Louisiana’s economy should work for everyone, not just the wealthy. That means ensuring all jobs come with good wages and benefits, that every child has access to great schools and that a strong public safety-net is there for people who fall on hard times. In the 2024 Regular Session, Gov. Jeff Landry and the Legislature missed important opportunities to make new, needed investments in Louisiana’s children, families and communities, and took a step backward on policies that protect and support working people.   

With state revenue projections holding steady after years of growth, lawmakers steered more money to police and prisons while cutting support for early childhood education. They refused to give public school teachers a raise, and once again failed to establish a state minimum wage. And they made life harder for struggling workers with bills that cut the duration of unemployment benefits and eliminated the state’s ability to get waivers from federal work reporting requirements under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Legislators also created a new private school subsidy plan – “education scholarship accounts” – that has the potential to strain the state budget in future years once it is fully implemented. 

There were also some notable bright spots, however, in bills that passed and some that failed to gain traction. Legislators wisely resisted the urge to pass major tax cuts, and set aside new money to help colleges and universities deal with their lengthy backlog of deferred maintenance. Lawmakers also insisted that Louisiana accept available federal assistance to help low-income families put food on the table. A $4 million state appropriation, set to match another $4 million in federal dollars, will help up to 600,000 children have more food to eat during the summer months, when school is out of session.  

Louisiana faces serious fiscal headwinds in 2025, as an expiring 0.45% state sales tax has helped create as much as a $500 million budget shortfall that legislators will be charged with solving during next year’s “fiscal” session. As legislators head home for a much-needed break from Baton Rouge, Invest in Louisiana hopes they will focus on the real work of raising the revenue needed to balance next year’s budget without cutting critical services.

Perhaps most important, state senators listened to their constituents by refusing to go along with Landry’s top legislative priority – a rushed, two-week convention to rewrite the state constitution. While Louisiana’s constitution is far from perfect, any attempt to rewrite this foundational document should be done in a careful, transparent manner which gives citizens the ability to elect delegates and provide input. 

Invest in Louisiana staff and allies at the state Capitol during the 2024 legislative session. 

By the time the 2024 Regular Session began on March 11, state senators and representatives were beginning their third session of the year. Having only been sworn into office two months earlier, along with a new governor and other state-wide elected officials, lawmakers gathered in Baton Rouge to debate legislation in the first regular session of this term.

Invest in Louisiana stood ready throughout the session to offer policy analysis and commentary on how legislation impacted Louisiana’s families.

Citing the length and age of Louisiana’s constitution, Landry asked the Legislature to call a constitutional convention to rewrite the state’s foundational document. The governor’s plan initially called for a constitutional rewrite session starting in late May, at the same time as the regular legislative session, that would wrap up by mid-July.

The public had different ideas. Polling showed that voters thought the process was being rushed and that people should have the chance to elect delegates to a convention. Other polling found that a constitutional rewrite ranked low on people’s priorities. 

The instrument authorizing the convention, House Bill 800, eventually stalled in the Senate, even with changes to push the convention back to August so the Legislature could finish their work for the 2024 Regular Session. In the beginning, the governor and his allies were silent on the details of what they wanted to change in the constitution. As the debate unfolded, many highlighted the need to rewrite the constitution to address the state’s impending “fiscal cliff.” Certain taxes are limited by constitutional provisions, namely state sales tax, which cannot be applied to groceries, prescription drugs and home utility charges unless the constitution is changed. 

The constitution also protects funding for public schools, coastal protection, hospitals and other health care providers, and ensures that state employees and other public employees have civil service protections. 

Invest in Louisiana, working with partner organizations such as the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, the Alliance for Affordable Energy and Housing Louisiana, developed ads to educate voters about the convention and its potential consequences. 

The bill to create the constitutional convention cleared the House with the required two-thirds vote, all Republicans.

