Quiet First Week of 2024 Regular Session

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Legislative Advocacy


The 2024 Regular Session convened Monday, March 11, kicking off relatively quietly with committees handling procedural measures followed by budget presentations from leaders of the various state agencies. Governor Jeff Landry delivered remarks to the joint Legislature, issuing a call to action on his top priorities for the first Regular Session of his term, including the economy, insurance, education, and constitutional reform.

Read on for a recap of week one and a look ahead at week two.



Governor Landry Outlines Priorities

Governor Jeff Landry outlined his top priorities during his opening address to the Legislature at the start of the 2024 Regular Session last week. 1A commends Governor Landry’s plans to tackle issues impacting Louisiana’s economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Review a few highlights below:

On his plans for Louisiana Economic Development (LED):
“We are working to re-organize the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. The ideas we will discuss with you are not mine, these are not my ideas, they are the product of listening to those who have seen and felt the success of our Southern neighbors…we can and we will be competitive with other states by eliminating the burdensome and ineffective regulations and by streamlining the economic development agency so that it can be competitive…”

On Louisiana’s insurance crisis:
“Our new Insurance Commissioner, Tim Temple, is working tirelessly to find solutions that make Louisiana attractive to the insurance market so that more companies will come here and write here. He believes, and I agree with him, that the de-regulatory measures he is undertaking will improve the market conditions. There are several additional ideas and proposals before you this session to address this insurance crisis. I would urge you to listen carefully to these debates, read the bills, and arrive at solutions that are fair to the consumer and will work for the companies that we need to attract here so that they can insure our people.”

And on simplifying Louisiana’s constitution:
“…it is time for us to open the dialogue about reforming our bloated, and outdated, and antiquated, and much abused state constitution…according to the Council of State Governments, Louisiana ranks amongst the longest of all state constitutions with 72,000 words…let us clean up the constitution and place matters in their appropriate statutory context. I believe a new uncomplicated constitution reflective of our own great nation’s is a bold, but much-needed step towards making our state great.”

Two bills backed by Commissioner Temple to improve Louisiana’s insurance market have been filed (HB 678 and SB 323), and bills to re-organize LED and call for a convention to simplify Louisiana’s constitution are expected to be introduced soon. Legislators have until April 2 to file any remaining legislation for this session.

Watch Governor Landry’s full address here.



Budget Planning Underway

As is tradition, state agency leaders appeared before House and Senate committees last week to present their budget plans for Fiscal Year 24-25. These hearings will continue through March 20 to aid legislators as they make plans surrounding the all-important state budget bill, HB 1. Governor Landry spoke on the importance of right-sizing state finances in his opening address, citing the possible half-billion-dollar shortfall forecasted for Fiscal Year 25-26.

For a look at department budget presentations, click the links below:




Legislators will use week two to wrap up budget presentations and begin digging into legislation across a full slate of committee hearings, capping off with a meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget on Friday. House legislators will begin debate on a number of bills dealing with property insurance in the state, as well as several 1A-supported tort reform bills led by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI).


Property Insurance
Next week, the House Insurance Committee will hear testimony on several bills in the property insurance space, including HB 120 by Rep. Willard, which would ensure continuation of the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program. The program authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to make grants of up to $10,000 to homeowners to retrofit roofs to better withstand weather events, and will sunset in June 2025 unless extended by the Legislature. 1A supports HB 120.

Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple has put forth legislation to promote good faith and fair dealing in the property insurance claims process in effort to make Louisiana a more attractive place for insurers to write policies. The bills – HB 678 and SB 323 – provide for clear rights and timelines for both the insured and the insurer in order to encourage swift claims resolutions and reduce the possibility of litigation. 1A supports HB 678 and SB 323.

Dozens of other bills have been filed related to insurance rates, policies, market participation, and more. 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.


Legal Climate Reform
One issue exacerbating Louisiana’s highest-in-the-nation insurance costs is our litigious environment. Our state’s current legal system is structured to foster excessive litigations costs that are often passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. We must cultivate a more business-friendly, nationally competitive legal climate by making common-sense changes that bring Louisiana more in line with other states. 1A is supporting a legislative package led by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), which includes the following measures:

  • HB 337 by Rep. McFarland and SB 250 by Sen. Allain – these bills repeal Louisiana’s direct action statute, which allows plaintiffs to sue an insurance company directly when someone the company insures is a defendant in a lawsuit. Louisiana is an outlier on this policy, as one of only three states that allows for direct action against an insurer. HB 337 and SB 250 prevent this practice except under very limited circumstances. HB 337 is scheduled for a hearing in House Insurance Thursday, 5/21.
  • HB 423 by Rep. Melerine and SB 18 by Sen. Seabaugh – these measures implement much-needed reform of Louisiana’s collateral source rule, which currently prevents evidence of medical expenses from being presented in court. HB 423 and SB 18 would allow judges and juries to review what a plaintiff actually paid for medical expenses, not just the “sticker price” of services, and limit the amount of medical expenses the plaintiff may recover to the amount actually paid rather than the amount billed. HB 423 is scheduled for a hearing in House Civil Law & Procedure Wednesday, 5/20.

For more on LABI’s work this session, visit their website HERE.


1A is tracking key legislation across three priority areas:

  • Economic competitiveness
  • Talent development
  • Infrastructure investment

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