With the 2021 regular legislative session set to begin on April 12, 2021 (and with this year’s legislative session slated to last just slightly over two months), the Bossier Press-Tribune staff has reached out to all Bossier Parish state legislators in order to ask what their plans are for the upcoming legislative session. And, what bills do they plan to file leading up to the regular legislative session? For the next few weeks, the Bossier Press-Tribune will publish our legislators’ answers to this question, as well as their additional comments, as part of our series on the upcoming legislative session.
Starting with District 9 State Representative Dodie Horton, the Bossier Press-Tribune asked what her plans are for this year’s legislative session, and what bills she plans to file?
Representative Horton began her comments with, “The upcoming 2021 Regular Session will begin on April 12, 2021 at noon. As stated in the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, all regular sessions that occur during an odd-numbered year are fiscal sessions and they must convene on the second Monday in April. These sessions are limited to 45 legislative days in a period of 60 calendar days. Since this will be a fiscal session, legislators are allowed to pre-file an unlimited number of bills related to fiscal matters (General Appropriation Bill; comprehensive capital budget; make an appropriation; levy or authorize a new tax; increase an existing tax; levy, authorize, increase, decrease, or repeal a fee; dedicate revenue; legislate with regard to tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions, reductions, repeals, or credits; or legislate with regard to the issuance of bonds). Once the session has begun, Legislators are allowed to file an additional five fiscal bills. They are also allowed to pre-file five general bills that are unrelated to fiscal issues prior to the start of the session.”
Horton also said, “Multiple bills have been pre-filed that address a variety of tax topics – sales tax holidays, tax exemption for diapers and feminine hygiene products, tax deductions, and severance taxes, just to name a few. The Coronavirus Pandemic crippled Louisiana over the past year, and I am anticipating there will be bills introduced that will attempt to assist business owners in their recovery. While the main focus will be related to financial issues, I will also be working with fellow legislators to restore election integrity and ensure every voter in Louisiana has confidence in the security and honesty of our elections at every level.”
As she continued, Representative Horton also wants her constituents to know: “Additionally, I am working on bringing legislation that addresses several different issues and topics that have been brought to my attention by constituents. For example, I have pre-filed HB 90 which relates to Missing Angel Certificates for families who experience the tragedy of a stillborn child. The need for this legislation was brought to my attention by an advocate in our community who had a stillborn daughter and shared the struggles she endured in obtaining a Missing Angel Certificate. Not only has she inspired this legislation, she also runs a ministry for families who have stillborn children. I am thankful for constituents who are willing to share their experiences and work to create positive and needed changes in our state’s laws.”
Representative Horton concluded by saying “I am looking forward to the upcoming session and consider it a privilege and honor to represent the residents of District 9 in Baton Rouge.”