2019 Legislative Summary

The Louisiana Legislature wrapped up the 2019 session last week failing women and families yet again. Here’s a rundown of what these lawmakers rejected and what they passed.

Economic Justice

Lawmakers failed to make progress on the minimum wage, paid leave, equal pay for women and a host of other issues that would have helped women, workers, and families.

HB422 by Representative Duplessis would have allowed local cities and towns to increase minimum wage and mandate companies provide their employees sick leave. FAILED in Committee.

HB302 by Representative Joseph Bouie  would have enacted the Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination. FAILED in Committee.

SB5 by Senator J.P. Morrell would have ended the state and local sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products. This bill made it to Conference Committee where it failed to receive the number of signatures needed in the Senate. FAILED in the Senate.

SB136 by Senator J.P. Morrell would have prohibited pay secrecy which is critical to ensuring Equal Pay. FAILED in the Senate.

SB155 by Senator Troy Carter  would have allowed people to vote on a Constitutional Amendment to raise the minimum wage to $9.00/hour. FAILED in the Senate.

SB186 by Senator J.P. Morrell would have enacted the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act which was supported by a broad coalition of organizations. FAILED in the Senate Finance Committee.

The Budget. Negotiations were successful in getting significant funding for early childhood education. WIN!

Equal Rights Amendment

SCR2 by Senator J.P. Morrell would have made Louisiana the 38th state, and last state needed to ratify the ERA. The bill was opposed by the Louisiana Right to Life and Family Forum. FAILED in the Senate.

Reproductive Rights

SB184 by Senator John Milkovich  bans abortions around six week ban, with no exceptions for rape and incest. There were several attempts to amend this bill to include exceptions which lawmakers rejected. The Louisiana Right to Life opposed any exceptions.

HB425 by Representative Katrina Jackson is a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit abortions and public funding for abortions with no exceptions for rape and incest. After negotiations with the bills author, the date was changed and the amendment will now be on the ballot in November 2020.

Lawmakers passed several other new restrictions targeting abortion clinics and doctors with requirements that are medically unnecessary and impose steep penalties for violations.

Twice as many legislators voted against the six week abortion ban as have voted against abortion restrictions in past years. We believe that public pressure on lawmakers to reject this extreme bill made a difference in their votes. So we call that a WIN!

Watch all the debates from this legislative session on Lift's YouTube Channel


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