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2019

LEGISLATIVE REPORT


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Contents

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Summary

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Business Legislation

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Construction Legislation

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Wages and Labor Legislation

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About ABC PACs

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About ABC of Louisiana


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Summary of the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Session April 8, 2019 - June 6, 2019 Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The 2019 Louisiana Legislative Session began on April 8 and ended on June 6. There were more than 1,000 pieces of legislation filed during this year’s session. John Walters

VP of Governmental Relations, ABC of Louisiana

As usual, members of the Pelican Chapter and the New Orleans/Bayou Chapter met prior to the 2019 session to

review and discuss legislation that would impact merit shop construction in Louisiana. During our time together, we took positions on more than 100 specific pieces of legislation. We had hoped to have a less dramatic session, given that this is legislative election year. We Continued on page 4


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kept our fingers crossed for a session lacking a multitude of highly controversial bills. I’m sure you noticed in our weekly legislative reports, our hopes for this lack of controversy faded about three weeks into the session. I will say this: while the 2019 session had its fair share of heated moments and exchanges, it still pales in comparison to the four sessions of 2018. ABC of Louisiana and the Louisiana construction industry had a very successful 2019 Legislative Session. Our legislative outreach outside of session included educating lawmakers on issues important to the merit shop construction industry, the benefits of fair and open competition, free enterprise, and the merit shop

philosophy. This successful outreach allows us to work with lawmakers quickly and effectively within the hectic pace of legislative sessions. In an abbreviated 2019 legislative session, with multiple targets on our backs, ABC of Louisiana was able to help pass significant legislation that strengthens our industry and our state’s economic climate. We also defeated or amended numerous pieces of legislation that would have negatively impacted our members and our industry. Most importantly, ABC of Louisiana proudly promoted and defended free enterprise and the merit shop philosophy in the state. We overcame some hefty political obstacles this year, and ABC of Louisiana stood strong, and will continue to do so in 2020 and in the Continued on page 5


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years to come. This report is a recap of the activity on several bills of note tracked by ABC of Louisiana during the 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. You’ll also see ways that you can contribute to three ABC PACs online. Thank you as always for your support of the merit shop construction industry across our state. Get into politics or get out of business, John Walters Vice President of Governmental Relations, ABC of Louisiana

Summary of the 2019 Legislative Session Continued


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Business House Bill 51

House Bill 346

By: Representative Mike Huval

By: Representative Dodie Horton

House Bill 51 eliminates the Louisiana “seatbelt gag order” by allowing the admissibility of evidence of failure to wear a safety belt in order to establish both comparative negligence and damages. HB51 passed with a 5-2 vote in the House Civil Law Committee and a 86-7 vote off the House Floor. As expected, HB51 failed passage in the Senate Judiciary A Committee. ABC-LA was supporting HB51.

House Bill 346 attempts to roll back employee protections laid out in the “Little Hatch Act”. HB346 seeks to remove special protections afforded to public employees by allowing some members of police and fire unions in the classified civil service to engage in political activities opening them up to possible manipulation and coercion. ABC has long believed the “Little Hatch Act” helps ensure our citizens are protected by a stable, careeroriented police and fire force that is free from political pressure from elected officials. HB346 failed by a 64-29 vote on the House Floor. ABC-LA was opposed to HB346.

House Bill 372

By: Representative Kirk Talbot House Bill 372 enacts the “Omnibus Premium Reduction Act of 2019” by: 1) reducing Louisiana’s jury trial threshold from $50,000 to $5,000, 2) eliminating Louisiana’s collateral source rule, 3) seeking to reduce insurance rates in Louisiana with rate review and contingent reduction, while 4) extending the prescription period for tort actions from one year to two years. HB372 overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives then, as expected, failed passage in the Senate Judiciary A Committee. ABC-LA was supporting HB372.

Senate Bill 114 By: Senator Conrad Appel

Senate Bill 114 allows for the admissibility of evidence to a jury, directly or indirectly, in any civil proceeding regarding the nature and extent of a worker’s compensation claim or of payment of past or future worker’s compensation benefits or claims. SB114 failed passage, as expected, in the Senate Judiciary A Committee. ABC-LA was supporting SB114.


