Popular bills that have died or stalled in session

BATON ROUGE– A few popular bills in this legislative session have died or stalled for the time being. Here is a recap.

SB 173: Louisiana workers earning minimum wage won’t get a pay increase and employers won’t be forced to address the pay gap for women after a pair of bills failed in the Senate Labor Committee recently.

The committee voted 5-2 to halt Democratic New Orleans Sen. Gary Carter’s bills to create a state minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour and an equal pay measure for women.
Carter’s SB 173 would have put Louisiana’s minimum wage at $10 per hour and would have gradually raised it to $14.

Thirty-four other states, including Arkansas, have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, five states have not adopted a state minimum wage: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Two states, Georgia and Wyoming, have minimum wages below $7.25 per hour. In the seven states, the federal minimum wage applies.

HB 344: Progress on the bill that would eliminate the state’s annual vehicle inspection sticker requirement in 59 parishes has stalled. Rep. Larry Bagley’s bill was discussed in the House Appropriations Committee on April 8 but has not shown up on any meeting schedules since.

The bill would exclude vehicles registered in the five-parish Baton Rouge ozone non-attainment area, which includes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes.
Eleven states, none of which neighbor Louisiana, require inspection stickers. The fine for expired inspection stickers can reach $250.

HB 745: The proposed legislation by Rep. Julie Emerson that would allow Louisiana parents to utilize taxpayer funds to enroll their children in private schools or other public schools is waiting to be heard by the Senate Education Committee.

The bill passed the House with a 72-32 vote on April 8. The annual education savings account awards would be $5,100 for students from higher-income homes, $7,500 for students from lower-income families, and $15,000 for students with special needs.

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