With less than a month left in the session, the full Senate spent most of Tuesday afternoon digging through a mountain of House bills awaiting final passage. More than 120 House bills were on the Senate’s to-do list, and the upper chamber managed to complete the legislative process on about half of those.
Some were local bills, like HB 581, which allows the City of Zachary to start collecting a hotel tax. Others, like HB 257, could be termed “special interest.” That bill authorizes a new prestige license plate for the Louisiana Golf Association. Proceeds from sales of the plates will help promote junior golf in the state.
A few bills were passed over, because lengthy debate on the measures would have slowed the flow—or because a Senate member wasn’t prepared to present the bill on behalf of its House author.
A three-bill package dealing with domestic violence issues was among the measures the Senate did handle. Representative Helena Moreno’s bills were shepherded by Senator Jean-Paul Morrell, a fellow New Orleanian.
“This bill was drafted with the input of the National Rifle Association, which has taken a neutral posture on it. And I would argue, ladies and gentlemen, this is probably the most important bill in the package,” Morrell told his fellow senators, after achieving unanimous votes on the first two bills in the domestic violence package.
The third measure prohibits those convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns. It too won unanimous approval, and joins the dozens of other bills passed Tuesday. All now await Governor Jindal’s signature to turn them into new Louisiana laws.