Updated roundup of legislative special session

BATON ROUGE– Feb. 19 marked the beginning of the special legislative session dedicated to curbing crime in Louisiana.

Nothing has advanced to Gov. Jeff Landry’s desk to become law yet, but here is an update on where most of the bills stand as of the end of the day on Feb. 27.

House Bills

HB 2: Prohibits civil claims against peace officers and certain public entities based on the conduct or actions of a peace officer in the performance of any discretionary function within the course and scope of his law enforcement duties. (Passed the House with a 73-31 vote. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

HB 3: Proposed law regarding eligibility and requirements for participation in drug or specialty court programs. (Passed the House with a 105-0 vote. Pending Senate Finance Committee.)

HB 5: Designates the crime of illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities as
a crime of violence. (Passed the House with an 85-19 vote. Pending Senate Finance Committee.)

HB 6: Bill would add nitrogen gas hypoxia and electrocution to Louisiana’s approved execution methods. (Passed on a 71-29 vote sending it to the Senate. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

HB 7: Enhances the penalties for carjacking to not less than five years nor more than 20 years, without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. It enhances carjacking with serious bodily injury to not less than 20 years or more than 30 years without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. (Passed the House with an 89-15 vote. Pending Senate Finance.)

HB 8: Provides relative to distribution of fentanyl under certain circumstances. Any person who violates the provisions in a manner where there is reasonable appeal to a minor due to the shape, color, taste, or design of the fentanyl or the fentanyl’s packaging shall be imprisoned for no less than 25 years or more than 99 years. (Passed House with 92-13 vote. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

HB 9: No person committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for an
offense committed on or after Aug. 1, 2024, shall be eligible for parole except a person who
satisfies certain provisions. (Passed House with 71-33 vote. Pending Senate Finance Committee.)

MORE FROM UNFILTERED WITH KIRAN: Permitless concealed carry bill passes through Senate

HB 10: Proposes that no person who commits an offense on or after Aug.1, 2024, shall be eligible to earn nor be entitled to a reduced sentence or good time, except in certain situations. Proposed law provides that every offender in a parish prison or in custody of the Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C), who has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison with or without hard labor, may earn a reduced sentence for good behavior up to a maximum amount of 15 percent of the particular sentence rendered. (Passed with 71-32 vote. Pending Senate Finance Committee.)

HB 11: Proposed law increases the maximum length of the probation period from three years to five years. (Passed with a 72-32 vote. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

HB 15: The time limitations for prosecuting third-degree rape when committed under certain circumstances will not start until the victim discovers the crime. (Passed the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with a 13-0. Pending House floor action.)

Senate Bills

SB 1: Provides law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed handguns without a permit. (Passed Senate with 28-10 vote. Referred to House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.)

SB 2: An authorized person will not be liable for any injury, death, or loss suffered by a perpetrator when the injury, death, or loss is caused by the authorized person firing a gun because of a justified use of force or self-defense. (Passed Senate with 27-11 vote. Passed the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure with a 10-2 vote.  Referred to the House floor.)

SB 3: Lowers the age for consideration as a juvenile in the criminal justice system. (Passed Senate with 30-9 vote. Passed the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with a 10-4 vote. To be recommitted to the Committee on Appropriations.)

SB 4: One aspect of the proposed law prohibits modification of the sentence of a child who was 14 or older when he committed first-degree rape or aggravated kidnapping. (Passed Senate with 26-13 vote. Passed the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with 13-1 vote. Pending House floor action.

SB 5: Proposed law retains the three-vote and unanimous vote requirements of the committee on parole. For parole to be granted, the following conditions must be met:

  • The offender has not committed any major disciplinary offenses in the 36 consecutive months prior to the parole eligibility date.
  • The offender has completed the mandatory minimum of 100 hours of pre-release programming if such programming is available at the facility where the offender is incarcerated.
  • The offender has completed substance abuse treatment as applicable.
  • The offender has obtained or completed at least one of the following:
    (a) A literacy program.
    (b) An adult basic education program.
    (c) A job skills training program.
    (d) A high school equivalency certificate.
  • The offender has obtained a low-risk level designation determined by a validated risk assessment instrument approved by the secretary of the Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections. (Passed Senate with 28-11 vote. Passed the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with a 10-4 vote. Pending House floor action.)

SB 6: Eliminates liability for any peace officer or public entity that employs or appoints a peace officer based on the officer’s conduct or actions in the performance of his/her job. (Pending Senate Judiciary B)

SB 7: Changes the penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The minimum penalty for a first-time offender will be no less than six months probation, where the offender can not operate a vehicle unless the vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device.
(Passed Senate with 39-0 vote. Passed House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with 13-0 vote. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

SB 10: Reduces good time earned by prisoners sentenced for the death of a peace officer or first responder. (Passed with a 30-7 vote. Passed the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with 12-0 vote. Pending Legislative Bureau.)

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