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Louisiana Legislative Session 2011

As anticipated, the first Louisiana Legislative Session of 2011 is an extraordinary one to address the 2010 Census numbers that were released to states earlier this year in order to address the re-districting of Legislative, Congressional, Supreme Court, Public Service Commission, Courts of Appeal and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) districts. Beginning this past Sunday, emotions are already rattling and tensions are elevated between Legislators looking to retain their districts and to protect their adjacent areas. Louisiana will end up with six congressional districts due to population loss and with population shifts, legislative districts are in flux until plans are finalized. If the U.S. Department of Justice rejects Louisiana's re-districting plan, Legislators could find themselves quickly back in another extraordinary session in July of this year in preparation for our state's fall elections.

While Legislators convene in this special session on reapportionment, they are also preparing for the regular session with the Appropriation Committee meeting daily to review the Governor's proposed 2011-12 budget. All the while, with the state.s health care crisis looming in the back of their minds.

The $24.9 billion proposed budget cuts $410 million from state agencies with another $110 million to be cut mid-year from their budgets. Four thousand state jobs will be eliminated, and discussion centers on a very controversial topic: the proposed sale of state prisons. Other items proposed to face their doom are behavioral programs for juveniles.

Governor Bobby Jindal continues to voice his promise of "no new taxes". With a 49% approval rating and no named challengers thus far, Jindal is looking to keep this promise to his voters and contributors, alike. Regardless of the Governor's promise, there will still be those Legislators who will not fear his veto pin and choose to file bills that suspend, repeal, and eliminate tax credits, exemptions, and then those that will file bills to raise taxes on businesses and major industries. The suspension of credits and exemptions can occur for a period of one year by legislative resolution. Many will be on vigilant watch at the capitol to fight these resolutions of suspension.

The 2011 "fiscal-only" Regular Legislative Session begins on April 25 and has to end by 6pm on June 23. Bills must be filed by April 15; only five additional bills of the general subject nature may be filed after this date. Local bills are unlimited but must abide by the April 15 due date. As of today, 50 bills have been pre-filed in the House and 12 in the Senate. The Appropriation Committee will continue to meet up until and into the regular session, hashing out the budget.

PIA of Louisiana's lobbyist is Robert Wooley, but below is the entire team from Adams and Reese along with emails:

E. L. Henry, Esq. E.L.Henry@arlaw.co
Robert L. Rieger, Jr., Esq. Robert.Rieger@arlaw.com
C. Kevin Hayes, Esq. Kevin.Hayes@arlaw.com
Christopher P. Coulon Chris.Coulon@arlaw.com
J. Robert Wooley, Esq. James.Wooley@arlaw.com
Richard B. Easterling, Esq.     Richard.Easterling@arlaw.com
Alisha M. Duhon Alisha.Duhon@arlaw.com
V. Thomas Clark, Jr., Esq. Tom.Clark@arlaw.com
Charles Castille, Esq. Charles.Castille@arlaw.com
Lee C. Reid, Esq. Lee.Reid@arlaw.com
Renee C. Crasto, Esq.Renee.Crasto@arlaw.com

Thanks to Our 2023 PIA Partners:
AFCO Capital Premium Financing CRC Group Gulf States Insurance Co.
LRA Workers' Comp National General, an Allstate company Stonetrust Insurance
Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana
4021 W. E. Heck Ct., Building K • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816
(800) 349-3434 • (225) 766-7770 • (225) 766-1601 (fax)