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2010 Legislative Session Recap
The 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature started out slow, got slower as state the budget deficit loomed large over any legislation proposing new programs and spending, and nearly ground to a halt with the distraction and worry over the BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the circumstances, sitting through committee hearings and working the floor didn't seem like the most important thing to be doing as the oil threatened Louisiana's shores.
For a general (non-fiscal) legislative session where bills on almost any subject can be introduced, only 808 Senate bills and 1493 House bills were filed. These numbers are well short of the bill count of many past general sessions. Several hundred concurrent and simple resolutions were also filed which is par for the course.
Of special interest to the Louisiana Wildlife Federation were a few bills pertaining to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and the Conservation Fund. Despite the Governor's support, bills proposing to increase the amount to 10% that could be "raided" each year from dedicated funds like the Conservation Fund and transferred to the state's operating fund failed to pass due to strong opposition from rate payers like hunters and anglers. The primary vehicle for that proposal was SB 391. Thanks to an amendment added by Senator Joe McPherson, the Conservation Fund, the Highway Trust Fund and all fee-based dedicated funds were removed from the bill. On the closing day of the session, the House could not muster the 2/3 majority vote to pass it.
Another bill (SB 339) proposed to restructure the LWFC by replacing it with the members of the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees. LWF strongly opposed the idea in committee testimony, pointing out among other things that it would increase the size, expense and bureaucracy of government rather than reduce it as the bill's author suggested to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. The bill got a courtesy vote from the committee to move it to the full Senate where it remained on the calendar without action for the rest of the session.
LWF did not have as much success with the SB 308 proposing a repeal of the exemption from legislative oversight for LWFC rulemaking setting hunting seasons, bag limits, fishing regulations and other routine annual rulemaking by the Commission. LWF's primary concern with legislative oversight under the normal rule-making process is that it can delay the finalization of a rule for several months after it is finally adopted by the Commission. That can be a real problem, especially for hunters planning trips afield in the fall. It could even delay the season openings.
LWF argued for retaining the statutory exemption for certain LWFC rule-making from the administrative procedures law but adding a provision for legislative oversight to occur within the 120-day rulemaking process rather than after it to avoid disrupting the process and causing delays. The bill's author did make some concessions by allowing the LWFC to follow the procedure for emergency rulemaking that would reduce the paperwork required, and added a special requirement that legislative oversight must occur within 30 days after the LWFC ratifies a rule. That will help.
A real "curve ball" bill has turned out to be SB 711 which establishes a "Community Hospital Stabilization Fund" to help fund uncompensated patient care and other expenses and losses incurred by private community hospitals. At a glance, it doesn't look to have anything to do with the interests of the LWF. But toward the end of the bill is language that directs the transfer of $18 million from the Artificial Reef Development Fund to the Overcollections fund (a kind of state government "slush" fund) to compensate for appropriations to the Community Hospital Stabilization Fund.
It is too long of a story to be fully told here, but many years ago, to address the need to properly dispose of decommissioned offshore oil/gas rigs while maintaining their value for artificial reefs in the Gulf, a program was established to permit artificial reef sites where the rigs could be either toppled in place or towed to after being properly "cleaned." A portion of the savings realized by the rig owners (in almost all cases, "disposing" of a rig at an authorized artificial reef site realizes a savings of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars over towing it to shore for scrapping) is deposited to the Artificial Reef Development Fund for use by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries in managing the program and monitoring and maintaining the reef sites. I can't recall ever having seen a report on how much $ is in the fund or a budget for expenditures from the fund for use by the program. That information is not routinely presented to the Legislature or the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission when the LDWF presents its budget, but there are many millions of dollars in the fund. The use of the funds is restricted by contract with the contributing rig "donors" to be used for the purposes of the artificial reef program, so that is a reason for the Governor to consider a veto.
Unsuccessful for the umpteenth time were proposals to require new and reworked oilfield canals in coastal wetlands to be restored after completing production, and to establish a beverage container deposit program. The oil and chemical lobby lined up to squash the canal bill and the retailers association put the kibosh on the "bottle bill."
