After nearly two months of work, the Louisiana Legislature adjourned sine die on June 8th. While we have plenty of additional work to do to build a healthier Louisiana, we were successful in advancing good legislation and stopping some bad legislation. Special thank you to You're the Cure advocates who supported these efforts and joined our three-part Louisiana Lagniappe calls for real-time updates from the state capitol.
- Training the Next Generation of Lifesavers (State Budget): Throughout session, we worked to get an appropriation in the state budget for high schools to purchase and update their CPR training materials, as they train high school students each year before graduation. While the issue was well received, we were unsuccessful in getting this appropriation included in the final budget.
- Preparing Schools for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SB12): This bill, signed by Governor Edwards, requires elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as post-secondary institutions, to develop a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan to effectively respond to someone in need of assistance. The bill also addresses AED placement in schools and at athletic events, as well as AED and CPR training requirements. We also were successful in helping to secure $1.5 million for the implementation of the bill in this year’s budget, which is pending the governor’s signature.
- Providing Families with Paid Family and Medical Benefits (HB596): Too many Louisiana workers are forced to sacrifice their savings or their jobs when they need time off to bond with a new child or care for themselves or their families. As such, we supported House Bill 596, a fully comprehensive bill that would have created “The Louisiana Paid Family and Medical Benefits Act." Ultimately, the bill failed to advance out of committee.
- Quitting Tobacco (HB578): This legislation requires private insurance and Medicaid to cover tobacco cessation services (pharmacotherapies and individual and group counseling). It passed the Legislature and has been signed by the governor.
- Restricting the Sales of Flavored Tobacco (HB179): This bill would have eliminated all flavored e-cigarette products in Louisiana. However, it did not include menthol cigarettes, which are smoked by more than half of all youth and young adult smokers; as such, we and our tobacco coalition partners opposed this legislation. This legislation was stopped in the Senate.
Thank you for your support. We will be in touch, as we continue our efforts to build longer, healthier lives in Louisiana.
Julie M. Howell, Southeast Region Grassroots Lead, contributed to the article.