Changes coming to the Legislature

The Louisiana Legislature’s 2019 regular session ended at the beginning of June. Overall, as expected, this was a relatively sedate session for coastal issues. The CRCL began the session by releasing our 2019 Legislative Platform, which was shared with all legislators. We are happy that our main priorities — passing the annual plan and restoring funds raided from the coastal trust fund — made it through. Here is an update of some of the relevant bills we were tracking and how they fared:​

  • $55 million will be restored to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund from the FY2018 surplus. This is the amount of money that had been raided in previous years from the trust fund.

  • The CPRA Annual Plan was passed unanimously by the House and Senate.

 

  • None of the bills regarding public access made it through. The reason generally stated is that legislators are waiting for a report, expected next year, from the Public Recreation Access Task Force that will make recommendations on this issue.

 

  • SB190 by Sen. Norby Chabert passed. This legislation, if it is signed into law, will change the composition of the CPRA Board. A new member will be added — the lieutenant governor or his designee. Additionally, the current members who are designated as “Representative West of the Atchafalaya River” or “Representative East of the Atchafalaya River” will in the future instead be divided into one member from each hydrological basin (Pontchartrain, Breton Sound or Mississippi Delta, Barataria, Terrebonne, Atchafalaya, Mermentau or Teche/Vermillion, and Calcasieu/Sabine Basin). 

  • We supported HCR42, which urges the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to study the overall impacts of wetland assimilation projects prior to approval of additional projects. This resolution passed.

 

Next year we can expect some major changes in the Legislature, because 33 percent of current members cannot run for re-election because of term limits. The current speaker of the House and president of the Senate are among them. Some term-limited members will run in the opposite chamber. This will be the largest legislative turnover since 2007.

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

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3801 Canal Street, Suite 400, New Orleans, LA 70119

5615 Corporate Boulevard, Suite 600B, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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