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Jindal signs bills, vetoes legislation from Louisiana legislative session
Written by  // Friday, 19 June 2015 14:55 //

Jindal-collageToday, Governor Bobby Jindal signed bills passed by the Legislature into law, bringing the total number of bills signed for the 2015 Regular Legislative Session to 146. The Governor also vetoed HB 42, HB 137, HB 272, HB 370, HB 555, HB 577, HB 837, SB 48 and SB 250. The veto letters are below.

 

HOUSE

HB 2 by Rep. Robideaux: Relates to the Capital Outlay budget

HB 3 by Rep. Robideaux: Relates to the Omnibus Bond Act

HB 8 by Rep. Montoucet: Relates to the chief of police for the city of Crowley

HB 30 by Rep. Richard: Relates to the Higher Education Financing Fund

HB 50 by Rep. Danahay: Relates to firefighters

HB 63 by Rep. Anders: Relates to Fire Protection District No. 1 in Tensas Parish

HB 84 by Rep. Miller: Relates to the definition of "sales of services" for purposes of sales and use tax

HB 104 by Rep. Arnold: Relates to fees of the 24th Judicial District

HB 105 by Rep. Arnold: Relates to fees of the 24th Judicial District

HB 118 by Rep. Morris: Relates to the constable in Caddo Parish

HB 119 by Rep. Ritchie: Relates to the cigarette and tobacco tax

HB 121 by Rep. Pope: Relates to the Denham Springs Housing Authority

HB 124 by Rep. Burrell: Relates to the Shreveport Downtown Development District

HB 126 by Rep. Hensgens: Relates to the Cameron Parish Waterworks District No. 10

HB 129 by Rep. Jefferson: Relates to nonresident tuition and fees for certain public institutions of higher education

HB 170 by Rep. Hollis: Relates to driving schools

HB 171 by Rep. Jefferson: Relates to certain public historically black colleges and universities

HB 181 by Rep. Brown: Relates to TOPS eligibility

HB 207 by Rep. Harris: Relates to the types of bakery products exempt for sales and use tax

HB 218 by Rep. Broadwater: Relates to net operating loss deduction for corporate income tax

HB 244 by Rep. Foil: Extends the sunset of the Angel Investor Tax Credit

HB 249 by Rep. Leger: Relates to the Convention of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association

HB 267 by Rep. Danahay: Relates to the Sulphur Police Department

HB 336 by Rep. Connick: Relates to the collection of sales and use tax

HB 387 by Rep. Leger: Relates to the tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures for nonresidential property

HB 402 by Rep. Stokes: Adds requirements for eligibility for the income tax credit for taxes paid in other states

HB 445 by Rep. Mack: Relates to entities authorized to provide services related to motor vehicles

HB 448 by Rep. Pugh: Relates to professional organizations that certify persons to perform chemical analysis of a person’s blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance

HB 449 by Rep. Robideaux: Relates to the calculation of the Louisiana apportionment percent and taxable capital for manufacturers of certain aircraft

HB 450 by Rep. Schexnayder: Creates the Home Health Agency Trust Fund

HB 466 by Rep. Barras: Relates to the Enterprise Zone tax credit and eligibility

HB 490 by Rep. Willmott: Relates to interstate highways

HB 501 by Rep. Robideaux: Relates to a state and local sales and use tax exemption for certain aircraft manufactured in Louisiana

HB 508 by Rep. Foil: Authorizes an income tax deduction for tax payers who employ certain qualified, disabled individuals

HB 527 by Rep. Barrow: Creates the Forest Heights Park Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Improvement District

HB 533 by Rep. Price: Relates to the regulation of used motor vehicles

HB 549 by Rep. Thibaut: Relates to exemptions, suspensions, and special rates

HB 566 by Rep. Fannin: Relates to the transfer and deposit of monies among state funds

HB 581 by Rep. Armes: Relates to utility terrain vehicles

HB 624 by Rep. Jackson: Reduces the amount of certain corporate income tax exclusions and deductions

HB 625 by Rep. Simon: Relates to the Children’s Code

HB 629 by Rep Jackson: Reduces certain income and corporation franchise tax credits