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB800BEAULLIEUCONSTITUTION/CONVENTION:  Provides for calling a limited constitutional conventionPassed the House; Stalled in Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

Two bills – one each in the House and Senate – sought to create Louisiana’s version of so-called “education savings accounts,” or ESAs. Similar to school vouchers, these programs transfer public dollars to private institutions and service providers. These accounts differ from vouchers in that parents are given much more discretion, as public dollars can cover not just private school tuition but also pay for things like textbooks, test preparation and online instruction. Early in the session, Invest in Louisiana questioned the cost and accountability of such a program.  According to Invest’s analysis, these programs in other states spend ever-increasing amounts of state dollars and are rife with abuse.

The proposed “Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise” (LA GATOR) Program initially called for eligible students to have a fixed amount of state dollars, ranging from $5,200 to $15,000, credited to accounts for qualified educational expenses. Students became eligible according to a three-year phase in, with the potential for virtually all school-age children, including homeschool students and children already attending private school, to be eligible for a state subsidy by the third year.

The two ESA bills started out as near duplicates of each other. But House Bill 745 stalled in the Senate, while Senate Bill 313 was heavily amended as it moved through the upper chamber. Instead of making the “scholarships” available to all students, it specified that scholarship accounts would be based on available funds, and tasked the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education with writing regulations that decide who gets priority. The new law requires the Louisiana Department of Education to begin enrolling eligible students no later than March 1, 2025, for the 2025-26 school year.

As the Senate bill neared final passage, accountability and testing provisions became a key point of contention. The Senate initially voted to require private school voucher students to take state-approved standardized tests, but later agreed with a House amendment that removed the requirement.  Participating students will still be required to take tests, but private schools will be allowed to choose which test their enrolled students take. Becoming Act 1, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education now has the authority to promulgate rules to create and implement the program, with some program requirements set in the Act.

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB745EMERSONSCHOOLS/CHOICE:  Creates and provides for the LA GATOR Scholarship Program, a universal school choice programPassed the House; Stalled in Senate Education committee
SB313EDMONDSSCHOOLS:  Creates the Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (LA GATOR) Scholarship Program to provide educational savings accounts for parental choice in K-12 educationSigned by the Governor; Became Act 1
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.
The Louisiana Opportunity Youth Alliance hosted the inaugural Opportunity Youth Day at the state Capitol on April 30.

About 1 in 6 young Louisianans, ages 16 to 24, are disconnected from both work and school. For several years, Invest in Louisiana has been working with community partners to raise awareness about such Opportunity Youth, and in early 2024, these partners came together as the Louisiana Opportunity Youth Alliance (LOYAL). For the 2024 Legislative Session, LOYAL’s primary focus was to begin to answer the question:  What does ‘opportunity youth’ mean? 

LOYAL hosted the inaugural Opportunity Youth Day at the Capitol on April 30. A primary focus of this event was to create an environment where young people, direct service providers and community leaders could meet with legislators and watch the lawmaking process in person. Creating an open and welcoming environment for all parties is imperative for decision-makers to understand their role in improving the lives of Louisiana’s opportunity youth. Opportunity Youth Day was a catalyst for open and honest dialogue.

To help raise awareness of Opportunity Youth, Sen. Royce Duplessis filed Senate Resolution 47, which creates a task force, charged with making policy recommendations to improve the lives of this population. The task force includes state agency leadership, community based organizations and, most importantly, actual youth or former youth with lived experience.

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB290MARCELLEEMPLOYMENT/WAGES-MINIMUM: Establishes a state minimum wage rateVoluntarily deferred, House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee
HB431BOYDEMPLOYMENT/WAGES-MINIMUM: Provides relative to the state minimumVoluntarily deferred, House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee
SCR20DUPLESSISWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Requests the Department of Education and Workforce Commission, along with local school boards and chambers of commerce, to aggressively develop and promote high quality, youth-serving apprenticeship programs and work-based experiences for high school students.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SR47DUPLESSISWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Creates the Louisiana Opportunity Youth Task Force.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

Louisiana has long struggled with high rates of maternal mortality, and inequitable outcomes for Black mothers and infants. Invest in Louisiana worked closely with community partners on policies aimed at improving Louisiana’s infant and maternal health outcomes. 