Rep. Eddie Lambert, an ardent outdoorsman and conservationist with an aggressive disdain for litter pledged to return with the container deposit bill after working out retailers' concerns. He authored a resolution to study the issue and make recommendations to the legislature before the next session.
The piling on against the canal restoration legislation was just another example of the sway the oil and gas lobby has down at the state capitol. Interestingly, the current events in the Gulf seem to have tempered that a little. Several resolutions promoting a halt to federal efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, one supporting the expansion of offshore drilling and one encouraging tax incentives for domestic oil and gas production were halted in their tracks with the onset of the oil "spill."
Perhaps things will change as may be indicated by the language of SR 181 that commits the Louisiana Senate to an investigation of the adequacy of the safety and environmental regulations applicable to offshore as well as land-based oil and gas exploration and development and makes clean energy development and economic diversification a Senate priority for the next legislative session to reduce the state's dependence on oil and gas and secure Louisiana's place as an energy leader in the 21st century.
A few bills backed by LWF were adopted including HB 773 that limits the liability for prescribed burning done according to the guideline of the Office of Forestry and HB 878 that allows full-time nonresident college students to pay resident hunting and fishing license fees regardless the reciprocity offered by their home state.
A bill (HB 879) to link automatic increases of hunting and fishing license and other fees charged by the LDWF to the Consumer Price Index seemed to have traction but was scotched by the House when lawmakers saw the department's robust budget and recognized that they would be taking themselves out of the process of voting for (or against) future fee increases.
With SB 483, Quality Deer Management will have statutory support and SB 534 allows persons to carry firearms in state parks and on wildlife management areas at all times provided they are not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm in a public place.
Of growing concern is the competition for water brought by demand for use in the production of natural gas from shale formations. HB 1449 allows a riparian owner to allow a non-riparian owner to access and use water for agricultural purposes and HB 1486 allows the state to contact for the use of water by non-riparian owners and charge a fee for the use. HCR 1 directs a comprehensive study of ground and surface water to sort out the issues and recommend policy to guide the state in conserving and beneficially using its water resources.
Water is the next "bonanza" and although Louisiana seems to have plenty of it, at least since the big drought 10 years ago, it cannot be taken for granted.
The following is a list of the conservation and wildlife-related legislation that made it through the 2010 Regular Session.
House Bills & Resolutions
HB 1 (Act 11) by Fannin. APPROPRIATIONS. Governor's Office of Coastal Activities - $1,439,730 (10 positions); Coastal protection & Restoration Authority - $485,144 (3 positions) plus $977,375 (7 positions) related to the BP well blowout event and an additional $9,025,340 for expenditures associated with the well blowout; Office of Coastal Protection & Restoration - $140,025,890 (152 positions), plus $360 million for the sand berm project and $65,786,306 for coastal restoration projects; Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Office of State Parks - $16,515,580 plus $14,506,322 in American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds (General Fund[GF]-$13,328,573) (391 positions); Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)/Atchafalaya Basin Program - $246,382 (2 positions), DNR Auxiliary Account for promoting energy efficiency - $14,036,852; $42,749,850 in federal stimulus funds for State Energy Program; Office of Coastal Restoration & Management - $7,042,543 (49 positions); Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality - $133,708,563 plus $1,336,828 in ARRA funds and $14,544,570 for expenditures related to the BP well blowout (847 positions); Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries - $208,047,283 (775 positions): Enforcement Division - $26,709,271 (of which $25,396,757 is from the Conservation Fund) plus $12,664,828 for expenses related to the BP well blowout, plus $1,339,402 from other sources (257 positions), Office of Wildlife - $42,838,026 (of which $12,353,843 is from the Conservation Fund), plus $5,2481,420 for expenses related to the BP well blowout and $417,290 from other sources (211 positions), Office of Fisheries - $95,768,365 (of which $19,092,625 is from the Conservation Fund), plus $8,580,028 for expenses related to the BP well blowout and $1,332,611 from other sources (226 positions). Note: the Conservation Fund contributes $66,168,105 to the LDWF FY 10/11 budget; federal funds from the federal aid in wildlife and sport fish restoration programs contributes about $22 million; about $66 million is from additional federal funds, mostly allocated to commercial and recreational fisheries for hurricane recovery; $27,221,480 is for expenses related to the BP well blowout and about $24 million is from various dedicated trust funds and user-fee generated funds not within the Conservation Fund.