HB 635 by Rep. Jackson: Reduces certain tax rebates

HB 663 by Rep. Fannin: Relates to ancillary expenses of state government

HB 691 by Rep. Smith: Creates the Riverbend Crime Prevention and Improvement District

HB 721 by Rep. Ivey: Relates to the penalties collected by the Department of Revenue

HB 748 by Rep. Stokes: Relates to the motion picture investor tax credit and the motion picture infrastructure investor tax credit

HB 774 by Rep. Thierry: Relates to fees charged by the Department of Revenue

HB 779 by Rep. Ponti: Relates to the solar tax credit

HB 791 by Rep. Kleckley: Relates to the expenses of the legislature for FY 2015-2016

HB 793 by Rep. Fannin: Relates to revenue sharing distribution

HB 800 by Rep. Fannin: Relates to supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014-2015

HB 801 by Rep. Fannin: Relates to the expenses of the Louisiana Judiciary for Fiscal Year 2015-2016

HB 805 by Rep. Adams: Relates to the refundable portion of certain tax credits

HB 829 by Rep. Robideaux: Relates to the motion picture tax credit


SENATE

SB 2 by Sen. Claitor: Relates to certain DROP participants

SB 17 by Sen. Guillory: Relates to the Sheriffs’ Pension and Relief Fund

SB 30 by Sen. Kostelka: Relates to illegal possession of stolen property

SB 60 by Sen. Kostelka: Relates to Medicaid fraud

SB 68 by Sen. Buffington: Relates to nursing facilities

SB 93 by Sen. Adley: Prohibits the $25 credit for educational expenses for each child attending nonpublic elementary and secondary school if the tax deduction for payment of tuition and fees is taken and establishes the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education (SAVE) Credit Program

SB 100 by Sen. Morrell: Relates to the motion picture investor tax credit and expenditure verification reports

SB 102 by Sen. Morrell: Relates to the motion picture investor tax credit

SB 103 by Sen. Morrell: Relates to the motion picture investor tax credit

SB 106 by Sen. Morell: Relates to the motion picture investor tax credit

SB 190 by Sen. Claitor: Relates to the records of the governor

SB 260 by Sen. Broome: Creates the Group Benefits Estimating Conference

SB 271 by Sen. White: Relates to the special fuels tax


The Governor also issued the following veto letters:


June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred W. Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: House Bill No. 42 by Representative Jones

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 42 by Representative Jones grants a cost of living adjustment (COLA), which jeopardizes the state’s credit rating by violating previous retirement reform efforts. In 2014, I signed Act 399, which granted a 1.5% COLA starting in July 2014 as long as COLAs were granted every other year until the system was 85% funded. This session, we worked with the author to amend House Bill No. 42 to maintain consistency with Act 399 and grant a COLA next year. In the last minutes of this Legislative Session, the author removed these amendments. Unfortunately, in its final form, this bill undoes prior reforms and undermines our commitment to keep our promises to Louisiana retirees.

Fitch explained in its April 2015 report:
Funding of the state’s two largest pension systems is below average and has been declining. Recent reform efforts may contribute to some modest improvement…Reform efforts in the 2014 legislative session included the passage of Act 399 that instituted reforms to how cost of living increases are granted to retirees and how excess investment earnings are to be applied to address the unfunded actuarially determined liabilities (UAALs), as well as the re-amortization schedule of the UAALs at various funded levels. The reforms are expected to reduce employer contributions and modestly improve the funded ratios of the systems. Annual contributions to LASERS have been consistently below the actuarially-calculated level.

Standard & Poor’s wrote in its April 2015 report:
The pension-funded ratio of 58.7% for 2014 is still weak…The 2014 state legislature passed pension reform that limited diversion from the pension investments for benefit enhancements and linked future pension benefit enhancements to funding levels, which could help boost future funding levels…In our view, the state’s focus on structural solutions to its general fund budget challenges will be a key determinant of its future credit stability in the next two years, as will its ongoing efforts to restore the budget stabilization fund, fund long-term pension and OPEB [Other Post-Employment Benefit] obligations, and adhere to strong debt management practices.

Finally, Moody’s April 2015 report noted that: “Louisiana’s retirement system is underfunded, with a reported pension funded ratio for its largest plan, LASERS, of 59.3% as of June 30, 2014…After applying Moody’s adjustments, Louisiana’s adjusted net pension liability (ANPL) when averaged over a 3-year period ranks 8th largest among the states…” What would make the state’s credit rating go down, they further explain, is “Failure to maintain budget discipline, resulting in overspending and continued structural imbalances.”

