SB 203 of 2022 RS – Vetoed by Governor – Created an Education Savings Account (ESA) to give parents more choice in the best educational setting for their child. This bill would allow parents with a K-3 child reading below grade level to move their child to a private, parochial, or homeschool and use their state education dollars to offset the costs.
SB 225 of 2017 RS - Act 392 – Creates the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (LaSTEM) Advisory Council to oversee the creation, delivery, and promotion of STEM education programs and to align them with the future workforce needs of STEM industries to provide jobs for our citizens in high-demand, high-paying careers. In addition, LaSTEM will focus on encouraging and training more women to enter STEM careers, shrinking the gender pay gap. Successes to date include the annual Festival de Robotique, a FIRST robotics competition for 300 students from around the state on the grounds of the Louisiana State Capitol. Other accomplishments include a new STEM diploma endorsement for high school students who have taken and passed the required number of approved STEM classes and free tuition for K-12 teachers interested in additional college training in STEM. The First Annual Stem Summit was held ept 2018 to facilitate the development of regional master plans between industry partners and educational institutions that will prepare our citizens for high-paying, high-demand, Louisiana jobs.
SB 222 of 2021 RS – Act 438 – Tackled our state’s literacy problem by establishing phonics, or the “science of reading,” as the methodology for teaching reading. The Superintendent called this the most comprehensive literacy bill in recent history. It includes a new K-2 accountability system, universal screeners performed three times a year to identify reading gaps, interventions for teacher and parents to improve reading skills, and a new higher education curriculum for teaching the “science of reading.”
SR 133 of 2021 RS – Requests the State Department of Education to recreate the Louisiana Early Literacy Commission to study and make recommendations relative to improving reading proficiency for our younger students.
SB 190 of 2022 RS – Act 541 – Establishes the Computer Science Education Act, which requires that computer science skills be taught in K-12 grade to provide our students with the skills they need to compete in a digital economy. Work is underway to develop the curriculum and train the teachers. Louisiana has fallen behind the rest of the country, as only 29% of our high schools offer computer science classes as part of their curriculum.
SB 191 of 2022 RS – Act 502 – Allows high schools to offer computer coding as a foreign language choice to meet the high school graduation requirements and TOPS requirements.
SB 50 of 2022 RS – Act 533 – Provides for school choice to allow high school students pursuing a career/technical path to attend another high school in their school district if their high school does not offer the desired program. Students are able to both graduate from high school and earn an industry-based credential, associate degree, or an apprenticeship while in high school and enter the workforce upon graduation.
SR 129 of 2022 RS – Request the Nursing Supply and Demand Council to study and make recommendations to improve statewide nurse retention in response to the nursing workforce shortage.
SB 446 of 2016 RS - Act 619 – Required the Board of Regents to conduct a comprehensive review of our present post secondary education system and to recommend the optimal delivery of post-secondary education in the future that will meet the needs of the state's citizens and industries, while maximizing the state's resources. This bill was the foundation for additional legislation in the areas of workforce and career readiness, college and career preparation, academic programs, and faculty. The lack of a governance review led to SB43 of 2018 RS.
SB 43 of 2018 RS - Co-authored a bill with Sen Appel to eliminate all of the higher education management boards except one.
SB 400 of 2018 RS - Act 612 - Co-chair the Dedicated Funds Review Sub-Committee, created by Act 355 of 2017 RS, to regularly review the $1B in statutorily dedicated funds. SB 400 of 2018 RS resulted in the elimination of $120M in statutorily dedicated funds, requiring those entities to compete annually for state general funding instead. Other funds will be reviewed every year.
SB 181 of 2019 RS – Act 404 – Eliminated a number of dedicated funds, requiring those entities to compete for State General Funds and allowing the legislature to prioritize funding that meets the needs of today’s citizens, rather than the priorities from decades ago.
SB 308 of 2020 RS – Act 119 – Improved the work and processes of the Dedicated Funds Review Sub-Committee.
SCR 96 of 2019 RS – Requests that the Revenue Estimating Conference include dedicated funds and fees/self-generated revenues in the long-range forecast.
