Wednesday at the Louisiana Legislature

Advocate file photo -- The Louisiana state Capitol building in Baton Rouge. Show caption
Advocate file photo -- The Louisiana state Capitol building in Baton Rouge.

Legislation up for a state House committee hearing Wednesday is promoted as a clean-up measure of sorts.

But the measure is 132-pages long and the first subject it tackles is Louisiana’s abortion laws.

House Bill 667 is scheduled for House Health and Welfare Committee debate at its 9 a.m. meeting.

The bill, sponsored by committee chairman Rep. Scott Simon, R-Abita Springs, “reorganizes and recodifies the Miscellaneous Health Provisions chapter” of state law.

But the measure raised some suspicion from abortion-rights supporters last week who wondered what the rewrite was really about. They say the state health agency recently tried to push through onerous and unconstitutional restrictions on abortion clinic operations by emergency rule.

State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert said the legislation is not part of the health agency's legislative package. She said legislative committee staff produced the "clean up" bill.

The legislation would create eight chapters from the single Miscellaneous Health Provisions. Besides abortion, the rewrite deals with laws impacting children, diseases, emergency medical services , health care, Medicaid and public health.

The bill is one of six on the Health committees agenda, including one that would ban use of tanning equipment by a minor.

Other legislative committees will tackle an assortment of criminal justice, insurance, transportation, and education topics.

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to take up legislation that would require development and use of a common application for state public colleges and universities, Senate Bill 62, and repeal of the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution Science Act, Senate Bill 70 . The panel also has on its agenda legislation that would revise the textbook adoption process (SB336).

Approval of more specialty license plates are on the Senate Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee schedule. The proposals include those for “Animal Friendly”, the “Future Farmers of America”, “HIV/AIDS Awareness” and others. A House panel approved a series of specialty license plates on Monday.

Another measure, legislation sponsored by state Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, would authorize university logos to be placed on a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles.

The House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice has a measure that would repeal antiquated and obsolete laws related to prisons and correctional facilities and reduce the length of time certain applicants are required to wait before fililng a new pardon request.

The House Insurance Committee’s measures deal with vehicle mechanical breakdown insurers and property residual value insurers.