HB 2 (Act 21) by Greene. CAPITAL OUTLAY. Provides for the capital spending of state government; includes $32,145,000 in Priority 1 (P1) and 11,630,000 in Priority 5 (P5) bond funding for various study, acquisition, planning and construction projects (AP&C) and $6,600,000 for maintenance and repairs for state parks and preservation areas administered by the Office of State Parks; $24,255,000 in P1 bond funding for Morganza to the Gulf hurricane flood protection; $2,400,000 in P1 bond funding for Donaldson to the Gulf hurricane flood protection feasibility study; $2,625,000 in P1 bond funding for AP&C or the Washington Parish Reservoir; $100,000 in P1 bond funding for the Castor Creek-Little River Reservoir in LaSalle Parish; $1,700,000 in P1 bond funding for AP&C for the Poverty Point Reservoir in Richland Parish; 400,000 in P1 bond funding for the Ouachita Water Supply Reservoir; $800,000 in P1 bond funding for AP&C for the Allen Parish Reservoir; $1,415,000 in P1 and $1,975,000 in P5 bond funding for AP&C for the Bayou Duchene Reservoir in Caldwell Parish; $10,480,000 in P1 and $3,000,000 in P2 bond funding for the Atchafalaya Basin Program; $2,000,000 from the Wildlife Habitat & Natural Heritage Trust Fund for habitat acquisition by the LDWF, $12 million for a LDWF office complex in Woodworth from general revenue bonds and $600,000 in P2 bond funding for a LDWF/State Police enforcement training academy.
HB 45 (Act 223) by Lambert. CRAB TRAP FLOAT. Removes the requirement that a float and float line be attached to a crab trap fished in areas inland of the saltwater line east of the Mississippi River areas unless the trap is fished in a lake.
HB 172 (Act 29) by Henry. HUNTING SIGHTS. Prohibits the use of laser sights for hunting.
HB 277 (VETOED) by Sam Jones. ATCHAFALAYA POWER. Creates the St. Mary Hydroelectric Authority with broad powers to utilize the Atchafalaya River and Wax Lake Outlet within St. Mary Parish to Generate electricity.
HB 545 (Act 979) by Baldone. COMMERCIAL SPECKLED TROUT SEASON. Deletes July 31 as the last day of the season for the commercial (hook and line) harvest of spotted sea trout; allows the season to run until the commercial quota is reached; prohibits commercial harvest of spotted sea trout in Louisiana Waters west of the Mermentau River.
HB 569 by (Act 254) Carmody & Hazel. NIGHT HUNTING FOR NUTRIA, BEAVER & OUTLAW QUADRUPEDS. Allows the taking of beaver and outlaw quadrupeds at night from March thru August on private property with the permission of the property owner with a .22 cal. rim fire firearm or a shotgun of 10 gauge or smaller with buckshot or smaller shot size and with or without the use of artificial light, laser/infrared sighting devices or night vision devices.
HB 597 (Act 589) by St. Germain. ATCHAFALAYA BASIN SHAD FISHING. Allows commercial netting of shad and skipjack at night within the Atchafalaya Basin, except on Saturdays and Sundays and requires that the nets must be at least 50 feet from the bank.
HB 606 (Act 980) by Ellington. SWINE AT LARGE. Removes exceptions to the prohibition of swine running at large.
HB 641 (Act 263) by Henderson. OYSTER PREDATION CONTROL. Repeals the sunset date on the use of devices to prevent predation on oyster leases.
HB 644 (Act 265) by Henderson. OYSTER LEASE RELOCATION. Requires the LWFC to provide for the relocation of certain oyster leases.
HB 656 (Act 384) by Gisclair. LAKE LONG. Authorizes the Lafourche Parish Game & Fish Commission to govern, control and regulate Lake Long in Lafourche Parish.