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Legislation Senate Bill 148

Senate Bill 186

House Bill 265

By: Senator Sharon Hewitt

By: Senator J.P. Morrell

By: Representative Phillip Devillier

Senate Bill 148 eliminates the Louisiana “seatbelt gag order� by allowing the admissibility of evidence of failure to wear a safety belt to establish both comparative negligence and damages. SB148 was heard in the Senate Judiciary A Committee however a quorum was (conveniently) lost prior to a vote in the Senate Judiciary A Committee. ABC-LA was supporting SB148.

Senate Bill 186 creates an additional mandate for Louisiana employers by enacting the Louisiana Family and Medical Leave Benefits Act above and beyond the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. SB186 was voluntarily deferred in the Senate Committee on Finance. ABC-LA was opposed to SB186.

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Senate Bill 198 By:Senator Barrow Peacock House Bill 265 and Senate Bill 198 authorized the payment of refunds for the overpayment of taxes as a result of an unconstitutional law, invalid rule, or misinterpretation of a law, rule, or regulation. Passage of this legislation took a herculean effort by the bill authors, the business community, legislators and the business lobby. SB198 was signed by the Governor and became Act 367 of the 2019 Legislative Session. ABC-LA was supporting HB265 & SB198.


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Construction Legislation House Bill 63 By: Representative Joe Bouie House Bill 63 requires that any contractor who enters into a contract with a public entity comply with the Louisiana Equal Pay for Women Act. HB63 failed by an 8-6 vote in the House Labor Committee. ABC-LA was opposed to HB63.

House Bill 83 By: Representative Jimmy Harris House Bill 83 extends the sunset for the tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures from Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2026, and limits the maximum amount of credits awarded in a calendar year. While HB83 passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives, multiple concerns were brought about by Senators. The tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures will a discussion topic in both the interim and the 2020 Legislative Session. ABC was supporting HB83.


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House Bill 273 By: Representative Thomas Carmody House Bill 273 provides for procedural and technical updates including modernization of language and processes within the laws governing contractor licensing governed by the Louisiana State Board of Licensed Contractors. HB273 passed both chambers, was signed by the Governor, and became Act 371 of the 2019 Legislative Session. ABC-LA was supporting HB273.

Senate Bill 200 By: Senator Paige Cortez Senate Bill 200, by Senator Paige Cortez, creates a pilot program to authorize local governmental subdivisions and political subdivisions to use the A+B bidding method to determine the lowest responsive bidder on contracts for public works. The 15 pilot programs are subject to prior approval by the House and Senate committees on transportation, highways, and public works. Additionally, upon completion and acceptance of the project, the owner is required to submit in writing to the chairmen of each of the committees a project report that includes the final project cost and an evaluation of whether or not contract times were reduced, costs were acceptable, and quality was maintained by use of the A+B bid method. SB200 passed and was signed by the Governor. SB200 became Act 261 of the 2019 Legislative Session. ABC-LA closely monitored SB200.


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Wages & Labor Legislation

House Bill 289

By: Representative Barbara Norton

House Bill 289 mandates that every private employer in the state must comply with the Louisiana Equal Pay Act, currently governing only public employers. HB289 failed to pass in the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. ABC-LA was opposed to HB289.


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House Bill 302

House Bill 422

By: Representative Joe Bouie

By: Representative Royce Duplessis

House Bill 302 creates new causes of action for employers by enacting the Louisiana Employment NonDiscrimination Act. HB302 failed passage in the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. ABC-LA was opposed to HB302.

House Bill 422 removes the current statute prohibiting parishes and municipalities from setting a local minimum wage. HB422 failed passage in the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. ABC-LA was opposed to HB422.

Senate Bill 155 By: Senator Troy Carter Senate Bill 155 creates a constitutional amendment to establish a state minimum hourly wage of nine dollars, effective July 1, 2020, and authorizes the legislature to increase the minimum wage by law to nine dollars an hour. SB155 was discussed at length on the Senate Floor prior to the author returning the bill to the calendar for the session. ABC-LA was opposed to SB155.


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ABC’s Political Action Committees Get into politics or get out of business!

PURPOSE OF ABC PACS The purpose of ABC PACs is to work within the local and federal election process to further the goals of the association through direct involvement in supporting and opposing candidates running for local, state or national offices. This is accomplished through educating ABC Members on the importance of political activism and through financial support of merit shop candidates.