SB 443 of 2016 RS - Act 586 – Authored a Medicaid transparency bill which established the Medicaid Subcommittee and requires them to provide quarterly forecast and cost data to assist the Legislature in developing and managing the budget. With 40 cents of every state dollar being spent on healthcare, managing the state's healthcare expenses is critical.
SB 182 of 2018 RS - Act 651 – Requires the Medicaid subcommittee to review their quarterly forecasts with the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
SB 187 of 2017 RS - Act 387 – Establishes a pilot program to utilize evidenced-based budgeting methodologies to invest in cost-effective programs with known positive outcomes in adult mental health. A Feb 2018 audit found that we doubled our mental health funding from 2012 to 2016, yet only 40% of the $445M spent on mental health services in 2016 were on evidenced-based programs known to have positive results. We need to adopt the best-practices of dozens of other states who have partnered with the Pew Foundation to instill a results-oriented rigor to investment decisions.
HB 342 of 2018 RS - Act 87 - Amended a bill by Rep Abramson to add a requirement that the Department of Revenue perform a comprehensive return on investment (ROI) analysis for all tax incentive programs for which the state's revenue loss was $1M or more in the previous fiscal year and to rank order the incentive programs, based on ROI. With over $7B in tax incentive programs given to businesses, we need to know which ones are the most effective in creating jobs and growing the state's economy.
SB 173 of 2021 RS – Would have extended the Motion Picture Production Tax Credit and improved the program to ensure that the program incentivizes the creation of LOCAL jobs.
SR 175 of 2017 RS - Requests the Senate Fiscal Affairs staff to report annually on the new statutory dedications created by the legislature that year.
SR 174 of 2017 RS - Requests the Senate Fiscal Affairs staff to report annually on the state funding distributed to local government entities.
SR 178 of 2022 RS – Acknowledges the right of parents to decide whether to vaccinate a child for COVID-19 and the role of the state in providing information to allow parents to make an informed decision.
SCR 16 of 2019 RS – Requested that the Department of Health add Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to the state’s newborn screening panel, which has allowed newborns to receive early, life-changing treatment for this debilitating disease.
SB 166 of 2020 RS – Act 347 -- Creates the Medicaid Estimating Conference, which I co-chair, to develop the official forecast of the Medicaid program for the purposes of budget development. With Medicaid being 40% of the state’s budget, engaging healthcare economists in forecasting the Medicaid budget and having more legislative oversight is critical to ensuring that the program is neither overfunded nor underfunded.
SB 188 of 2017 RS - Would have promoted community engagement and work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid Expansion recipients, many of whom dropped their private insurance to qualify for Medicaid. While Medicaid funding for low-income, able-bodied citizens is unlimited, thousands of disabled and elderly citizens have died while on waiting lists for Medicaid services. Medicaid was never intended to be a lifelong healthcare program for able-bodied adults, but rather a safety net for those who really need it.
SR 163 of 2017 RS - Requests the Louisiana Department of Health to provide data on able-bodied Medicaid recipients and to report on the Medicaid community engagement and work requirement programs in other states.
SB 347 of 2018 RS - Act 665 - Aligned funding for waiver programs for developmentally disabled citizens with new tiered waiver program. Efforts in 2018 resulted in an additional $19M in funding for disabled community, citizens with highest needs receiving new waivers, and pay increases for support workers performing complex tasks.
SB 260 of 2022 RS – Act 242 – Provided more clarity around the waiver program for the disability community.
SB 98 of 2022 RS – Act 128 – Reorganized the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf to provide them more autonomy. I proudly serve on this Board.
SB 51 of 2019 RS – Act 45 – Helped address a shortage of certified medication attendants for the disabled community by eliminating the state residency requirement.
SB 466 of 2016 RS - Act 537 - Requires approval by the legislature prior to the sale of a publicly-owned hospital.
SB 259 of 2022 RS – Act 542 - Requires the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Education, the Louisiana Department of Health, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission to report to the legislature annually regarding the agency's policies and processes for identifying and eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse in certain government-funded programs.