Working with maternal and child health advocates, Invest in Louisiana supported bills that aimed to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for some services, ensure that postpartum women covered by Medicaid get twelve months of continuous eligibility and access to care, and reimburse doulas for services provided in Medicaid. These bills met with mixed success. The Legislature agreed to a bill that lets the health department develop a plan to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for some services to Medicare rates. But lawmakers did not fund the efforts to close the coverage gap for postpartum coverage, and rejected legislation to reimburse doulas in the Medicaid program. 

Invest also supported bills to ensure that evidence-based pregnancy and postpartum health services are covered by Medicaid and private health insurance plans; supported bills to provide Medicaid reimbursement for a newborn nurse home visiting service, and participated in the Black Maternal Health Day at the Capitol. The Legislature adopted the bill to increase pregnancy and postpartum health services, but did not fund an expansion of the nurse home visiting service. 

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB392FREEMANMEDICAID:  Provides relative to Medicaid and private insurance coverage for perimenopausal and menopausal care (EG NO IMPACT See Note)Became law without the Governor's signature; Became Act 784
HB558TURNERMEDICAID:  Provides relative to the Local Healthcare Provider Participation Program (EG SG RV See Note)Signed by the Governor; Became Act 432
HB702WILLARDMEDICAID:  Provides for Medicaid coverage and support for doula services (EG INCREASE GF EX See Note)Stalled in House Appropriations Committee
HB860ECHOLSMEDICAID:  Provides relative to Medicaid reimbursement for home visiting services provided after the birth of a childStalled in House Appropriations Committee
HR99CARPENTERSPECIAL DAY/WEEK/MONTH:  Recognizes April 11-17, 2024, as Black Maternal Health Week in LouisianaEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HR246MANDIE LANDRYMEDICAID MANAGED CARE: Requests the Louisiana Department of Health, through its Medical Care Advisory Committee, or the creation of a subcommittee thereof, to study ways for Medicaid to invest in community-based social service organizations that address health-related social needs and determinantsEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR86JORDANHEALTH:  Continues the Task Force on African American Suicide RatesEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR87DUSTIN MILLERHEALTH CARE:  Continues the Health Inequalities and Disparities in Rural Areas Task ForceEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SB135DUPLESSISMEDICAID:  Requires the Department of Health to amend the Medicaid state plan to include certain additional pregnancy and postpartum coverage. (7/1/25)Stalled in Senate Finance Committee
SB142BARROWMEDICAID:  Requires doula services to be covered by Medicaid. (8/1/24) (OR INCREASE GF EX See Note)Passed the Senate; Stalled in House Health and Welfare Committee
SB143BARROWHEALTH CARE: Provides for hypertension screening. (gov sig) (EN NO IMPACT See Note)Signed by the Governor; Became Act 299
SB190BOUDREAUXMEDICAID:  Provides for Medicaid reimbursement rate increases. (8/1/24)Signed by the Governor; Became Act 306
SB300DUPLESSISINSURANCE POLICIES:  Provides for health insurance coverage of pregnancy-related and postpartum healthcare services. (8/1/24) (OR INCREASE GF EX See Note)Signed by the Governor; Became Act 762
SCR6GARY CARTERHEALTH CARE:  Requests the Louisiana Department of Health to apply to participate in the CMS Transforming Maternal Health Model.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SCR17MCMATHMEDICAID:  Requests the Louisiana Department of Health to increase eligibility requirements for the Medicaid Purchase Plan.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

Louisiana’s economy works best when working people have access to adequate wages and benefits, along with protections for when they lose their job through no fault of their own. 

Invest in Louisiana Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst Christina LeBlanc (right) testifies on a bill that reduces unemployment benefits. 