HB 688 (Act 197) by Foil. COASTAL SCIENCE CONSORTIUM. Requires the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority to assist in the formation of a coastal science consortium consisting of public and private universities from within and without the state, government entities, private entities and research institutes coordinated by a council; designates the membership of the council, terms of service and methods of appointments.
HB 692 (Act 267) by Wooton & Hutter. OYSTER LEASES. Imposes a 6-month time limit on the recordation of the renewal of an oyster lease.
HB 693 (Act 268) by Wooton & Hutter. OYSTER LEASES. Requires DHH to notify oyster harvesters and dealers that they may apply for an exemption to the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Vibrio management plan.
HB 695 (Act 269) by Wooton, et al. RAW OYSTER EATING. Allows oysters harvested in Louisiana to be available within the state for raw consumption at all times of the year according to rule promulgated by the Department of Health & Hospitals.
HB 733 (Act 527) by Anders. CARBON SEQUESTRATION. Authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry to take all action necessary to insure Louisiana?s participation in the sequestration or reduction of carbon dioxide and other of greenhouse gases from agriculture and forestry.
HB 751 (Act 274) by Foil. SOLAR ENERGY. Provides that no person or entity shall unreasonably restrict the right of a property owner to install or use a solar collector; makes exceptions for zoning requirements and historic preservation considerations.
HB 773 (Act 276) by Roy. PRESCRIBED BURNING/LIABILITY LIMIT. Limits liability for prescribed burning conducted according to law.
HB 787 (Act 633) by Fannin. FUND RAID TRANSFERS. Transfers various amounts from various funds including $82 million from the General Fund (GF), $115 million in previously appropriated highway funds and $217 from tax amnesty collections to the Coastal Protection & Restoration Fund (CPRF); $252 million from the CPRF to the Overcollections Fund; to the general fund from the following funds: $3 million from the State Parks Improvement & Repair Fund, $11,246 from the Scenic Rivers Fund, $285,972 from the Louisiana Help Our Wildlife Fund, $239,344 from the Louisiana Environmental Education Fund, $1,012 from the Fish & Wildlife Violations Reward Fund, $1,125 from the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Fund, $11,582 from the Reptile and Amphibian Research Fund and $113,430 from the Saltwater Fishery Enforcement Fund.
HB 841 (Act 930) by Arnold & Sen. Michot. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. Authorizes the State Mineral board to lease state lands and waterbottoms for the exploration development and production of alternative energy including hydrokinetic energy.
HB 844 (Act 834) by Gisclair. COASTAL USES/PIPELINE STANDARDS. Requires activities for which coastal use permits are issued to be consistent with the state's master plan for integrated coastal protection; makes pipeline owners responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of a pipeline that impacts integrated coastal protection per the state's master and annual plan for coastal protection and restoration or that must be relocated to accommodate integrated coastal protection.
HB 874 (Act 100) by Harrison, et al. DUCK/TURKEY STAMP/LICENSE. Makes housekeeping changes to the law regarding duck and turkey stamps/licenses and provides for the sale of resident and nonresident duck stamps for $5.50 and $25, respectively that do not authorize duck hunting privileges.
HB 875 (Act 606) by Harrison, et al. SHRIMP TASK FORCE. Creates the Shrimp Task Force in the LDWF, provides TF functions and the selection of members, authorizes the TF to administer the Shrimp Marketing and Promotion Account.
HB 877 (Act 46) by St. Germain, et al. WATERWAY CLOSURE IN EMERGENCY. Authorizes the LDWF secretary to close or restrict use of waterways in emergencies according to the provisions of the APA for taking emergency action.
HB 878 (Act 289) by Rep. St. Germain, et al. HUNTING/FISHING FEES-COLLEGE STUDENTS. Makes non-resident full-time students attending a college or university in Louisiana eligible to purchase Louisiana recreational hunting and fishing licenses at the same fee charged to a Louisiana resident regardless of reciprocity of the privilege with the student's home state.
HB 881 (Act 290) by St. Germain, et al. WILDLIFE VIOLATIONS. Makes all violations of wildlife and fisheries laws not already classified a Class 1 violation with respect to the applicable penalty.
HB 882 (Act 291) by St. Germain, et al. WMA ROADS/DOTD. Authorizes the DOTD to work on roads in state wildlife management areas and wildlife refuges.
