Constitutional Convention Bill Passes House in Week Nine

by | May 13, 2024 | Legislative Advocacy

Home » Constitutional Convention Bill Passes House in Week Nine

Legislators are moving on major priorities with nine weeks down and just over three weeks to go in the 2024 Regular Session. House legislators cleared the two-thirds vote necessary to send legislation authorizing a limited constitutional convention to the Senate. Legislation to create an education savings account (ESA) program in the state was not as well-received, stalling during debate in the full Senate. Meanwhile, 1A-supported legislation to restructure Louisiana Economic Development passed the Senate unanimously, and a package of bills supported by Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple to improve Louisiana’s property insurance market was signed into law by Governor Landry.

Legislators have until June 3 to handle business before adjournment. Read on for a recap of week nine and a look ahead at week ten.





Revenue Estimating Conference
Last Thursday, 5/9, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met to receive the latest projections on revenue the state will have available for appropriation in the current and next fiscal years. The REC’s spring forecast is always highly anticipated, as it provides a better understanding of the amount of state funds legislators will have available to allocate to new programs, or whether cuts will be needed.

State economists painted a better-than-expected picture of the state’s tax collections, projecting a $197 million increase in state general funds in the current budget year and an $89 million increase for next year. Lawmakers only have $86 million remaining under this year’s spending cap, so if they plan to spend all $197 million of the FY 23-24 increase, they will need to clear a two-thirds vote of both houses to breach the spending limit.

House members sent the money bills to the Senate last month, meaning the upper chamber will get to decide where to allocate the additional revenue. Stay tuned for future updates – Senate Finance is expected to begin taking public testimony on the budget later this week.


Property Insurance Reforms Enacted
A package of bills supported by Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple to improve Louisiana’s property insurance market was signed by Governor Landry last week. These 1A-supported measures are: 

  • HB 120 by Rep. Willard – sustains the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program, which authorizes grants of up to $10,000 to homeowners to retrofit roofs to better withstand weather events (Became Act 8)
  • HB 611 by Rep. Firment – removes Louisiana’s three-year rule for new policies – the only of its kind – putting Louisiana in line with every other state in the U.S. in allowing insurers to more effectively manage their risk (Became Act 9)
  • SB 295 by Sen. Cloud – increases speed-to-market for insurance products by shifting Louisiana’s ratemaking system from a “prior approval” process to a “use and file” system, allowing insurers more flexibility to price their product (Became Act 10)
  • SB 323 by Sen. Talbot – promotes good faith and fair dealing in the claims process by providing clear rights and timelines for both the insured and the insurer, encouraging swift claims resolutions and discouraging unnecessary litigation (Became Act 3) 

Commissioner Temple stated that “these bills provide real solutions that have been plaguing our market and start the process of bringing the Insurance Renaissance Louisiana deserves.”

Read more from Commissioner Temple HERE.


LED Restructure Bill Clears Senate
Senate Commerce Chair Sen. Beth Mizell is authoring legislation – SB 494 – to implement a reorganization of Louisiana Economic Development (LED). 1A is supporting SB 494 to strengthen LED as a business-first, best-in-class economic development agency.

The bill makes changes that modernize LED’s organizational structure and operations and remove burdensome regulations constraining the department’s ability to function proactively and keep pace with the business sector. Key provisions of SB 494 include:

  • Creating the Louisiana Economic Development Partnership (LEDP), a 12-member board led by highly-qualified private-sector members representing a cross-section of Louisiana’s key industries:
    • 9 gubernatorial appointments
    • 1 appointment by the Speaker of the House
    • 1 appointment by the President of the Senate
    • LED Secretary, as a non-voting member
  • Requiring LED to develop a long-range economic development plan and a comprehensive strategic plan with the advice and consultation of the LEDP
  • Redesigning membership of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) board to add more economic development and business oversight
  • Requiring a plan to seek federal, private, and other grant funds to support economic growth

SB 494 cleared the full Senate unanimously last Wednesday, 5/8 and now heads to the House.


