Preparations have been made, and the marathon is set.
Starting Monday, Mar. 9 and ending, by law, on Jun. 4 at midnight the Louisiana legislative session will kick off the 2020 iteration.
This particular event, however, is surrounded by a quote that continues to be uttered by legislators, state staff, and appointed officials alike.
At a legislative briefing hosted by Livingston Parish Public Schools at the Denham Springs STEM Center this past week, all three legislators in attendance - House speaker Rep. Clay Schexnayder, Rep. Buddy Mincey Jr., and State Sen. Rogers Pope - said the same thing, "this one feels different."
"I'm expecting more energy in the room, and more efficiency," Schexnayder said to the crowd, "we're going to respect one another."
Mincey agreed. "I've trained with this new group of legislators, and met those who kept their seat, and there's just a different feeling for everyone - we're going to do a lot this year."
Even Pope, a multi-year veteran of the Louisiana legislative process, expressed a wistful belief that something outside of the ordinary might just happen this year.
"I'll give the speaker, and the governor, the benefit of the doubt," Pope said of the 'new energy' comments, "right now, I'm seeing a much different approach than I have in the past."
Usually, over 2,000 bills are pre-filed before the legislative session for discussion and debate. This year, less than half of that total has been proposed between the two houses, which lends itself to Schenxnayders comments on 'efficiency,' Pope said.
"We don't see those bills until they're proposed and on the table - many times, you don't even have a lot of a time to make up your mind or gather the necessary information," Pope explained.
"The fewer we have to deal with in the mandated time frame, the better - the less we have to deal with those issues."
Pope himself described his approach to the session as 'reactionary,' and has only proposed two bills heading into the session.
Some bills have more description than others, due to brevity. If you're interested in the full wording of the bill, you can search the bills by following this link ----> http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillSearch.aspx?sid=current
- SB222, POPE (Pending Senate Transportation, Highways, and Public Works)
MOTOR VEHICLES: Allows a towing company to avoid certain penalties based on good-faith reliance on statements of the person contracting the company. (8/1/20)
- SB286, POPE (Pending Senate Health and Welfare)
HEALTH SERVICES: Creates the offense of misrepresentation of entitlement to assistance animals. (8/1/20)
Mincey, on the other hand, has five, while Schexnayder has six.
- HB136 MINCEY (Pending House Administration of Criminal Justice)
CRIME/BATTERY: Creates the crime of adulterating a food product
- HB288, MINCEY (Pending House Judiciary)
CLERKS OF COURT: Provides relative to the purchase of an automobile by the Livingston Parish Clerk of Court
- HB523, MINCEY (Pending House Health and Welfare)
CONSUMERS/PROTECTION: Provides relative to the distribution of kratom products
- HB583, MINCEY (Pending House Ways and Means)
TRUSTS/PUBLIC: Requires certain public trusts to obtain approval of a parish or municipal governing authority under certain circumstances prior to undertaking an authorized public function or purpose
- HB655, MINCEY (Pending House Education)
SCHOOLS/LOCAL SUPERINTDT: Provides relative to the employment of superintendents of schools
- HB35, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Civil Law and Procedure)
LIABILITY: Provides a limitation of liability for donating certain wild game
- HB425, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Education)
BOARDS/COMMISSIONS: Revises membership and provides relative to powers and duties of the Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Commission
- HB445, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Appropriations)
FUNDS/FUNDING: (Constitutional Amendment) Dedication of unclaimed property funds and creation of Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund
- HB536, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Appropriations)
FUNDS/FUNDING: Dedication of unclaimed property funds and creation of Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund
- HB700, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development)
AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES: To provide for the regulation of industrial hemp, industrial hemp products, and industrial hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products
- HCR5, SCHEXNAYDER (Pending House Appropriations)
HOSPITALS: Provides for a hospital stabilization formula
Rep. Valarie Hodges, who represents much of the Watston area, pre-filed 10 while Rep. Sherman Mack, who represents a large part of the northern and eastern portions of Livingston Parish, submitted 11 pre-filed bills.
Mack may have one of the most popular pre-filed bills as HB134 for the 2020 session proposes that Daylight Savings Time become the standard time.
- HB145 HODGES, (Pending House Education)
SCHOOLS: Requires rather than authorizes that students be given the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag in public schools
- HB154 HODGES, (Pending House Education)
HIGHER EDUCATION: Requires each public postsecondary education institution to create a policy discussion program on campus
- HB168 HODGES, (Pending House Commerce)
FIRE PROTECT/FIRE MARSHAL: Provides relative to exemptions for steam heating boilers
- HB169 HODGES, (Pending House Education)
SCHOOLS: Provides relative to first aid training for public school employees
- HB208 HODGES, (Pending House Administration of Criminal Justice)
CRIME: Amends the crime of filing or maintaining false public records
- HB252 HODGES, (Pending House Education)
CURRICULA: Provides relative to required instruction in American history and civics in public schools
- HB253 HODGES, (Pending House Education)
CURRICULA: Requires classroom instruction regarding the Holocaust for high school students
- HB509 HODGES, (Pending House Civil Law and Procedure)
CIVIL/PROCEDURE: Provides disclosure procedures for asbestos and silica claims
- HB607, HODGES, (Pending House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works)
MTR VEHICLE/DRIVER LIC: Provides relative to documentation required for certain driver's licenses
- HB661, HODGES (Pending House Labor and Industrial Relations)
WORKERS COMPENSATION: Provides for vocational rehabilitation for injured employees
- HB16 MACK, (Pending House introduction)
RETIREMENT/STATE EMPS: Provides relative to the selection of certain optional survivor benefits for members of the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System (OR NO IMPACT APV)
- HB40 MACK, (Pending House Natural Resources)
COASTAL RESOURCES: Requires that agreements between an acquiring agency and a landowner for integrated coastal protection projects ensure public recreational access to waterways in the reclaimed lands
- HB55 MACK, (Pending House Health and Welfare)
FUNDS/FUNDING: Creates a special treasury fund for purposes of drug testing and treatment of recipients of certain public assistance
- HB56 MACK, (House Administration of Criminal Justice)
WEAPONS/FIREARMS: Provides relative to the carrying of a concealed weapon
- HB71 MACK, Withdrawn from the files of the House - prior to introduction more...
CRIMINAL/SENTENCING: Provides relative to the execution of a death sentence
- HB134 MACK, (Pending House Commerce)
TIME/DAYLIGHT SAVING: Adopts daylight saving time as the standard time
- HB193 MACK, (Pending House Health and Welfare)
TANF/FITAP: Provides for drug testing requirements for recipients of cash assistance in the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program
- HB222 MACK, (Pending House Administration of Criminal Justice)
CRIMINAL/SENTENCING: Provides relative to the execution of a death sentence
- HB276 MACK, (Pending House Appropriations)
FUNDS/FUNDING: Limits monies deposited into the Transportation Trust Fund from being used to pay for certain Dept. of Transportation and Development expenses
- HB298 MACK, (Pending House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works)
TRANSPORTATION DEPT: Provides for certain requirements to transfer or exchange state and local roads from the state highway system to a parish or municipality
- HB368 MACK, (Pending House Administration of Criminal Justice)
GAMBLING/VIDEO POKER: Provides relative to qualified truck stop facilities
Bills can be withdrawn prior to session, but in most cases they will go through the designated committee (show in parentheses above) and, if passed, will move to either the senate or house floor.
On both floors, as well as committee, bills can be subject to amendments.
Once one house passes it, if it does, then it goes to the other house for approval. If approved in both houses, then it heads to the governor's desk for final signage, or potentially a veto.
If it doesn't pass either house, it returns to committee for another try.