HB 884 (Act 292) by St. Germain, et al. RESTRICTED HUNTER ED CERTIFICATE. Authorizes the issuance of a restricted hunter education certificate to individuals who cannot complete the course due to disability and requires that a person hunting under such restricted certificate to hunt under the direct supervision of a qualified person 18 years of age or older.
HB 887 (Act 607) by St. Germain, et al. FLOUNDER/ DRUM/SHEEPSHEAD MANAGEMENT. Changes the requirement for stock assessments for flounder, black drum and sheepshead from every 2 to every 5 years and provides the LWFC with management guidelines and alternatives to closing the fishery for these species in the event that the spawning potential ratio falls below 30%.
HB 888 (Act 293) by St. Germain, et al. SALTWATER SHARK & GARFISH. Allows the removal of head and caudal fin but requires retention of a strip of skin sufficient for species identification on garfish possessed prior to landing; requires all fins, including the caudal fin, to be attached to the original shark owner while aboard a vessel until landed, but for sharks of legal length, allows the head to be removed before landing.
HB 890 (Act 294) by Harrison, et al. WILD SEAFOOD CERTIFICATION. Authorizes the LDWF secretary to establish a certification program for seafood harvested from Louisiana waters.
HB 891 (Act 48) by Lambert. DEQ ORGANIZATION. Abolishes the office of environmental assessment in DEQ and authorizes the DEQ secretary to assign the functions of that office to other offices within the department.
HB 892 (Act 152) by St. Germain. SOLID WASTE DEFINITION. Includes locations where solid waste is transferred between vehicles without processing in the definition of solid waste facility.
HB 898 (Act 154) by St. Germain. DEQ SUNSET. Continues the DEQ for 5 years.
HB 913 (Act 296) by Champagne. CLEAN WATER STATE REVOLVING FUND. Renames the Municipal Facilities Revolving Loan Fund the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and provides for the procedures of operation administration.
HB 953 (Act 932) by Lambert. COMMERCIAL CRABBING/FISHING. Allows a commercial crabber also holding a commercial finfishing license to possess the legal limit of finfish in addition to the 25-fish allowable by-catch caught in the crab traps.
HB 1090 (Act 734) by Dove. OCPR AUTHORITIES. Adds certain responsibilities for levees in the coastal zone to the Office of Coastal Protection & Restoration, further refines the division of duties between OCPR and other government entities and authorizes cooperative landowners to be held harmless for any liability associated with the implementation of a coastal restoration/protection project on their property; requires the involvement of the OCPR in oil spill damage assessment and contingency plans.
HB 1169 (Act 103) by White. AIR EMISSIONS. Requires that compliance with federal air emissions requirements constitutes compliance with Louisiana air emissions standards in some circumstances and requires DEQ to promulgate rules for implementation.
HB 1256 (Act 406) by Cromer. BAYOU LIBERTY-SCENIC STREAM. Designates Bayou Liberty in St. Tammany Parish as a scenic stream within the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Streams Program.
HB 1285 (Act 991) by McVea. RARE & ENDANGERED SPECIES LICENSE PLATE. Provides for the creation of a Rare and Endangered Species motor vehicle "prestige" license plate that will be available for $26 plus a handling charge (for 2 years) in addition to the standard fee for motor vehicle registration, such additional fee to be deposited in the Rare and Endangered Species Fund in the Conservation Fund and used for conserving, restoring and enhancing rare, threatened and endangered species habitat in the state by the LDWF Office of Wildlife.
HB 1288 (Act 746) by Guinn. RECREATIONAL HOOP & WIRE NETS. Allows the use of recreational wire and hoop nets in the freshwater areas of the state as defined in R.S. 56: 322.
HB 1309 (Act 312) by Howard. DRINKING WATER INTAKE PROTECTION. Prohibits the abandonment of a vessel or object within the restricted area of a drinking water intake of any public water system within up to 500 feet of the intake on rivers and streams and up to 300 feet on lakes and reservoirs, including prohibition of the use of banks, shore or batture of such waters within the restricted area; further prohibits the discharge of pollutants from vessels within the restricted area including roiling the water causing the suspension of sediment.