The 2024-2028 term began with a barrage of legislation aimed at weakening worker protections in Louisiana. Invest in Louisiana opposed bills that cut the duration of unemployment benefits by over half, and legislation that repeals the requirement for 30-minute meal breaks for teen workers. Despite objections from workers, labor unions and advocates, both bills passed, hurting Louisiana’s workers and youth.  

Legislators again refused to establish a state minimum wage. Invest in Louisiana supported legislation raising the state minimum wage by detailing how raising the wage would be a win for all Louisiana workers. Invest in Louisiana also supported a bill that sought to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees due to sexual orientation or gender identity. These bills died in committee.

Invest in Louisiana worked in coalition with partners to draft, fund and build support for legislation that provides six weeks of paid parental leave for educators. The Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 426, but it stalled in the Senate Finance Committee because of concerns about its potential cost. Instead, the Senate Education and Finance Committees agreed to study the issue and provide a report before the next regular session in 2025. 

Several legislators filed measures aimed at weakening labor unions. These bills targeted public sector unions by prohibiting or limiting payroll deduction and by setting requirements for union elections, among other things. By the end of session, however, none of this anti-union legislation made it through the process.

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB119ROMEROUNEMPLOYMENT COMP:  Provides relative to the duration of unemployment compensation benefits and provides for extended benefitsSigned by the Governor; Became Act 412.
HB156WILDEREMPLOYMENT OF MINORS:  Repeals the provision of law relative to recreation or meal periods for minorsSigned by the Governor; Became Act 603
HB234BOYDEMPLOYMENT/DISCRIMINATION:  Provides relative to employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientationVoluntarily deferred in House Labor Committee
HB290MARCELLEEMPLOYMENT/WAGES-MINIMUM:  Establishes a state minimum wage rateVoluntarily deferred in House Labor Committee
HB431BOYDEMPLOYMENT/WAGES-MINIMUM:  Provides relative to the state minimum wageVoluntarily deferred in House Labor Committee
HB523WILDERLABOR/COLLECTIVE BARGAIN:  Provides relative to the election of a collective bargaining representativeVoluntarily deferred in House Labor Committee
HB571CREWSLABOR:  Provides relative to certain designated labor organization activities in employment contractsDeferred in Senate Labor Committee
HB572CREWSLABOR/COLLECTIVE BARGAIN:  Prohibits collective bargaining for public officers and employeesStalled on the House Floor
HB588CREWSWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Provides relative to the membership of the Workforce Investment CouncilSigned by the Governor; Became Act 623
HB712CREWSLABOR:  Provides relative to the resignation from labor organizations for teachers and other school employees and the collection of membership dues for political activitiesReported by substitute; See HB 980
HB919CHENEVERTPUBLIC OFFLS/EMPS:  Provides with respect to payroll deductionsStalled on the House Floor
HB956CREWSLABOR:  Creates the Employee Secret Ballot Protection ActVoluntarily deferred in Senate Labor Committee
HB980CREWSLABOR:  Provides relative to the resignation from labor organizations dues for teachers and other school employees and public employeesStalled in Senate Labor Committee
SB173GARY CARTEREMPLOYMENT:  Provides relative to the state minimum wageDeferred in Senate Labor Committee
SB180BARROWEMPLOYMENT:  Constitutional amendment to establish a state minimum wage.Stalled in Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee
SB293EDMONDSWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Provides primary point of contact for workforce solutions.Signed by the Governor; Became Act 330
SB356JACKSON-ANDREWSWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Provides for workforce training and education initiative for public assistance recipients.Signed by the Governor; Became Act 336
SB426JENKINSSCHOOLS:  Provides for paid parental leave for eligible employees.Voluntarily deferred in Senate Finance Committee
SCR11REESECONGRESS:  Urges the Congress of the United States to amend federal law to allow states to provide for the consolidation of federally funded workforce development services with federally funded social safety net services.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SSR3JENKINSCOMMITTEE STUDIES:  Requests study of the feasibility of establishing state subsidized parental leave for K-12 educators.Approved, 5/24/2024
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

Louisiana continues to incarcerate more people, per capita, than anywhere else in America. The state’s commitment to mass incarceration drains public resources from policies that reduce crime and recidivism, such as education, job training and behavioral health services. In 2024, Invest in Louisiana worked with community partners to support policies that advanced these priorities for incarcerated youth and adults.

