Health fixes gain panel OK

A state Senate panel endorsed a series of bills Tuesday aimed at improving Louisiana’s health rankings.

The Health and Welfare Committee shipped to the Senate floor:

Senate Bill 514 that would ban smoking within 200 feet of elementary and secondary school property.

• Senate Bill 513 that would create the Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission.

• Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 establishing a joint legislative committee on obesity.

• Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 directing the state health agency to seek federal approval for WIC cash value vouchers to be used at farmer’s markets.

State Sen. David Heitmeier, D-New Orleans, sponsored all the legislation.

Heitmeier deferred action for a week on Senate Bill 491 that would add e-cigarette and alternative nicotine products to restrictions of the Louisiana Smokefree Air Act.