The 2021 Legislative Session could be called the “session of attempted vice.” Fortunately, decriminalized prostitution, a massive expansion of gambling, and the legalization of recreational marijuana use have been largely defeated for the year. The prostitution measure was killed quickly in House Committee. The House laid to rest recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana in raw smokable form is languishing in the Senate. A status quo measure to reduce the criminal penalties for simple possession did pass the House and is headed to the Senate.
The Senate did finalize an expansion of sports betting through the internet, the lottery, at bars and restaurants, as well as other venues. There is a big rush to legalize sports betting before the football season begins. Louisiana is hooked on gambling; many lives will now be impacted by addiction as this form of gambling will now be available from the couch to church pew, for anybody anywhere 24/7/365!
Slidell pastors and citizens continue to fight a land-based casino in close proximity to a residential neighborhood. The Senate Judiciary B committee is expected to take up the measure next week. That is the same committee which previously caused a big ethical stir when the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Gary Smith, cast the deciding vote to move a similar bill forward despite the fact that his wife is a lobbyist for the company seeking to operate the new casino. Louisiana Family Forum will continue to stand with the Slidell community in opposition to this boondoggle. Slidell is a great place to live and work, we are fighting to keep it that way.
Looking forward to the coming week, it is likely that the Louisiana House will take up SB 156, Fairness in Women’s Sports Act by Sen. Beth Mizell. The bill easily passed out of the Senate and has just one more hurdle before it reaches the Governor’s desk. Please pray for Sen. Mizell who is a champion for life and family as she moves her bill forward.
Other measures which moved this week:
✅HB 20 by Rep. Miguez - Prohibits private money for election expenses PASSED SENATE
✅ HB 54 by Rep. Edmonds - Ensures integrity in adoption PASSED SENATE JUD. C
✅ HB 103 by Rep. McCormick - Provides civil liability for required COVID-19 vaccinations for employment, school admissions, entry into premises. PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 138 by Rep. Farnum – Ensure the integrity of voter rolls PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 218 by Rep. Huval - Authorizes "baby boxes" under the Safe Haven Law to surrender a baby for adoption in a safe location PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 434 by Rep. Nelson-Taxation for recreational marijuana. FAILED HOUSE
✅ HB 498 by Rep. Edmonston - Prohibits government agencies from discriminating against persons based on vaccination or immunity status. PASSED THE HOUSE
✅ HB 514 by Rep. Magee - Tax on raw form of medical marijuana. SUBJECT TO CALL
🚫 HB 697 by Rep. Stefanski - Regulation of sports bets through La. Lottery PASSED SENATE
✅ HB 704 by Rep. Hodges – Comprehensive Election Integrity PASSED HOUSE
✅ SB 118 by Sen. Morris - Open carry without a permit. PASSED CRIMINAL JUSTICE
🚫 SB 10 by Sen. Fields - Compulsory education @ 5 years of age PASSED HOUSE EDUCATION
✅ SB 170 by Sen. Johns -Establishes Anti-Human Trafficking office of the Gov. PASSED HOUSE AND GOVERNMENT
✅ SB 221 by Sen. Hewitt -Certification and purchase of voting machines. PASSED HOUSE AND GOVERNMENT
🚫 SB 247 by Sen. Cortez – Omnibus sports betting bill PASSED THE SENATE 31-6
LFF will continue to monitor these bills and more as we advance towards the later part of the 2021 legislative session.
If you want to make a difference on the land-based casino proposal currently before the state senate, please contact members of the Senate Judiciary B Committee and ask them to vote against HB 702:
"Senator, as a resident of Slidell (or St. Tammany), I am deeply concerned about the negative effects of a new land based casino near our homes. Please vote “NO” on HB 702 when it comes before the Judiciary B committee. Slidell is a great place to life and work, please help us keep it that way! Thank you."
Sen. Joseph Bouie (504)286-1033 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Cameron Henry (504)838-5433 email@example.com
Sen. Mike Reese (337)238-6435 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Kirk Talbot (504)736-7299 email@example.com
Sen. Greg Tarver (318)227-1499 firstname.lastname@example.org
In His Service,