ABC MERIT AND PELICAN PAC The purpose of the Political Action Committees of the New Orleans/Bayou Chapter and the Pelican Chapter is to work within the state and local election process to further the goals of the chapter through direct involvement in supporting and opposing candidates running for office in Louisiana. This is accomplished through educating our members on the importance of political activism and through financial support of merit shop candidates. The ABC Merit and Pelican PACs are each governed by a board of directors who are elected annually. ABC New Orleans/Bayou and ABC Pelican Members contributions are combined with others to jointly support candidates for Louisiana offices.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE ONLINE

ABC Merit PAC: www.abcmeritpac.com ABC Pelican PAC: www.abcpelicanpac.com ABC National PAC: pac.abc.org Password: ABCPAC2019

ABC NATIONAL PAC BADGE LEVELS Green/Young Professional ($50-$149) Gold/Leadership ($150-$499) Platinum/Congressional ($500-$999) Red/Senatorial ($1,000-$2,499) Black/Presidential ($2,500-$5,000)

ABC NATIONAL PAC The purpose of ABC PAC is to work within the federal election process to further the goals of the association through direct involvement in supporting and opposing candidates for the Office of President, United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. This is accomplished through educating our members on the importance of political activism and through financial support of merit shop candidates. ABC PAC is governed by fifteen board members who are appointed by the ABC National Chairman. The board members serve a three year term and represent each of the seven regions. The ABC PAC Board of Trustees work with the Regional Vice Chairs and chapter leadership to promote political involvement and assist in raising PAC funds. Trustees also approve all disbursements to candidates based on well-established guidelines such as voting records of incumbents. ABC's PAC is your voice in elective politics. ABC PAC members' contributions are combined with others to jointly support candidates for federal or national offices. This provides a unified and powerful voice for the merit agenda. It is also an opportunity to participate in one of the largest pro-business PACs in the nation.


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ABC OF LOUISIANA Governmental Relations Work

ABOUT JOHN John Walters is the Vice President of Governmental Relations for ABC of Louisiana. John joined ABC in 2008 and oversees all legislative affairs of both the New Orleans/Bayou Chapter and Pelican Chapter of ABC. In addition, John manages the Political Action Committees of ABC of Louisiana. Before ABC, Walters worked in the Louisiana House of Representatives in the Speaker’s office, serving under four different speakers. He sits on various boards, commissions, and task forces and currently serves on the boards of the Association of Louisiana Lobbyists and the Louisiana Right to Work Committee. John is a graduate of Louisiana State University and resides in Baton Rouge with his family.

GET INTO POLITICS OR GET OUT OF BUSINESS! ABC of Louisiana has a long history of merit shop construction wins in the Louisiana legislature, achieving victories in Tort Reform, Right-to-Work and Prevailing Wage Repeal. This invaluable benefit alone saves Bayou and Pelican Chapter Members hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Whether actively lobbying the legislature or remaining informed of legislation and regulations that affect business, ABC members are given the tools to take action on legislation and the voice to lobby for change. At the state level, ABC is the construction industry's front-line soldier in the form of:

Full time lobbyist available 24/7 Political action opportunities Weekly legislative updates during session Quarterly conference calls with political and policy updates Annual legislative reports Exclusive bill review sessions Constantly monitor legislation and regulations that impact contractors and the construction industry, in and out of session

ABOUT ABC OF LOUISIANA In Louisiana, ABC represents more than 600-Member firms and some 80,000 employees. ABC of Louisiana maintains administrative and legislative staff in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, with training centers in St. Rose, Baton Rouge, and Westlake, where tens of thousands of craft professionals have been educated since 1980. Merit shop contractors are committed to giving Louisiana its money's worth in construction. From power plants to paper mills; shopping centers to industrial parks; if it's being built, there's a strong chance that merit shop contractors are building it.

CONTACT JOHN 225.328.0989 19251 Highland Road Baton Rouge, LA 70809 www.abclouisiana.org jwalters@abcpelican.com

ABOUT ABC'S GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATION AND LEGAL ADVOCACY In the real world of construction, ABC's maxim "Get into Politics or Get out of Business" is true. The fact is, few businesses or individuals have the time or resources to monitor legislation and regulations that directly affects their industry in addition to the influence to get the attention of their law makers. ABC has the time, the resources, and the means to do just that.


2019 ABC of Louisiana Legislative Report

jwalters@abcpelican.com

www.abclouisiana.org

225.328.0989

Profile for ABC Pelican

ABC of Louisiana 2019 Legislative Report  

ABC of Louisiana 2019 Legislative Report