Skip to main content

Week 3: The Committees Weigh In

This week, the legislature was finally in full swing. Many bills passed through committee and are on their way to having a real-life impact on teachers, support staff, and their students throughout Louisiana. Here are some to watch:


Senate Bill 43 by Sen. Appel would require that principals seek and consider input from their students when conducting the annual review of the crisis management and response plan for a high school. In the Senate Education Committee meeting this week Louisiana high school students spoke passionately about their desire to play a more active role in their own safety at school and it was reported favorably out of the committee on Thursday. LFT supports this bill.


Senate Bill 66: by Sen. Riser will expand the current law mandating openness and transparency in meetings between public officials and allows for further financial penalties against those who violate the open meeting policies and laws. This bill was reported favorably out of the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs on Wednesday and scheduled for final passage in the Senate on Monday. LFT supports this bill.

Senate Bill 136 by Sen. Morrell allows employees to discuss their wages with co-workers. It is important for colleagues to have the option to discuss salaries in order to help overcome discrimination or disparate treatment in the workplace. This wouldn’t require anyone to disclose their salary, but would prohibit an employer from requiring their employees do not discuss or disclose salary. This bill was reported favorably by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on Thursday. LFT supports this bill.


Senate Bill 155 by Troy Carter is a potential constitutional amendment that would establish a state-wide minimum wage of $9/hour. Currently, Louisiana doesn’t have a minimum wage, so by default the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour applies. This was reported favorably out of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on Thursday, but would require approval from voters before becoming law. This would increase wages for tens of thousands of people and stimulate economic growth across the state. LFT supports this bill.


On Monday, the House Commerce Committee will consider HCR 3 by Rep. Edmonds, which would reduce local governments’ authority over tax exemptions in their district. For decades, a state board decided whether or not to approve local property tax exemptions under the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP). This led to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in local tax revenue which could have gone to improving our schools, our roads or whatever else local districts felt was necessary. In 2016 Governor Edwards reformed the program in an executive order which gave local governing bodies a seat at the table when considering these tax exemptions and required that companies applying for those exemptions must demonstrate job creation or job retention (or both) in order to get industrial tax exemptions. This bill would roll back that local control and create an overarching review board for ITEP proposals. LFT opposes this bill.

The House Retirement Committee will consider House Bill 28 by Rep. Ivey. This bill couldundermine the strength of our pension and jeopardize the retirement savings for generations of educators by creating hybrid direct contribution accounts to be spent by private, third party investors. By taking future teachers' retirement savings and putting it into individual 401K plans, this bill could undermine the strength of the state pension. Statistically, 401K plans have a lower investment return than pensions and since teachers in Louisiana aren't able to collect social security, this could leave retired educators destitute. LFT opposes this bill.

On Monday morning, the Senate Finance committee will consider Senate Bill 6 by Senator Hensgens. This bill would make it possible for teachers and classroom aids to deduct up to $250 worth of classroom supplies each year. We all know teachers and support staff spend hundreds of dollars each semester on school supplies for their students, and this would help alleviate some of that burden by making those expenses tax deductible, up to $250. LFT supports this bill.

BESE will consider the MFP on May 7th. As we mentioned in previous updates, the House Education committee sent the MFP back to BESE and asked them to cut $39 million in school funding. On May 7th, BESE will decide whether or not to honor that request. We hope that BESE will stick with their original, unanimous decision and vote to fund our schools. They had it right the first time and now they have the opportunity to stand up to politicians who want to cut school funding! Tell BESE to not cut the MFP!

In the next few weeks we will also see a lot of fiscal bills that can impact local taxes and school district revenue. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION AS IT COMES OUT BY SIGNING UP FOR LFT TEXT UPDATES.

Share This