June 22, 2007


by Sheila McCant

With final adjournment looming, the Senate completed debate this week on the $29.7 billion state budget (House Bill 1), sending it back to the House for concurrence or rejection of the Senate amendments. The House concurred, sending the bill to the governor and avoiding further deliberation in conference committee. The House voted 84-20 to approve House Concurrent Resolution 10 which raises the state spending cap. The Senate agreed, voting 29-5 to approve the measure.
The House also passed House Concurrent Resolution 208, the spending plan for elementary and secondary schools. The funding formula increases spending for the 2007-2008 school year by $209 million. The legislature can approve or reject the plan, but cannot amend it.
A number of tax credit bills also passed the House or House committee this week. Senate Bill 3, which establishes an annual "sales tax holiday, Senate Bill 155, which provides for a refundable child tax credit against individual income tax of 10% of the federal child tax credit, and Senate Bill 341, which provides a refundable state earned income tax credit equal to five percent of the federal earned income tax credit.
To date, the governor has signed 109 bills. Final adjournment must occur no later than 6 p.m. Thursday, June 28. Please see the full edition of House Notes No. 8 located here.

June 16, 2007


by Sheila McCant
Since last week, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bills that have made their way through the process to the governor's desk, jumping from four last week to 37 this week. All of these bills are House bills. Six additional House bills have already received the governor's approval.
The Omnibus Bond Authorization Act, House Bill 3 , came up for a third vote on the House Floor this week. The bill passed unanimously by a vote of 102-0.
The House paused during regular business on Thursday to celebrate Flag Day and to offer their gratitude to all soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that Americans can honor and salute the American Flag. Rep. Jean Doerge offered a resolution, House Resolution 33 , to offer condolences to the family of Sergeant Josh Madden of Minden who was killed in the line of duty on December 6, 2006. Sergeant Madden was 21. His family, including his wife Dani and son Jackson, who was three months old when his father died, were present in the House Chamber to acknowledge the recognition. The Minden Melodies performed a program of patriotic songs in honor of Flag Day and Sgt. Madden. After the program, Rep. Cedric Richmond announced that all proceeds from the House vs. Senate annual basketball game would be donated to a scholarship fund for Sgt. Madden's son.
The game, which was played Thursday night, ended with the House defeating the Senate 58-52. Members of Sgt. Madden's family were present at the game.
Also on Thursday, the House passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 76, which approved the business plan to replace charity hospital in New Orleans which was flooded after Hurricane atrina. By approving the plan, the state can now use a portion of the federal hurricane recovery money for rebuilding.
For bills of interest considered by the House this week, please see the full edition located here.

June 08, 2007

House Notes No. 6

by Sheila McCant
Five House bills have completed the legislative process and four await the governor's pen. House Bill 633 has been signed and becomes Act No. 1. No Senate bills have cleared both the House and Senate as of this date. Of all House bills introduced, 333 have been sent to the Senate and the Senate has sent the House 188 bills to consider.
This week several tax break bills began moving through the process, with several passing the House and heading to the Senate.
The Omnibus Bond Authorization Act, House Bill 3 , came up for a second vote on the House Floor this week. The bill was one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage. For bills of interest considered in the House this week, please see the full edition located here.

June 05, 2007


by Sheila McCant
Public Information Officer
House Bill 3, the Omnibus Bond Authorization Act which provides financing for the state's construction projects, came up for a second vote on the House Floor today. The bill was one vote short of the 70 votes needed to pass. Last Thursday, it was eight votes shy of the required two-thirds vote. In order to bring the bill to the floor for a third attempt at passage,a two-thirds vote is also required.

Tomorrow, the House Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Committee takes up SB 39 which creates the crime of cockfighting. The House has already passed a similiar bill, HB 108, which is on the calendar awaiting Senate floor action. The House Judiciary Committee will consider HB 120 which would prohibit the Governor's Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security from establishing separate housing for sex offenders in a parish unless the local governing authority approves such housing by ordinance. A similar bill, HB 740, is also on the agenda.

Tomorrow's House Calendar includes a number of tax credit bills as well as HB 970, a comprehensive revision of the sex offender registration and notification provisions and HB 969 which creates the crime of prohibited sexual contact between an educator and student.

June 01, 2007

House Notes No. 5

by Sheila McCant
Public Information Officer

The House this week tackled several key issues including the budget, revisions to the statewide building code, and ethics. After nearly a day-long debate, the House sent to the Senate a $29.6 billion dollar budget bill (House Bill 1), which is about $100 million under the constitutionally mandated cap on spending. Leaving the House, the bill contained money for pay raises for teachers, support workers, firefighters, state troopers, and other state employees, full funding for higher education, an increase in money for education and health care, and about $150 million in tax cuts. The bill did not contain any money for the Road Home Program which could face a deficit of as much as $5 billion. After passing the bill by a vote of 96-6, the House then quickly passed House Bill 2, the state's $6.5 billion construction budget. House Bill 3 , the Omnibus Bond Authorization Act, did not fare as well. The bill, which provides funds for the state's construction projects, was eight votes shy of the required two-thirds vote. This bill will be brought back to the floor for another attempt at passage.

Other bills of interest considered this week can be found in the full edition located here.