May 7, 2021
This week was one of the busiest we’ve ever seen at the Capitol. With so many bad bills up for debate and voting, Team LFF had its hands full.
I’m excited to share that SB 156, Senator Beth Mizell’s bill to protect biological women from being forced to compete against biological men who claim to be women, has passed the Louisiana Senate with bipartisan support, by a vote of 29-6.
Only six senators voted against the bill: Sen. Gerald Boudreaux (D-Lafayette), Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans), Sen. Cleo Fields (D-Baton Rouge), Sen. Jimmy Harris (D-New Orleans), Sen. Jay Luneau (D-Alexandria), and Sen. Edward Price (D-Gonzales).
Interestingly, the only senators who voted to oppose protecting opportunities for biological women were biological men. Hmm!
Despite national polls which side show 70% of the public siding with LFF’s position in support of this bill, and overwhelming support in the Senate, this bill faces intense opposition from House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Governor John Bel Edwards. In order for passage, it must clear House Education, which narrowly rejected a similar bill by a 6-5 vote on Wednesday. Two Republicans voted against the bill, preventing it from moving forward: Rep. Barbara Freiburg (R-Baton Rouge) and Rep. Stephanie Hilferty (R-New Orleans).
In another bizarre win earlier this week, a bill to legalize prostitution was withdrawn from consideration by the sponsor after committee members received several thousand messages from LFF supporters furious that the bill was even being considered – even with hundreds of “sex workers” present for the debate, all wearing t-shirts with a slogan we can’t print in a family-friendly publication.
Much work remains. Proposals to expand sports betting to 24/7/365 and proposals to legalize recreational marijuana will both be voted on Monday on the House Floor. Our message to legislators has been simple: choose virtue over vice, stand against foolish games, and don’t justify a vice by calling it “economic development.”
So far, that message has resonated, but we’ll need your voice to amp up the volume on these bills. Please tell House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (you can call his office at 225-473-6016) that women in sports deserve a level playing field. Tell House members to Vote NO on Marijuana, NO on 24/7 sports betting at the casino and on the couch, and NO to a Slidell land-based casino.
Louisiana’s Legislative Wrap up for this Week:
✅ HB 20 by Rep. Miguez - Prohibits private funds for election-expenses PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 167 by Rep. M. Johnson - Provides removal of deceased persons from voter registration rolls PASSED SENATE AND GOVERNMENT
✅ HB 273 by Rep. Beaullieu - Constitutional amendment to limit growth in state government PASSED HOUSE CIVIL LAW
🚫 HB 391 by Rep. Magee - Smoking medical marijuana PASSED THE HOUSE 73-26
✅ HB 401 by Rep. Green – Allows purchasing lottery tickets over the internet. FAILED IN HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
✅ HB 423 by Rep. Emerson - Requires additional information in abortion reporting PASSED HOUSE HEALTH AND WELFARE
🚫 HB 497 by Rep. Dubuisson - Authorizes elections for riverboat gaming operations in St. Tammany Parish. PENDING ON HOUSE FLOOR (05/12/21)
✅ HB 531 by Rep. Pressly - Increases Massage Therapy Board oversight over illicit massage parlors and human trafficking. PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 578 by Rep. Amedee - Requires abortionist to disclose to patient that abortion drug is reversible. PASSED HOUSE HEALTH AND WELFARE
✅ HB 596 by Rep. Fontenot - Replaces concealed carry permit with 60 minute online educational course. PASSED THE HOUSE
🚫 HB 697 by Rep. Stefanski - Taxation of voter approved sports betting. Allows for mobile betting. PENDING ON THE HOUSE FLOOR (05/10/21)
🚫 HB 699 by Rep. Nelson - Decriminalization of recreational marijuana. PENDING ON HOUSE FLOOR (05/10/21)
✅ HCR 5 by Rep. McCormick - Suspends criminal penalties for religious assembly during emergency proclamations PASSED HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
✅ HR 20 by Rep. Edmonston - Orders educational establishment inform students & parents of right to refuse vaccinations PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ SB 151 by Sen. Barrow – Foster Child’s Bill of Rights PASSED SENATE HEALTH AND WELFARE WITH AMENDMENTS
✅ SB 156 by Sen. Mizell - Prohibits Men from competing in Female Sports. PASSED THE SENATE 29-6
✅ SB 198 by Sen. Cathey - Prohibits Vaccine Passport for public facilities PASSED THE SENATE
✅ SB 224 by Sen. Cloud - Prohibits the use of ballot drop boxes. PASSED SENATE AND GOVERNMENT
🟡 SB 235 by Sen Hewitt - Closed primary system DEAD FOR THE SESSION