Weekly Legislative Update: Bill Continue to Move

Access to High-Quality Schools, Criminal Justice, Current Events & News, Legislation | 04/18/2022

Brigitte Nieland
Government Affairs Director

After brief breaks for a reapportionment veto session and again for Easter, the Legislature is back in full swing. We are pleased to share that several bills that Stand is supporting are moving quickly through the legislative process.

HB 162 by Rep. Marino would provide for the elimination of expungement fees in very limited circumstances. It passed the House by a vote of 95-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary C Committee.

HB 207 by Rep. Hughes would require high school students in the career major strand to take Geometry. This bill aims to assist students on the career education path to be able to be successful on the ACT exam, which includes Geometry. It passed the House with an overwhelming majority vote of 102-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

HB 231 by Rep. Brass would provide for the transfer of academic credit from public postsecondary education institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees to institutions that grant associate degrees. Like SB 261 below, this bill would ease the way for full implementation of high school dual enrollment programs. It passed the House 99-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

HB 333 by Rep. Brass would require the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to include information on certain curricula options as part of the secondary school advisement policy. This bill was filed at the request of the state Dual Enrollment Task Force; Stand Louisiana’s Executive Director Carrie Monica is a member of the Task Force and supports this request. The bill passed the House by a vote of 95-0 and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

HB 460 by Rep. Brass passed the House by a vote of 77-17 and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary B Committee. This bill would expand the purposes to early childhood programs for which a parish governing authority may levy a special tax. Currently, the purpose of special taxes is limited to juvenile justice programs.

Stand strongly supports HB 550 by Rep. Emerson, which would put into law a Type 2 charter school’s ability to establish a Learning Pod at a site outside of the site of the original charter school building. It would also require the charter to notify its authorizer within 30 days of the establishment of a Learning Pod. HB 550 passed the House 97-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

Also strongly supported by Stand is HB 707 by Rep. Duplessis, which provides relative to the expungement of criminal records. This bill is key legislation in criminal justice reform. It came out of the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice without opposition and was reassigned to the Committee on Appropriations.

On the Senate side, SB 261 by Sen. Fields passed the Senate by a vote of 37-0 and has been assigned to the House Education Committee. This bill would provide for public postsecondary education transfer pathways. It is critical for full implementation of dual enrollment programs in secondary schools.

SB 45 by Sen. Foil would require public school governing authorities to adopt policies for cameras in special education classrooms by December 31, 2022. The Senate passed this bill 38-0 and it awaits a hearing in the House Education Committee.

Stand originally opposed HB 363 by Rep. Bryant, which would provide that student learning targets used to inform the student growth component of teacher and administrator evaluations be developed collaboratively between the person being evaluated and their evaluator. It would further prohibit a target not developed in this manner from being used in the evaluation. Amendments were adopted that addressed Stand’s objections and we now take no position on the bill. It was unanimously reported out of committee and is awaiting a vote in the full House.

Stand staff was pleased to host the LEAD Fellows at the Capitol for a day of committee hearings and floor debates last week. The Fellows were introduced by Rep. McFarland in the House Appropriations Committee following a lively conversation regarding HB 33 by Rep. Devillier, which is a limited education savings account (ESA) bill that was reported favorably out of committee.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITY: Stand is partnering with Louisiana Policy Institute for Children to host two online trainings on Advocacy 101 on April 20th and April 27th. Click here to register for one or both webinars.

We will continue to keep you informed throughout the legislative session. All bills can be viewed at the legislative website legis.la.gov.

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