Legislators Filing Bills for April 10 Start of 2023 Regular Session

The 2023 Regular Legislative Session will convene at noon on Monday, April 10, 2023. Final  Adjournment is no later than 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 8, 2023. The deadline for pre-filing bills is March 31. Legislators have begun to file their bills. Among those are the following:

Representative Selders is proposing in House Bill 55 to improve treatment of incarcerated  individuals with mental health needs, referred to as “The Mental Healing Justice for Incarcerated People Act.”

The proposed law states that legislative intent is access to high-quality mental health services,  regardless of the setting, and that the state wholly supports efforts to assist incarcerated  individuals suffering from severe and persistent mental illnesses, including post-incarceration syndromes, in their efforts to navigate incarceration and reentry into society.

Present law (R.S. 15:830) provides that the department may establish resources and programs for the treatment of inmates with a mental illness or an intellectual disability, either in a separate facility or as part of other institutions or facilities of the department.

House Bill (HB) 55 amends present law to make the establishment of resources and programs mandatory.

The proposed law provides that the qualified mental health persons within the  multi-disciplinary service team shall establish a training program to be conducted annually. The responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary service team include the following:
(1) Prompt screenings of the entire inmate population for post-incarceration syndrome through the use of computer-administered interviewing technology.[…]
(2) Use of computeradministered interviewing to conduct screenings […]
(3) In-prison and outpatient services for all of the following:
(a) Methods for accessing mental health staff during a mental health crisis; (b) Implementation  of prevention interventions for suicide and self-injurious behavior; (c) Procedures for placement of a patient in a level of care in accordance with his mental health needs; (d) Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of post-incarceration syndrome, among other mental illnesses, with medication management or counseling. […]

HB 31, authored by Representative Romero provides for additional offenses that require  registration as a sex offender. The proposed law changes the definition of “criminal offense  against a victim who is a minor” to include the present law offenses of cruelty to juveniles (R.S.  14:93) and second degree cruelty to juveniles (RS. 14:93.2.3).

Representative Boyd is putting forth HB 40 which prohibits intentional employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Present law provides that it shall be unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any  individual based on Legislators Filing Bills for April 10 Start of 2023 Regular Session, continued race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or natural, protective, or cultural hairstyle.

The proposed law adds that it is unlawful for an employer to also discriminate against any individual based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Present law provides that it shall not be unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual based on religion, sex, or national origin in certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary for that  particular business or enterprise.

Proposed law provides that no provision shall be interpreted to infringe upon the freedom of  expression, association, or the free exercise of religion.

HB 41 authored by Representative Frieman requires health benefits and payment parity equal  to in-person services for occupational therapy delivered through telehealth. The proposed law requires a health coverage plan (plan) to pay for covered occupational therapy services provided via telehealth to an individual insured person.

HB 41 prohibits a plan from certain restrictions, including the following: (1) Requiring a previously established in-person relationship or the provider to be physically present with a  patient or client, unless the provider determines that it is necessary to perform that service in  person. (2) Requiring prior authorization, medical review, or administrative clearance for  telehealth that would not be required if that service were provided in person. (3) Requiring  demonstration that it is necessary to provide services to a patient or client as telehealth. (4) Requiring a provider to be employed by another provider or agency […] (5) Restricting or  denying coverage based solely on the communication technology or application used to provide the telehealth service. However, proposed law authorizes a plan to restrict occupational therapy services via telehealth when the services are provided solely by telephone. […]

Senator Cloud is putting forth Senate Bill 7 which provides each library established in accordance with present  law or pursuant to a home rule charter shall adopt and implement a policy to limit the access of minors to sexually explicit material.

The proposed law requires the policy to include: (1) A requirement that community standards  for the population served by the library be considered when acquiring library material through donation or purchase; (2) A library card system that allows a parent or guardian to select a card that indicates whether or not a minor is permitted to check out sexually explicit material physically available in the library.

SB 12, by Senator Fields, requires each postsecondary education institution, elementary,  middle, and high school to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on its premises in an  easily accessible location. The proposed law requires that an AED and a trained AED user be at  each athletic event sponsored by a postsecondary institution and elementary, middle, or high school.








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