SB 466 of 2020 RS – Act 302 – Allows public bodies to hold meetings electronically during gubernatorial declared emergencies or disasters.
SR 45 of 2020 RS – Amends Senate rules to permit members to vote via video or other electronic means during a declared emergency.
SB 171 of 2019 RS – Vetoed by Governor – Would have required boards and commissions that issue licenses and permits to provide a quarterly report about consumer complaints to the Legislative Auditor and the legislative committee responsible for oversight.
SR 55 of 2020 RS – Directs the executive branch agencies under jurisdictional oversight of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee to continue to submit statutorily mandated reports until such time as the mandate is specifically amended or repealed.
SB 133 of 2018 RS - Act 357 - Clarifies the definition of public records relative to engineering drawings submitted by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal to the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board or the State Board of Architectural Examiners for review.
SB 445 of 2018 RS - Act 572 - Provides for a review of the usefulness of each executive branch report on its 5th year anniversary to determine whether staff time can be reduced by eliminating a report that the recipients no longer read or need.
SB 221 of 2021 RS – Act 480 – Requires the Louisiana Secretary of State to replace our aging voting machines (Digital Recording Equipment-DREs) with a paper-based voting system that will give us the ability to audit our election results and recount all of the votes cast in a disputed election.
SB 258 of 2022 RS – Act 286 – Established clear processes for the legislature, governor, and secretary of state to alter election processes during a declared state of emergency, with both the legislative branch and the executive branch providing checks and balances.
SCR 55 of 2020 RS – Established the Closed Party Primary Task Force, which I chaired, to study the necessary steps to develop a closed party primary election system applicable at the federal, state, and local levels, beginning with the 2022 congressional elections.
SB 50 of 2022 RS – Act 178 – Allows disabled citizens to serve as poll watchers
HB 524 of 2018 RS - Act 270 - Co-authored legislation with Rep Carpenter (similar to my SB 404) and led the legislative effort to establish sexual harassment prevention policies and training for public servants. My request for a Legislative Auditor investigation into past sexual harassment allegations, settlements, and hiring practices has shined a bright light on the need to ensure a safe workplace for all employees.
SB 182 – 2019 RS – Act413 - Seeks to reduce the impact of sexual harassment judgments and settlements on the taxpayers of the state, when there has been a determination that a valid claim of sexual harassment by a state employee has occurred, the state should consider certain factors in determining whether the alleged sexual harasser should be required to reimburse all or a portion of the judgment or settlement.
SB 491 of 2020 RS – Act 303 – Limits liability of persons who provide relief or recovery equipment or services during a declared state of emergency, such as COVID-19.
SCR 7 of 2020 RS – Urges and requests that certain parish and local governments dismiss the 43 coastal lawsuits against hundreds of oil and gas companies.
SB 382 of 2018 RS, SB 148 of 2019 RS, and SB 12 of 2020 RS - Would have eliminated the seatbelt gag rule, which prevents juries from being told that individuals injured in a car accident were not wearing their seatbelts, in accordance with state law. The Commissioner of Insurance testified that the passage of this bill would have lowered car insurance rates, which are the second highest in the nation.
SCR 57 of the 2020 RS – Requests the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana State Bar Association to implement a lawyer advertisement review recognition program, which is now in place.
SB 88 of 2020 RS – Would have provided that evaluations of attorney advertisements by the Louisiana State Bar Association to be subject to the Public Records law.
SCR 56 of 2020 RS – Requests CPRA and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to cooperate in developing projects and programs to enhance the oyster industry, particularly in light of the impact on the industry with the planned diversions.
SR 219 of 2017 RS - Creates the Lower Pearl River Basin (LPRB) Task Force to study the conditions, needs, issues, and funding relative to flood protection and preservation of the LPRB. Major accomplishments to date include funding to eliminate the log jam near Bogalusa and coordinated opposition to the One Lake project upstream in Jackson, MS.
