The 2023 Regular Session convened April 10, and as expected, things got off to a quiet start. Bills were read into the record and referred to their appropriate committees, and discussion began on state departmental budgets. Governor John Bel Edwards also gave his annual “State of the State” address, focusing on his priorities for his final year as Governor, which include increasing teacher pay, establishing a state minimum wage, and ending the death penalty.
Read the Governor’s full address here.
Ways and Means Subcommittee on State Tax Structure
In the months leading up to the Regular Session, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on State Tax Structure met several times to discuss potential improvements to Louisiana’s tax environment. Last week, Subcommittee Chair Rep. Phillip DeVillier reported that the Subcommittee will refrain from making formal policy recommendations until there is more information available on the impact of the 2021 tax reforms to State revenue.
Subcommittee deliberations and documents are available online here.
Week one was the calm before the storm, but heavy workloads are scheduled across committees in week two. Expect lengthy hearings focused on stabilizing Louisiana’s property insurance market and improving Louisiana’s tax environment.
Economic Development Toolkit
As always, 1A is monitoring measures related to Louisiana’s economic development toolkit. Of particular interest this session is supporting the extension of key programs, including the Angel Investor Tax Credit, which encourages investment in early stage, small wealth-creating Louisiana businesses that are seeking startup and expansion capital, and the Research and Development Tax Credit, designed to encourage existing businesses with operating facilities in Louisiana to establish or continue research and development activities within the state.
Legislation to extend these programs, SB 47 by Sen. Connick, SB 69 by Sen. Foil, and SB 108 By Sen. Jimmy Harris, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee this morning. On the House side, expect HB 408 by Rep. Willard and HB 429 by Rep. Pressly in the House Ways and Means Committee tomorrow, 4/18.
Insurance Market Stability
Legislators held a Special Session in February to address Louisiana’s property insurance crisis, agreeing on a plan to direct $45 million into a fund to incentivize insurers to write homeowner’s policies in Louisiana. During the Regular Session, however, legislators are eyeing more permanent solutions to stabilize the State’s insurance market for the future. More than 30 related measures have been filed so far, including proposals to strengthen roofs through the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program, provide tax benefits for insurance payments, and more. The House Insurance Committee meets Thursday, April 20 to dig into several of the proposals.
1A is monitoring these measures and will prioritize supporting bills that increase availability, affordability, and reliability of property insurance, and help mitigate future storm damage.
1A is tracking key legislation across five priority issues this session:
- Tax competitiveness
- Industry growth
- Insurance market stability
- Infrastructure investment
- Talent development
Be on the lookout for 1A legislative updates on these issues, and more, every Monday morning.