This past week was eventful, to say the least. While other issues grabbed the headlines on Tuesday, two issues on BRAC’s legislative agenda took major steps forward. The first, SB173 (Hewitt), extending the film incentive program, passed the Senate floor 34-3, making its way to the House for further debate. The second is transportation funding, 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 .45 sales tax’s sunset date until 2031, passed the House Ways and Means Committee in a late-night meeting. Shortly after, HB 454 (Devillier), which reduces income tax exclusions, exemptions, deductions, and credits by 50 percent, was killed in Ways and Means. The rest of the week was light on issues on BRAC’s agenda but saw legislation passed relating to cannabis, education, and other issues.
This week will be very busy for BRAC at the Capitol, with numerous high-priority bills on our agenda up for debate. The week starts with Senate Committees hearing two of BRAC’s priority bills. The first bill, HB 199 (Schexnayder), establishing the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission, will be in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee first thing this morning. HB 199 is a giant step forward in making our sales tax collection system more manageable for businesses. Shortly after that, the Senate Finance Committee will hear SB 148 (Cortez), the MJ Foster Promise Program providing financial aid to adult learners. This program gives adults looking to advance their careers or change paths the needed resources while improving the quality of Louisiana’s workforce.
Tuesday will see HB 456 (Edmonds), extending the same confidentiality provisions for employee data to Louisiana Economic Development (LED) as are offered for employee data disclosed to other state agencies, in the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. If you would like to show your support, you can email the committee at Hhemail@example.com before noon today (May 3). We appreciate you taking the time to show your support for this crucial issue.
On Wednesday, HB 563 (Garofalo), allowing the Board of Regents and the Department of Education to share data, will be in House Education. This bill is critical to the state’s ability to evaluate the performance of our students and our education programs. The law currently limits the ability to share metrics to such a degree that it is impossible to analyze if the Jump Start program is working or if students are prepared to succeed in college.
Thursday will bring more of BRAC’s agenda before the legislature. The first bill of the day is HB 459 (Freiberg), allowing data sharing between workforce and the Board of Regents, in House Labor and Industrial Relations. After the Senate adjourns on Thursday, the Senate Local and Municipal Committee debates SB 227 (Barrow), creating the Plank Road Economic Development District, a bill supported by a coalition including BRAC. You can support these efforts by emailing the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org before 7 a.m. Thursday (May 6).
This week will be very busy in the legislature for BRAC’s agenda. Numerous other issues are moving through the process, but these instruments will have most of our attention this week.
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 email@example.com 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.