SCR 114 of 2019 RS, SCR 51 of 2020 RS, and SCR 83 of 2021 RS – Re-establishes the Lower Pearl River Basin Task Force to continue to lead Louisiana’s opposition to the One Lake project upstream in Jackson, MS and to help coordinate the sill removal project near Locks 1 and 2.
SR 86 of 2018 RS - Requests the oil and gas industry in Louisiana to provide access to 3D seismic data interpretations to support work on land subsidence modeling that will allow for more informed decisions on sustainable coastal restoration programs, flood protection structures, and state highways/bridges. This work will result in the creation of a Fault Atlas and will have a major impact on the Coastal Master Plan, the Highway Priority Program and other infrastructure programs.
SB 132 of 2017 RS - Act 189 - Co-authored with Sen White a bill to provide an exception for portions of the Comite River, Pearl River, Tchefuncte River, Bogue Falaya River, Abita River, Amite River, and Bayou Manchac from provisions of the natural and scenic rivers program.
SR 172 of 2017 RS - Co-authored with Sen White a resolution to request that the Department of Transportation and Development work with other state agencies to develop floodplain management plans for each watershed in Louisiana that will allow us to study construction or maintenance impacts, including channelization, dredging, and clearing and snagging activities, upon river basins in the state. Major accomplishments to date include the receipt of $1.3B in Federal funding, the completion of a hydrology model for the Amite, a comprehensive plan to model the rest of the rivers, and a plan to begin identifying construction or maintenance projects on our many rivers to reduce flooding.
SR 132 of 2021 RS – Requests the Department of Transportation and Development to study the privatization of ferry operations throughout the state.
SCR 12 of 2022 RS – Requests that Congress and the Biden administration stop delays in offshore oil and natural gas lease sales.
SCR 34 of 2021 RS - Requested the Department of Natural Resources to review their permitting cycle times and to make recommendations to expedite the permitting processes.
SB 353 of 2020 RS – Act 119 - Updated and clarified existing 2009 laws on carbon capture and storage for landowners and businesses involved in reducing our carbon emissions.
SB 124 of 2021 RS - Act 224 - Requires the playing or singing of the national anthem prior to certain athletic contests at venues whereby the construction, operation, or maintenance of which is funded wholly or partially by the state or a political subdivision of the state.
SB 283 of 2016 RS - Act 616 - Provides for application by certain military personnel to be certified as a licensed professional engineer in Louisiana.
SB 549 of 2018 RS - Act 675 - Allows for surplus military vehicles originally sold as off-road vehicles to be licensed for regular use by civilians and veterans alike.
SR 107 – 2021 RS – Requests the Legislative Auditor to conduct an efficiency audit of the Department of Children and Family Services’ administration of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
SB 388 of 2022 RS – Act 548 – Protects pregnant mothers by prohibiting companies from mailing chemical abortion pills directly to mothers living in Louisiana.
SB 127 of 2018 RS - Act 233 - Prohibits credit reporting agencies from charging a fee to place, reinstate, temporarily lift, or revoke a security freeze on one's credit report.
SB 314 of 2018 RS - Would allow small businesses manufacturing craft beer or wine to self-distribute a limited volume of their products directly to retailers, as is done in 40 other states.
SB 208 of 2018 RS - Act 484 - Protects the community and past victims by preventing a person convicted of a crime punishable by 25 years or more that is both a crime of violence and a sexual offense from getting out on bail while awaiting sentencing.
SB273 of 2020 RS – Act 117 - Creates a registration for managed service providers doing business in this state with a public body, provides access for public bodies to obtain information on managed service providers, and requires managed service providers to report cyber incidents and the payment of cyber ransom or ransomware.
SCR 20 of 2017 RS - Encourages communities to support their local artists by designating the first week of December as Shop Local Artists Week in Louisiana.
SB 15 of 2017 RS - Improved legislation governing the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District.
SB 32 of 2018 RS – Act 221, SB 518 of 2020 RS – Act 365, and SB 184 of 2021 RS – Act 49 - Improved legislation governing the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 2.
SB 35 of 2019 RS – Act 182 and SB 27 of 2020 RS –Act 207 – Improved legislation governing the Harbor Center and increased funding.