HB 1322 (Act 852) by Barrow. AGENCY RECYCLING MANDATE. Requires all state agencies within the executive branch, and the legislative branch and judicial branches of government to implement solid waste reduction & recycling programs and the Division of Administration to set waste reduction goals for those agencies.
HB 1334 (VETOED) by Lambert. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT. Adds sustainability as a goal of managing recreational, commercial, saltwater and freshwater fisheries of the state; adds habitats, estuaries and supporting ecosystems as elements of fisheries management plans; adds protection as a purpose of fisheries management; adds criminological information as one of the considerations in taking action to conserve, manage and sustain fish resources; adds consideration of the ecosystem when managing a stock of fish; repeals prohibition on enforcement of turtle and fish excluder device requirement; provides for promulgation of rules to manage and collect recreational harvest data including tagging requirements, seasons, permitting, reporting requirements, etc.
HB 1346 (Act 315) by Dove. RIGS TO REEFs FUND to SEAFOOD PROMOTION. Authorizes the use of up to 10% of the annual deposits to the Artificial Reef Development Fund and up to 10% of the annual interest earned by the Fund for implementation and administration of a wild-caught seafood certification program and to subsidize compliance with certification by seafood harvesters and processors.
HB 1354 (Act 855) by Hill. SNAKES. Authorizes the LDWF Secretary to prohibit the importation of any species of reptile or amphibian that may, if released to the wild, interfere with the natural ecosystem; requires that a permit be acquired from the LDWF for importation or private possession certain pythons, anacondas and boa constrictors exceeding 8 feet in length as well as most species of venomous snakes regardless of length; authorizes the LWFC to promulgate rules and regulations for the possession and care of such animals; requires persons engaged in the trade of such animals to possess a reptile and amphibian wholesale/retail dealers license; provides for a Class 3 penalty for violation of the rules.
HB 1358 (Act 51) by Fannin. SUPPLEMENTAL DE-APPROPRIATIONS. Reduces current fiscal year appropriations of various agencies including: Coastal Activities - $510,612; Ag & Forestry - $162,337; State Parks - $592,862; DNR - $638,339; DEQ - $2,728,815; DWF - $531,536.
HB 1449 (Act 994) by Fannin. SURFACE WATER USE. Authorizes a riparian owner to assign access and use rights equal to his own for agricultural/aquacultural uses by a non-riparian owner provided that the water withdrawal is environmentally and ecologically sound, does not significantly adversely impact the sustainability of the water body, navigation, public water supply, stream flow energy, sediment load and distribution and prohibits the state from charging a fee for such withdrawals except in the case where the state is the riparian owner.
HB 1466 (Act 631) by Ellington. YO-YOS & TROTLINES. Establishes uniform rules for the use of yo-yos (trigger devices) and trotlines for lakes and reservoirs and the adoption of such rules by the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Commission upon request of the lake commission with jurisdiction over the water body for which the imposition of the rules is requested.
HB 1486 (Act 955) by Morris, et al. SURFACE WATER USE. Provides a process for the state to allow the non-riparian use of surface water, and enter into contracts for the sale of such water with restrictions based on conservation needs, until more comprehensive law addressing water rights, value and sale can be enacted.
HCR 1 by Fannin. GROUND & SURFACE WATER REPORT. Requests the Louisiana Groundwater Resources Commission to prepare a report on the status and use of groundwater and surface water in the state including federal and state efforts to protect and manage ground and surface waters; impacts and potential impacts of current and anticipated water uses including for hydraulic fracturing and agricultural and industrial uses in high water demand areas, the procedure for sale of water from running surface waters of the state and the impacts associated with such sale and use, and to make recommendations for the optimal management of the state's water resources including incentives for conservation and recycling and to report its findings to the Legislature by March 1, 2012.
HCR 28 by Dove. COASTAL ANNUAL PLAN. Approves the FY 2010-2011 annual state integrated coastal protection plan.
HCR 39 by St. Germain. ATCHAFALAYA BASIN PLAN. Approves the Atchafalaya Basin Annual Plan for FY 2010-2011.