Following a special session on crime that produced harsher penalties and fewer opportunities for early release, the Legislature embraced opportunities for research and data-informed legislation through  several resolutions that call for reviewing educational programs in Louisiana prisons and jails and the feasibility of statewide bail schedules. They also call for a study of the criminal statutes relating to white-collar crimes, financial crimes and crimes involving elected officials.

The Legislature passed and the governor signed Act 587, which creates a commission to prioritize and oversee construction and repairs of juvenile and adult detention centers, and creates a new fund to pay for the projects. Lawmakers also set aside $100 million in the budget to fund the construction projects. In its original form, the bill only addressed juvenile facilities. Invest in Louisiana supported attempts to improve the conditions at juvenile detention centers.

The Legislature also adopted a new pilot program through Act 435, directing state agencies to work with “selected nonprofit groups” to provide opportunities for “at-risk youth” to participate in vocational training programs, life skills, healthy choices and literacy instruction. Lawmakers also approved Senate Bill 116, allowing for more than one felony conviction expungement in a 10-year period as long as each felony conviction was individually eligible. Such legislation creates better opportunities for housing and employment, and thus avoids the major risk factors for recidivism. 

A House committee rejected House Bill 730, the Fairness and Safety for Incarcerated Workers Act, which aimed to let incarcerated people keep more of what they earn while participating in transitional work programs. Invest in Louisiana staff urged the committee to consider the positive impact that increased earnings for transitional work program participants would have on payment of court obligations and, consequently, recidivism. Likewise, House Bill 590, which would entitle incarcerated persons to $1,000, for each day they were held in custody past their release date, did not make it out of committee.

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB165BOYDCRIME:  Provides relative to marijuana paraphernaliaSigned by the Governor; Became Act 682
HB212BEAULLIEUCRIMINAL/VICTIMS: Provides relative to notification procedures in certain circumstancesSigned by the Governor; Became Act 44
HB578LYONSCORRECTIONS:  Creates the Back on Track Youth Pilot ProgramSigned by the Governor; Became Act 435
HB590JORDANCORRECTIONS/PRISONERS:  Provides relative to inmates held beyond their release dates within the Dept. of Public Safety and CorrectionsStalled in House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee
HB730MENACORRECTIONS/PRISONERS: Creates "The Fairness and Safety Act for Louisiana Incarcerated Workers" Deferred in House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee
HB736KNOXCHILDREN:  Provides for the availability of certain education and training services for adjudicated childrenPassed the House; Stalled in Senate Judiciary B Committee
HR12FREEMANCORRECTIONS:  Continues the task force created by House Resolution No. 174 of the 2023 R.S. to study the educational programs in the prisons and jails of this stateEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HR182MARCELLESPECIAL DAY/WEEK/MONTH:  Designates May 1, 2024, as Domestic Violence Prevention Advocacy Day in the state of LouisianaEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HR191BAYHAMBAIL:  Requests the La. State Law Institute to study the feasibility of statewide bail schedulesEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR22MARCELLEPUBLIC SFTY/CORRECTIONS:  Directs the Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections to establish family-sensitive policies for all correctional facilities under the jurisdiction of the departmentPassed the House; Stalled in Senate Judiciary B Committee
HCR24MARCELLEPUBLIC SFTY/CORRECTIONS:  Urge/Request the Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections to permit incarcerated parents to virtually attend certain ceremonies involving their childrenEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR85MANDIE LANDRYCRIME:  Directs the La. State Law Institute to conduct a study of the criminal statutes relating to white-collar crimes, financial crimes, and crimes involving elected officialsEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SB116JACKSON-ANDREWSCRIMINAL RECORDS:  Provides relative to the expungement of felony convictions. (8/1/24)Signed by the Governor; Became Act 580
SB183GARY CARTERJUVENILE JUSTICE: Provides relative to academic plans for children committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.Signed by the Governor; Became Act 124
SB431CLOUDFUNDS/FUNDING:  Provides with respect to the creation of the Juvenile Detention Commission for the purpose of reviewing and recommending funding for juvenile detention centers. [Enrolled version broadened scope]Signed by the Governor; Became Act 587
SR73BOUIESPECIAL DAY/WEEK/MONTH:  Designates Wednesday, May 1, 2024, as Domestic Violence Advocacy Day in Louisiana.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SR146BARROWJUVENILE JUSTICE: Requests the office of juvenile justice to submit a report to the legislature on complaints, investigations, and litigation related to certain facilities housing juveniles.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SR170GARY CARTERJUVENILES: Requests the office of juvenile justice to report to the Louisiana Senate Committee on Judiciary B on the status of vocational training opportunities available to children in the care of the office in secure, nonsecure, community-based, and private facilities.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

