The 2014 Regular Session was Rep. Terry Landry’s third session in Baton Rouge. His experience and knowledge of the process continued to grow, as did his stature among his colleagues. So, too, did his success.
Five bills authored by Rep. Landry were signed into law following the 2014 Session.
HB 16 — Louisiana has the highest percentage of its population serving time in jails and prisons than any other state. Rep. Landry’s law enforcement background gave him the understanding of the issue and the standing among his colleagues to introduce this bill which required that the 15th Judicial District Court (which encompasses Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion parishes) establish a re-entry court to provide work training opportunities for inmates before they return to live in the community. A small number of judicial district courts have these re-entry courts. With Acadiana continuing to grow, the new court will serve inmates in their effort to break with their criminal past by enabling them to become productive members of the community. With employment levels high in the region, the program will serve businesses as well by providing more skilled workers for the workforce. Governor Jindal signed this bill into law, which made it Act 7 of the 2014 Session.
HB 683 — This bill also deals with the problem of recidivism — people who continue to commit crimes once they have been released from jail or prison after an earlier conviction. Specifically, this bill (signed into law by Governor Jindal as Act 337) redefined eligibility for participation in drug probation programs.
HB 1209 — This bill (signed into law by Governor Jindal as Act 661) deals with what some consider the abuse of emerging technologies. The bill, as originally introduced by Rep. Landry, dealt only with banning the pointing of lasers at aircraft and created penalties for that. The bill was amended as it made its way through the House and Senate to include language that bans the flying of unmanned drones over chemical plants and refineries without the permission of the owners of those facilities.
HB 1108 — This bill (signed into law by Governor Jindal as Act 670) sets new procedures in place for handling misdemeanor charges made against school employees during the course of their work. It provides for the issuance of summons for misdemeanor charges.
HB 323 — The bill creates a specialty license plate promoting Down Syndrome Awareness, provided supporters of the plate idea can generate 1,000 requests for the car license plate. If they can, there will be a $30 annual fee attached to the plate, the proceeds of which will go to the Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana or its successors. Governor Jindal signed this bill to make it Act 11 of the 2014 Session.
HCR 127 — This resolution was approved and sent to the Secretary of State (in accordance with the rules of the House). It directs the Office of Public Safety and Corrections to conduct a study on the feasibility of requiring vehicles in oncoming traffic on three-lane highways and up to stop for school buses that are stopping for students.
HR 10 — This resolution called on the House Transportation Committee to study the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program to determine if it was working as intended. That study was due to be completed by January 1, 2015.