Old slavery law called “vagrancy” repeal among new bills passed

  Local representatives were successful in passing several bills into law during the 2020 regular session.

Rookie Representative Pat Moore, passed HB137 which removes one of the state’s last “Black Codes” with slavery organs from the books. The law called “Vagrancy” was used after emancipation to reenslave former slaves by making it illegal to associate with a person who had a reputation for gambling, or prostitution.

It also made it illegal not to accept a job or to walk the streets after dark. It even made it illegal for a person to stand on a public street or sidewalk. The bill passed both the house and the senate with no opposition.

Senator Katrina Jackson, passed SB300, which will allow video bingo machines to be used in establishments that also have live bingo games. The new law allows the video bingo machines to be used anytime live games are being played.

Senator Jackson, also passed SB437 which will now provide sick leave for unclassified personnel of colleges and universities that will include sick leave that can be used to care for an immediate family member who is ill or injured or to accompany an immediate family member to a medical, dental, or optical consultation or treatment.

Rep. Micheal Echols, passed HB598 which will increase scrutiny of doctors who use “Telehealth” visits to claim medicare benefits. In addition, the new law requires the Louisiana Department of health to put in place processes by which providers may submit claims for reimbursement for healthcare services furnished through telehealth. It also requires the LDH to spell out the conditions under which a managed care organization may reimburse a provider or facility that is not physically located in La. for healthcare services furnished to a La. Medicaid enrollee through telehealth.

Rep. Echols also passed HB374 which establishes the Bastrop Economic Development District to provide funds for the cost providing infrastructure improvements for economic projects in the city. The district will be funded through incremental tax financing. The district will be able to: construct and acquire facilities and to acquire, construct, improve, operate, maintain, and provide improvements and services necessary therefor, including but not limited to roads, street lighting, bridges, rail facilities, drainage, sewage disposal facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, waterworks, and other utilities and related properties.