BRAC had some big wins last week at the Capitol. Six bills BRAC supports moved forward, starting with HB 199 (Schexnayder), establishing the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission, which made it out of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee. SB 148 (Cortez), the MJ Foster Promise Program providing financial aid to adult learners, passed both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Floor before heading to the House Education Committee for debate tomorrow, Tuesday, May 11. Also, HB 322 (Freeman) was amended to include the language needed for the Board of Regents and the Department of Education to share data. BRAC testified in support of three bills this week, with all passing their respective committees and now awaiting debate on the House or Senate floor:
- HB 456 (Edmonds), protecting employee data submitted to the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED)
- HB 459 (Freiberg), allowing data sharing between workforce and the Board of Regents
- SB 227 (Barrow), creating the Plank Road Economic Development District
This week will see many of the same pieces of legislation on the agenda, as we have officially crossed the halfway point in the legislative session. The Senate will hold debates on SB 227 & HB 199 during the early part of this week; unlike the House, the Senate does not put specific dates on hearings for bills. House Ways and Means will pass the Capital Outlay bill, HB 2 (Bishop), out of committee this morning. HB 2 is the bill with all the means of financing for political entities across the state to fund specific projects, including roads, drainage, parks, and buildings. Tomorrow, the Ways and Means Committee will debate SB 159 (Allain), eliminating federal personal income tax deduction and setting the maximum rate at 5 percent. SB 159 is one of the bills being pushed heavily by the legislative leadership and looks likely to pass. Also tomorrow, the House floor will hear BRAC-supported HB 693 (Davis & Ward), phasing in a share of the current .45 state sales and use tax while directing it towards the Transportation Trust Fund and extending a portion of the sunset date until 2031, and HB 456. That brings us to Wednesday morning, where SB 148 will be in the House Education Committee.
For the most part, the legislature has filtered out the measures that are not making it through the process and is focusing on the bills with a chance to pass. We are 31 days until the end of the legislative session. If legislation is not out of its chamber of origin by the end of the week, it will be very tight to get through the process in time.
BRAC investor businesses are invited to further engage in this work by joining BRAC’s Legislative Committee, which develops and supports issues that promote a positive, proactive economic environment for the Capital Region. Reach out to staff lead David Zoller at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. View BRAC’s 2021 legislative priorities here.
As BRAC’s Manager of Governmental Affairs, David Zoller is responsible for the organization’s governmental relations and advocacy efforts and managing other projects related to economic competitiveness and quality of life.