HCR 44 by Henry. COASTAL RESTORATION TAX CREDITS. Requests the Dept. of Natural Resources and the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration to study the economic practicality and feasibility of the state authorizing tax credits for certain costs and expenses attributable to the mitigation of deterioration of coastal property and report findings to the Legislature.
HCR 75 by Billiot. BASS SLOTS-LAKE SALAVADOR/CATAOUATCHE. Urges the LWFC at its May meeting to consider applying a slot limit of 16-21 inches on largemouth bass in Lake Cataouatche and portions of the Salvador WMA influenced by the Davis Pond freshwater diversion.
HCR 124 by Armes. TOLEDO BEND FISHING REGS. Urges the LDWF and Sabine River Authority to work with their counterparts in the State of Texas to develop fishing regulations for Toledo Bend Reservoir that are consistent throughout the lake and apply on either side of the state line.
HCR 126 by Anders. FOREST & AG LAND PRESERVATION. Urges state, parish and local governments to purchase conservation easements to assure the continuation of quality, productive farm and forestlands in the face of escalating land values and threats of development.
HCR 205 by Brossett, et al. COASTAL FUNDING. Memorializes Congress to adopt the RESPOND Act which would remove limitations on the 37.5% of offshore energy revenue allocations to the producing Gulf states as authorized by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 and make those revenues available immediately rather than in the year 2017.
HCR 262 by Leger. RECYCLING ELECTRONICS. Urges the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to establish an Electronics Recycling and Reuse Task Force to determine viable methods for the recycling and reuse of electronic devices and to make recommendations for implementing and expanding effective e-waste recycling solutions.
HCR 265 by Edwards. GOVERNMENT ENERGY EFFICIENCY. Requests the commissioner of administration to report to the Legislature by March 1, 2011 on the progress toward implementation of Executive Order BJ 2008-8 that directed state government to apply various energy conservation and efficiency strategies, including any savings achieved through energy efficiency.
HSR 3 by Lambert. LITTER STUDY. Requests the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment to study the effects of recycling, enforcement and education on reducing litter and report its findings prior to the 2011 legislative session.
Senate Bills & Resolutions
SB 35 (Act 112) by Thompson. DEFINES SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE.
SB 103 (Act 118) by N. Gautreaux et al. ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES. Creates the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Revolving Loan Fund Program within DNR to provide financial assistance to government subdivision to convert to use of clean burning alternative fuel vehicles.
SB 170 (Act 770) by N. Gautreaux. PALMETTO ISLAND STATE PARK LEASING. Authorizes the Office of State Parks to lease Palmetto Island State Park to private entities for operation for public use.
SB 172 (Act 124) by N. Gautreaux. WHITE LAKE LAND SWAP. Authorizes the LDWF secretary to swap certain lands within the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area, subject to approval of donor, BP America Production Company, with the Vermilion Parish School Board.
SB 183 (Act 875) by N. Gautreaux. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY/STATE LEASES. Authorizes the State Mineral & Energy Board to lease state lands for the production of alternative energy (wind, solar, geothermal, hydrokinetic, etc.) and sets forth guidelines and procedures for such leasing .
SB 308 (Act 777) by Marionneaux. LWFC RULES/LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT. Repeals the exemption from legislative oversight for the setting of hunting and fishing seasons by the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Commission and requires the LWFC to file reports to the Legislature; authorizes the LWFC to use the emergency provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act to promulgate hunting season dates and bag limits, fishing regulations and other specified regulations and provides for legislative oversight for such "emergency" rules to occur between 5 and 30 days after final adoption of the rule.
SB 363 (Act 646) by Adley. WATER WELL-OIL/GAS DRILLING. Prohibits the owner or operator of an oil/gas well from disturbing the use of a privately-owned, active water well existing at the time the drilling permit is issued unless the oil/gas well owner/operator negotiates with the water well owner to relocate the water well at the oil/gas well owner's expense, including plugging the abandoned water well.
SB 384 (Act 335) by Claitor. C HUNTER SAFETY CERTIFICATION EXEMPTION. Exempts persons hunting under the direct supervision of a licensed or hunter safety certified person 18 years of age or older from the requirement of hunter safety certification.
