Public Policy Update: May 24, 2016

With 14 days remaining in the 2016 regular legislative session, budget discussions continue. Sign up for our email list to receive real-time Action Alerts and information about our advocacy work.

Both the Public (LA 4) and Non-public National Standard Classification of Education (NSCED) Pre-K programs have not been cut in the current version of House Bill 1, which is now before the Senate.  The budget recommended by the Governor kept these Pre-K programs whole, as did the House Appropriations Committee, and then the full House as they passed HB 1. 

Early education legislation, HB 361 by Rep. Steven Pylant, providing penalties for operation of an early learning center without a license is now scheduled for the Senate floor.  The Partnership continues to closely monitor legislation that would create a pilot program for LA3, HB 1162. We are concerned that the current child care assistance program (CCAP) is underfunded and continues to see dropping enrollment. View the latest statistics on the CCAP program.

HB 694 by Rep. Helena Moreno has been signed by Governor Edwards and is now Act 145!  This bill provides relative to required coverage for reconstructive surgeries following mastectomies.  Thank you to United Way of Southeast Louisiana's Public Policy Chairman, Kim Sport, Norma Grace and Dr. Alan Stolier for their testimony. Please join us in giving special thanks to Rep. Helena Moreno who authored this bill for us and Governor John Bel Edwards!  Click here for information on HB 694 (Act 145).

SB 90 by Sen. Ronnie Johns, raising the threshold age for human trafficking victims from 18-21, received unanimous support in both the House and the Senate and now moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.

SR 107 by Sen. Ronnie Johns was adopted. This Resolution designates the month of May as Foster Care Month.  WHEREAS, every child deserves the safety, love, and well-being of a permanent family and home. 

The equal pay legislation, SB 254 by Sen. JP Morrell, died in the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations Committee despite testimony in FAVOR of this bill by UWSELA’s COO, Charmaine Caccioppi, showing our state is last in the nation in the ratio of women’s earning compared to men – 65 cents to the dollar.   

For more information on the status of our state’s working families, read the ALICE report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and our United Against Poverty Public Policy Agenda.