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 42 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,
Bobby Jindal

______________________


June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: House Bill No. 137 by Representative Kenneth Havard

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 137 is a broad-reaching expansion of bureaucratic government that would not only discourage vitally needed private sector partnerships, but it would also hinder the state’s ability to provide timely and critical services to the people of Louisiana in a manner that is both efficient and a responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Privatization efforts have saved Louisiana more than $100 million since 2008 in addition to improving service and accessibility. HB 137 would create additional red tape in the governmental contracting process that would curb efforts to reduce the size of government and government spending.

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 137 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

___________________


June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, La 70802

Re: House Bill No. 272 by Representative Robert E. Billiot

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 272 would expand eligibility for participation in a Veterans Criminal Court program to defendants charged with the following violent crimes: Second Degree Battery, Aggravated Assault, Mingling of Harmful Substances, Simple Kidnapping, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Robbery, Purse Snatching, Extortion, Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities, Terrorism, Aggravated Second Degree Battery, Aggravated Assault upon a Peace Officer with a Firearm, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, Second Degree Robbery, Disarming of a Peace Officer, Stalking, Second Degree Cruelty to Juveniles, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Human Trafficking (with an adult), Home Invasion and Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault.

I am proud of the great strides that Louisiana has made to help our veterans integrate back into the community, facilitate their continuing education, and provide veteran-specific mental health services. In 2014, I proudly signed SB 532 by Senator Guillory, also known as the “Veterans Court Program Treatment Act,” which authorized courts to establish specialized Veterans Court programs in various judicial districts tailored specifically for veterans involved in the criminal justice system and focused on reducing criminal recidivism. Current eligibility is strictly limited to defendants charged with non-violent, non-sexual offenses and with no prior violent criminal behavior.

While I have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women and their brave commitment to our country, I am also equally committed to protecting victims of violent crimes and holding offenders accountable for their actions. Under current law, if a defendant completes the requirements of the Veterans Court program, a judge may discharge the defendant from court supervision, set aside the conviction, and dismiss the charges from the defendant’s record under articles 893 or 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. Expanding eligibility to include veteran defendants with violent criminal behavior without requiring (1) a formal mental health diagnosis or a nexus between the veteran defendant’s military experience and his or her violent behavior (2) an exclusion for those who have been dishonorably discharged and (3) input from the victims of crimes such as Second Degree Battery, Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault is not in the best interest of victims or public safety. Lastly, it is not clear as to whether expanding eligibility to violent crimes would allow the court to suspend and set aside a conviction for violent crimes that are otherwise prohibited under La. C.C.P. 894. For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 272 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

_________________


June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, La 70802

Re: House Bill No. 370 by Representative Chris Broadwater

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 370 would establish the Group Benefits Actuarial Committee. The specified committee membership is comprised of the commissioner of insurance, or his designee, the state treasurer, or his designee, and the legislative auditor, or his designee, but provides for no membership or representation from the Office of Group Benefits, nor does it require any actuarial analysis expertise on the part of the members, who are clearly vested with final and ultimate rate setting authority.

This structure creates a rate setting process that would leave state employees and agencies exposed to the possibility of future non-actuarially sound and/or politically driven premium rate determinations. This process would also remove the existing legislative oversight that exists via the executive budget approval process as the Office of Group Benefits would be required to implement the premium rates approved only by the committee. Furthermore, I have already signed SB No. 260 by Senators Broome and Claitor which creates a more appropriate premium rate analyses model with accurate stakeholder representation and maintains the existing legislative oversight structure. Specifically, SB 260 creates the Group Benefits Estimating Conference comprised of members from both the legislative and executive branches and requires the commissioner of administration to use the information developed by the Group Benefits Estimating Conference in the development of premium rates.

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 370 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

_________________________

June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: House Bill No. 555 by Representative James Fannin

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 555 expands the definition of a dealer to include any company that uses a domiciled affiliate to conduct business in the state. The idea of “affiliate nexus” has been litigated in several states, forcing those states to change their laws to conform with the court’s respective decision and creating financial instability as a result. In 2011, I expressed my opposition to similar legislation, House Bill No. 641, which failed to pass.

