Louisiana Legislative Session: Notable bills to watch for next week

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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- Some high profile bills advanced in the legislature this week from sports betting, to voting machines, to limiting time held in jail.

Louisiana voters have their eyes on bills that will make sports betting a reality after approving it in 2020. Representative John Stefanski pushed his bill on the taxing of the betting out of committee. There were many questions raised of how the funding will be funneled into K-12 education.

“I think the concern comes from back when we first passed the Louisiana lottery. When we first enacted the lottery there was no mandate that a set amount of money went into K-12 education,” Rep. Stefanski said. “Well the current that they were funding they just said well we don’t need to give them that money anymore because we have all this lottery money.”

Rep. Stefanski said he wants to push the debate to the floor because he wants to make sure sports betting makes it through the session.

In criminal justice, Representative Edward ‘Ted’ James’ bill to limit the number of days held in jail without charges was also narrowly advanced. It would reduce the days from 45-120 down to 5-30 days. He said innocent people shouldnt be held in jail and lose their jobs or families.

“Joe Blow on the street we are asking him to suffer because all of these folks that he’s paying by his tax dollars simply don’t want to do their jobs faster,” Rep. James said.

The District Attorney’s Association said the issue isn’t in people not doing their jobs, but rather not enough staffing to speed up the process.

Lastly, after two failed attempts to purchase new voting machines, a senate bill will bring the public in on the decision through a commission to oversee the selection.

“This piece of legislation and the framework that Senator Hewitt has put together is the actual process by which we collect information, collect data, and we get the input from the public,” Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said.

There was some opposition and calls for paper ballots, which the commission could decide on if they so choose. The Secretary of State is also working on the bill to outline the shared responsibilities.

All three of those bills will be debated on the House and Senate floors next week. To learn more about each bill and the testimony given at the capitol this week tune in to This Week in Louisiana Politics Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.

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