procedures by these officers include examination or review of plans, drawings, or specifications; the conducting of inspections; and the issuance, denial, or revocation of permits. The legislation also allows any parish whose boundaries are completely north of the 110 mph wind line to enforce the provisions of the code by certification of intended compliance and certification of completion and compliance. The enforcement of the International Residential code shall only be mandatory with respect to new construction, reconstruction, and additions that increase the height or floor area of a structure under this bill.
HB 497 creates the crime of prohibited consensual sexual activity between educators and students between 13 and 19 years of age. Also prohibits lewd or lascivious acts upon the person or in the presence of a student who is under 19 years of age, with the intention of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of either person. The proposed law applies to students at the school where the educator is employed. The bill provides an exclusion if the victim is the spouse of the offender. Penalty includes a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years with or without hard labor, or both.
HB347 would increase the compensation for elections commissioners-in-charge and certified commissioners. A commissioner-in-charge would receive $250. A commissioner-in-charge who serves at more than one precinct would receive $300. A commissioner who has received a certificate of instruction as provided in R.S. 18:431 (A) would receive $100. A commissioner who has received a certificate of instruction, as provided in R.S.18:431(B) would receive $200. (An uncertified commissioner would continue to receive thirty-five dollars.)
HB358 provides that for each motor vehicle owned and registered in the state by a person sixty years of age or older, the annual registration license tax shall be ten dollars per vehicle per year regardless of the actual value of the vehicle. The annual registration license tax would be collected by the commissioner once every two years.