Until Congress acts on the federal level to address the Commerce Clause issues with affiliate nexus and establish a uniform law on how states should handle companies that have no physical presence within their borders, House Bill No. 555 exposes Louisiana to expensive litigation that has budgetary implications for critical services like healthcare and higher education.

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 555 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

____________________

June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: House Bill No. 577 by Representative Katrina Jackson

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 577 significantly limits the private property rights of Louisiana residents by prohibiting them from challenging, as an interested third party, the annexation of publicly owned property by a municipality. This bill applies to all municipality annexations throughout the state, and is not limited to the specific municipality for which the legislation was intended. If this bill were to become law, property owners who do not own the public property to be annexed, but have a real and actual personal stake in the outcome of the annexation, will no longer have the legal standing necessary to challenge that annexation currently established under R.S. 33:174. Further, I have received veto requests from legislators, concerned constituents and the Louisiana REALTORS.

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 577 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

______________

June 19, 2015

The Honorable Alfred Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: House Bill No. 837 by Representative Edward Price

Dear Mr. Speer:

House Bill No. 837 would allow offenders convicted of violent crimes such as Aggravated Battery, Second Degree Battery, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Robbery, Purse Snatching, and Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities to have these convictions permanently expunged from their criminal record.

Last year, I signed HB 55 by Representative Lopinto, which significantly expanded access to expungements for a broad range of non-violent, non-sexual felony and misdemeanor convictions. However, expanding access to expungements to include violent crimes is a step too far and creates a potential public safety risk to prospective employers, landlords, and various licensing boards that rely on accurate and complete criminal background information in order to make informed decisions. The potential to expand employment opportunities for ex-offenders is far outweighed by the need to have appropriate access to violent criminal histories.

For these reasons, I have vetoed House Bill No. 837 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

_____________________

June 19, 2015

The Honorable Glenn Koepp
Secretary of the Senate
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Re:  Senate Bill No. 48 by Senator Jack Donahue

Dear Mr. Koepp:

Senate Bill No. 48 caps funding for the TOPS scholarship program. I made a promise to the students and families of this state that a TOPS scholarship would be available to every child who worked hard and met the performance criteria established by law—this legislation would renege on that promise. Every year, 34.4 percent of Louisiana first-time freshmen who attend college in Louisiana do so with a TOPS scholarship. Since TOPS was created, it has aided our state by sending nearly half a million students to college who may otherwise not have been able to go.

TOPS has been a great investment for the state:
• It has increased ACT scores, an indicator of college readiness. TOPS recipients’ average score is 21.4, while non-TOPS recipients average 16.7.
• Only 43% of freshmen, who meet the high school course requirements for TOPS, require remediation, but 89% of freshmen who do not meet those course requirements, need remediation.
• TOPS has increased college student retention rates from first to second year and second to third year. While 89% of TOPS’ recipients continue to their sophomore year, 72% of non-TOPS’ recipients do. The disparity is even larger between sophomore and junior year: 82% of TOPS’ recipients continue compared to 61% of non-TOPS recipients.
• Finally, TOPS encourages students to graduate. Sixty-two percent of TOPS recipients finish at four-year universities in six years versus only 32% of students who do not receive TOPS.

For these reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill No. 48 and hereby return it to the Senate.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

__________________

June 19, 2015

The Honorable Glenn Koepp
Secretary of the Senate
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

RE:  Senate Bill No. 250 by Senator Ronnie Johns

Dear Mr. Koepp:

Senate Bill No. 250 would authorize the use of automatic license plate reader camera surveillance programs in various parishes throughout the state. The personal information captured by these cameras, which includes a person’s vehicle location, would be retained in a central database and accessible to not only participating law enforcement agencies but other specified private entities for a period of time regardless of whether or not the system detects that a person is in violation of vehicle insurance requirements. Camera programs such as these that make private information readily available beyond the scope of law enforcement, pose a fundamental risk to personal privacy and create large pools of information belonging to law abiding citizens that unfortunately can be extremely vulnerable to theft or misuse.

For these reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill No. 250 and hereby return it to the Senate.

Sincerely,     

Bobby Jindal
Governor  

 

 

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