Laws going into effect in Louisiana on August 1

Dozens of new laws will go into effect on Tuesday, August 1, in Louisiana following this year's Regular Legislative Session.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Dozens of new laws will go into effect on Tuesday, August 1, in Louisiana following this year’s Regular Legislative Session.

Governor John Bel Edwards signed more than 100 bills into law, ranging from new penalties for drug dealers, books in libraries, to foreign adversaries not being able to buy land in our state.

House Bill 90, now known as Act 399, puts in place harsher penalties and up to life in prison for those convicted of selling fentanyl.

“And so, if you are a part of that system in any shape or form, you need to be held accountable, because you’re killing people who had hopes and dreams. They were trying to get high and not die. And so yes, we want to address it from a law enforcement approach, from a legislation approach, but also making sure that people get the hope, the help, and the resources that they need,” said Tonja Myles, a mental health and substance abuse advocate.

There are some new laws going into effect which will impact schools.

House Bill 8, now known as Act 264, requires every public K-12 and college classroom to display ‘In God We Trust’ signs.

Senate Bill 12, now known as Act 234, defibrillators on school campuses and athletic events.

While both of those laws go into effect on Tuesday, they do give schools a lot more time to buy those materials.

Library book content has been a really controversial issue across the state. Senate Bill 7, now known as Act 436, limits minors from being able to check out sexually explicit books at public libraries.

However, while the law goes into effect, libraries have until January of 2024 to adopt a policy, and until June of 2024 to implement it.

Lawmakers also passed a bill which prohibits foreign adversaries from acquiring property in the state.

“We have a foreign adversary list, and on that list are countries who are out to see the demise of the United States of America, and the Chinese Communist Party is one of them. It’s Iran, Iraq, Russia and Venezuela that are the other ones,” said State Rep. Valarie Hodges (R), district 64.

Act 451 goes into effect creating the victims of Vehicular Homicide Fund, to pay reparations to family members for death resulting from vehicular homicide.

“Any deterrents from impaired driving is something we would absolutely stand behind. What a lot of people do not realize is that impaired driving is a choice made and it’s something that causes such tragedy that impacts people in so many different ways, not only emotionally but financially as well,” said Sunny Wall, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Louisiana.

Another law will establish the official state nut as the pecan.

Our sister station KPLC in Lake Charles also compiled a list of laws going into effect on Tuesday:

  • Senate Bill 175 (Act 457) criminalizes the creation and possession of “deepfakes” of minors engaging in sexual conduct.
  • Senate Bill 124 (Act 256) increases the penalty for driving a vehicle without a license plate attached.
  • House Bill 258 (Act 231) creates a state maritime academy within the University of Louisiana system.
  • House Bill 121 (Act 219) requires public schools that include kindergarten through fifth grade to provide at least 15 minutes of recess per day.
  • Senate Bill 135 (Act 207) recognizes the value of midwives and implements a Medicaid reimbursement rate for midwifery services.
  • Senate Bill 229 (Act 212) expands the boundaries of the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Economic Growth and Development District and amends the tax structure.
  • House Bill 68 (Act 215) authorizes public schools to offer an elective course in the history of literature of the Bible. The law states that the course must maintain religious neutrality and not use any particular translation of the Bible.
  • House Bill 55 (Act 214) is also known as the “Mental Healing Justice for Incarcerated People Act” which allocates funding for access to better mental health services in state prisons and screenings for inmates with mental health disorders.
  • Senate Bill 169 (Act 193) requires state police to track rape kits from collection through storage through conviction. State police are allowed to phase in this policy but it must be fully implemented by summer 2024.
  • House Bill 523 (Act 445) extends the amount of time minors can be held in adult lockup if a juvenile detention facility is not available to up to 48 hours. The minors must be separated from adult offenders.
  • House Bill 5 (Act 439) allows mothers of children to recoup 50% of out-of-pocket pregnancy-related medical expenses from the biological father within a certain time period.

You can find all the bills signed by Gov. Edwards during the legislative session in two separate lists HERE and HERE.

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