Literacy and Numeracy
Last week, two 1A-supported measures seeking to boost reading and math competency among K-12 students, HB 244 by Rep. Hughes and HB 267 by Rep. Carver, were reported favorably in House Appropriations and received widespread support on the House floor later in the week. These bills build on the success of the Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program and place a renewed focus on numeracy skills among Louisiana’s students.

HB 244 renames the Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program to the “Steve Carter Education Program,” and expands services provided to include math tutoring. The bill also extends the availability of the program, originally only open to students in grades K-5, to students through grade 12, and increases the per-student funding available from $1,000 to $1,500.

HB 267 requires the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) to develop or select and provide screeners in order to measure the foundational numeracy of K-3 public school students. Public schools would administer DOE’s screeners three times during the school year and provide interventions and support to students identified as having numeracy skills below grade level.

Both bills passed the House with overwhelming support on Wednesday, 5/8, and now head to the Senate.


Education Savings Accounts
The Senate’s version of legislation to create the LA GATOR Scholarship Program, SB 313 by Senate Education Chairman Rick Edmonds, was debated in the full Senate last week and ultimately returned to the calendar by the author. LA GATOR is a universal education scholarship account (ESA) program for K-12 students that would function through state-supervised savings accounts allowing parents to direct state per-pupil funding to a variety of educational services, including tutoring, private school tuition, online programs, and more.

In a 20-18 vote, amendments were added that place significant regulations on the nonpublic schools choosing to participate. Following the vote, Senator Edmonds stated “my heart is broken tonight because a house can be divided by something that we all agree on – helping our families and dedicating our lives to our children,” before returning the bill to the calendar.


M.J. Foster Promise Program
Rep. Paula Davis brought HB 728 before Senate Education last week. The bill would change eligibility rules for the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial aid for Louisianans to earn credentials that align with high-demand jobs in industries like healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing. HB 728 lowers the qualifying age for the program from 21 to 17 and allows formerly incarcerated individuals to access the program, providing an avenue for ex-offenders to access tools to help them succeed as they re-enter society. After resistance from some Senate Education members on the provisions allowing the formerly incarcerated to access the program, Chairman Edmonds deferred the bill and asked the author to work with committee members over the next week to find a potential compromise.


Constitutional Convention
House and Governmental Affairs Chairman Beau Beaullieu’s legislation calling for a limited Constitutional Convention, HB 800, passed the House last week by a vote of 75-27, clearing the two-thirds threshold needed to send the bill to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Beaullieu called for a vote on final passage of the bill after amendments were adopted to change the timing of the convention. Under the amended bill as passed by the House, the convention would begin no earlier than May 30, at which time delegates would meet to organize convention processes and procedures and then through the summer, committees will assemble to consider different parts of the constitution in detail. Those committees will report out recommendations to the full convention, which would meet from August 1 – August 15.

So far, the measure has been vetted through four committee meetings, which included numerous rounds of questions from committee members and testimony from the public, and has cleared three favorable votes on the House side, including votes in House and Governmental Affairs, House Appropriations, and the full House of Representatives.

HB 800 has also been amended several times throughout the legislative process, most notably to provide protections that would ensure the state’s homestead exemption and Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) would remain intact.

Stay tuned for future updates as the bill heads across the Capitol to the Senate.




Two measures that seek to limit the growth of carbon capture projects in Louisiana have been scheduled for a hearing in Senate Natural Resources this week.

1A opposed the bills when they were considered in the House earlier in the session:

  • HB 169 by Rep. Robby Carter – increases the cap on the dollar amount of non-economic damages recoverable from accidents related to carbon sequestration from $250,000 to $500,000 and specifies that the limit applies per person rather than per occurrence
  • HB 516 by Rep. Mack – places burdensome requirements on carbon dioxide sequestration projects

Both bills are scheduled for a hearing in Senate Natural Resources this Wednesday, 5/15.

Also stay tuned for updates on the state budget bills, as Senate Finance begins receiving public testimony on the budget this week.



1A is tracking key legislation across three priority areas outlined in our 2024 Legislative Priorities:

  • Economic competitiveness
  • Talent development
  • Infrastructure investment

Be on the lookout for 1A legislative updates on these issues, and more, every Monday morning.