SB 402 (Act 134) by Riser. ARSENIC ON HIGHWAYS. Prohibits the use of reflective paint on highways that contain reflective glass beads containing a concentration of more than 75 parts per million of inorganic arsenic.
SB 473 (Act 336) by Long. LIFETIME H/F LICENSE-NONRESIDENT EXPATRIOT VETERANS. Provides for a $300 lifetime hunting and fishing license for nonresident, native Louisiana veterans who have been wounded or disabled during active military duty and have a permanent, service-connected disability classification of 50% or more.
SB 483 (Act 337) by McPherson. QUALITY DEER MANAGEMENT. Establishes the Quality Deer Management program within the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.
SB 498 (Act 654) by Chabert. CHARTER BOAT FISHING PROMOTION. Modifies the allocation of the charter boat fishing guide license fee and directs that 10% of the fees collected be used by the Louisiana Charter Boat Association for industry promotion and protection of the fishery.
SB 534 (Act 790) by Hebert. FIREARMS-STATE PARKS & WMAs. Allows persons who lawfully possess firearms to possess firearms on State Parks and Wildlife Management Areas.
SB 599 (Act 954) by B. Gautreaux. COASTAL FUND EXPENDITURES. Limits to 7% the amount of OCS revenues deposited to the Coastal Protection & Restoration Fund that can be used for administration of the coastal protection and restoration program, the remaining 93% must be used for project/program design and construction/implementation.
SB 693 (Act 1008) by Morrish. CHENIER PLAIN LEVEE DISTRICT. Creates the Chenier Plain Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority to perform the functions of a levee district within the Parishes of Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion the primary duties of which are to establish, construct, operate, or maintain flood control works as they relate to hurricane protection, tidewater flooding, saltwater intrusion and conservation, and secondarily, to address water resource development and flood control related to riverine and headwater flooding, water supply needs, erosion control and marsh management.
SB 748 (Act 672) by Thompson. LAKE ST. JOSEPH YO-YOS. Establishes rules for the use of yo-yos for fishing on Lake St. Joseph in Tensas Parish.
SCR 8 by J. R. Smith, et al. NATURAL GAS. Memorializes Congress to support expansion and use of domestic natural gas reserves and alternative energies to reduce our reliance on imported oil by supporting H.R. 1835 and S. 1408 and further to urge state and federal agencies, when possible, to purchase vehicles that can be converted to run on compressed nature gas.
SCR 40 by B. Gautreaux. GULF HYPOXIA ACTION PLAN. Memorializes Congress to support continued investment and progress in implementing the Action Plan for reducing Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico by expanding cooperative efforts throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
SCR 115 by Crowe. BILOXI BARRIER RESTORATION. Urges the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority and the Corps of Engineers to include restoration of the Chandeleur Islands and other barriers that protect St. Bernard Parish, Slidell and the Biloxi Marshes from erosion and storm surges in the state's master plan for restoring coastal Louisiana.
SR 61 by Heitmeier. OIL WELL BLOWOUT. Directs local, state, and federal governmental agencies to work in close coordination, in order to minimize damage to Louisiana's natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and to utilize all available resources to protect and support Louisiana residents and businesses affected by the spill.
SR 169 by Morrell. GOVERNMENT ENERGY EFFICIENCY. Similar to HCR 265.
SR 181 by Crowe. BP OIL WELL BLOWOUT RESPONSE, REPARATION, RECOVERY. Urges the state and federal governments to devote all resources to stop the flow of oil from the BP Macondo 252 well blowout, contain the discharge, clean up the mess, restore the damaged habitat and fish and wildlife resources and protect the residents from impacts; urges all available means be taken to assure that the responsible parties are required to pay for all expenses of the response, clean-up and recovery including compensation for the financial losses of the citizens and businesses impacted by the blowout; commits the Louisiana Senate to an investigation of the adequacy of the safety and environmental regulations applicable to offshore as well as land-based oil and gas exploration and development; makes clean energy development and economic diversification a Senate priority for the next legislative session to reduce the state's dependence on oil and gas and secure Louisiana's place as an energy leader in the 21st century.