House democrats release statement on 2021 Legislative Session

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BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – APRIL 17: A general view of the Louisiana State Capitol prior to a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown on April 17, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Governor John Bell Edwards has said Louisiana’s high rate of infections and deaths does not position the state to quickly open back up. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- The House democrats released a statement on a successful 2021 legislative session.

The 2021 Legislative session ended on Thursday.

Here is the statement released by the House Democratic Caucus chairman Sam Jenkins:

“In April, House Democrats laid out a vision for a session that would help Louisiana come back stronger from the crises of 2020. We pledged to work towards tax reform that would end the fiscal cliffs without shifting our tax burden further onto working people, to continue Louisiana’s effort to reform our criminal justice system, to stop divisive legislation that would tarnish our reputation, to address abuse in workplaces and on campuses, and to invest in education.  

By working across party lines, with our Democratic colleagues in the Senate, and especially with Governor John Bel Edwards, House Democrats were able to accomplish those goals. There’s still much work to be done, but we were able to score significant wins for the people of Louisiana and forge compromises that will move our state forward. We proved that Democrats have a powerful role in the legislature, and that we will use our voice and our votes to make sure our state continues to move forward, not get dragged into the disastrous and divisive policies of the past.”

Highlights of House Democrat Bills That Successfully Passed:

HB 375 by Rep Freeman. This was the first bill signed this year. It allows survivors of sexual assault to terminate a lease early for their safety and health.

HB 285 by Rep James. Allows voters more time in the ballot box. 

HB379 by Rep Larvadain. Provides for liability for damages caused by an act or acts of sexual assault in the workplace for the perpetrator of the sexual assault.

HB678 by Rep Duplessis. Extends the sunset on Louisiana’s 5% Earned Income Tax Credit from 2026 to 2031. Also creates the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, an income tax credit for eligible businesses that hire participants in work release programs.

HB 554 by Rep Larry Selders. This bill designated Juneteenth a State Holiday.

HB 680 by Rep Hughes. This bill establishes a tax credit to encourage employers to hire unemployed and disadvantaged young people, as well as young military veterans.

HB7 by Rep Freeman. Provides for a sales and use tax exemption for feminine hygiene products and diapers.

HB 378 by Rep Jenkins. Clarifies that people convicted of a felony and placed on probation, but who received no time in prison, should not have their rights to register and cast their vote suspended.

HB 286 by Rep Jones. Gives voters more days for early voting in presidential elections.

HB 652 by Rep Cedric Glover. Decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

HB 622 by Rep Francis Thompson. Expands the state office of rural development.

HB46 by Rep James. Cuts by one-third the amount of time the state can jail a person before filing misdemeanor charges. 

HB492 by Rep. Jason Hughes. Allow child sexual abuse victims, no matter how old, to sue over that abuse.

HB12 by Rep White. Creates an individual income tax checkoff for the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) organization.

HB32 by Rep Selders. Increases the total number of credits that may be earned by an offender upon earning a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.

HR197 by Rep Gaines. Creates the Equal Justice Task Force to study the effects of the non-unanimous jury verdict law in Louisiana

HR193 by Representative Mandie Landry. Requests La. Dept. of Health to amend the Medicaid state plan to allow for postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months after childbirth for certain pregnant individuals.

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