Post Session LCCB Legislative Review June 14, 2023
Although the post session review is ongoing, the following is a summary of the session as of June 14th as aligned with our principles and priorities entering the session. I will provide the final overview once we know which ones have become law.
This fiscal session ended chaotically with last minute presentation and approval of the budget. Some movement with teachers’ stipends (not actual raises) some funds for early childhood education and paying down the debt. However, 100 million was cut from the Louisiana Department of Health which is of concern.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
- LCCB worked collaboratively to keep the abortion laws in place including no exceptions for rape and incest.
- We are saddened that despite visible witness by the Catholic Church we were not able to overturn the death penalty.
- We actively opposed and stopped permit less carry gun legislation and supported tax credits for safety firearms devices and a resolution to study gun violence prevention. We testified to the billions of dollars of human, societal and economic costs to Louisiana citizens each year due to gun violence.
Call to Family Community and Participation
- We were not able to push through the Parental Choice legislation that would have given parents about 5400 per student to choose the best educational option.
- We were able to increase the allocations to the School and Nutrition free breakfast and lunch program for $860,000.
- We supported and moved legislation to enhance maternal health care centers, improve adoption incentives, allow doulas who are non-clinical support for pregnancy services to be covered by insurance.
- We supported HB 648 to prohibit gender transition procedures. This will be vetoed by the Governor and wait to see if the legislature has any appetite to convene a veto override session which they do have the votes.
- We supported the School Safety Act which will provide funding for all schools to improve safety measures.
- We were glad legislation moved that will improve voting processes for persons with disabilities.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
- We supported a resolution to study reimbursement rates for our intermediate care facilities that take care of some of our most vulnerable children with medically complex needs. This may help our facilities in the Archdiocese, Alexandria Shreveport Dioceses.
- We testified and got passed into statute the Interagency Homeless Council for Louisiana and testified to address the homeless encampments under the Interstate in New Orleans.
- Funding for domestic violence shelters was increased along with legislation that will reduce the time it takes to implement protective orders.
Solidarity in Restorative Justice
- We defeated by testifying against attempts to remove $5,000,000 from the Department of Corrections that had the potential impact on our reentry programs.
- However, we are concerned that several pieces of legislation will now increase incarceration These were mostly aimed at incarcerating juveniles for violent offenses instead of rehabilitation for juveniles.
- We provided information on a resolution that assumes the criminal justice reforms had not worked by providing information on the success of our re-entry programs that have worked in helping to restore lives and reduce recidivism.
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
- We were unable again to raise the minimum wage or close the equal pay gap for women which is one of the largest in the nation.
- We were unable to provide an earned income tax credit that would have helped working families move out of poverty. The Paid Medical and Family Leave legislation did not move either.
Care for God’s Creation
- Once again, the chemical industry lobby blocked reasonable and cost-effective measures to protect residents. Air monitors are needed around all plants, not just Petrochemical plants, that produce toxins and citizens have a right to know. LCCB continues to advocate for reasonable air safety measures.
- We supported resolutions to extend FEMA Housing after IDA and are supportive that 32 million was added to IDA recovery from the State General Fund and funding for fortified roofs.
- LCCB provided Weekly Updates to 6900 advocates on our Voter Voice website during the 8-week session. About 50% would open the email each week. In addition, we would issue Call to Action Alerts on priority legislation. Thank you for being faithful citizens!
We are concerned that the current budget removed $100 million from the Louisiana Department of Health. In addition, we continue to support HB 648 to prohibit gender transition procedures to minors.