Louisianans can’t reach their full potential at work, at home or at school unless they have enough food to eat. Unfortunately, Louisiana took several steps backward in 2024 thanks to actions by the Legislature.

Invest in Louisiana Safety Net Policy Advocate Sissy Phleger (right) testifies on a bill that blocks Louisiana from seeking or accepting certain waivers for food stamp recipients.

First, the good news: Under pressure from a bipartisan group of state legislators, the Landry administration reversed an earlier decision by authorizing Louisiana’s participation in a new federal Summer EBT program that provides extra money to families to help buy food for children during the summer. Louisiana’s decision means eligible families get $120 per child, pumping an estimated $71 million into the state’s economy and helping people with low incomes make ends meet when their children do not have access to school breakfast and lunch. 

Legislators took a different approach to hungry adults who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), passing legislation that could strip federal food aid from childless adults. The results could be catastrophic in one of the most food-insecure states in the country.

Specifically, Act 308 blocks the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) from seeking waivers from complex monthly work-reporting requirements. As Invest in Louisiana noted, these requirements create an “operational nightmare” for the state agency and people who rely on SNAP benefits, and do nothing to help connect people with jobs or job training. 

Other attempts to undermine SNAP included House Bill 260, aimed at restricting what types of food people can buy with their federal benefits. Such limits hurt Louisiana businesses and limit people’s access to food. Although the bill did not move out of committee, the author, Rep. Troy Romero, filed resolutions urging both Congress and DCFS to limit food choices under SNAP. 

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB260ROMEROSNAP/FOOD STAMPS:  Limits types of food purchases with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefitsVoluntarily deferred in House Health and Welfare Committee; See HCR 115
HB287HUGHESAPPROPRIATIONS/SUPPLEML: To make supplemental appropriations for the 2023-2024 Fiscal YearAmended in to Act 774
HB303BOYERSNAP/FOOD STAMPS:  Provides for the reduction of SNAP benefits upon a juvenile entering department of corrections custodySigned by the Governor; Became Act 606
HB481SCHAMERHORNTANF/FITAP:  Provides for drug testing requirements for recipients of cash assistance in the Family Independence Temporary Assistance ProgramStalled in House Health and Welfare Committee
HB482SCHAMERHORNFUNDS/FUNDING:  Creates a special treasury fund for the purposes of drug testing treatment of recipients of certain public assistanceStalled in House Appropriations Committee
HCR36DAVISSPECIAL DAY/WEEK/MONTH:  Designates March 27, 2024, as "Anti-Hunger Day" in LouisianaEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR105ROMEROSNAP/FOOD STAMPS: Memorializes the United States Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture to grant Louisiana a waiver to remove unhealthy foods from the list of approved foods that may be purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefitsEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR115ROMEROSNAP/FOOD STAMPS:  Urge/Request the Department of Children and Family Services to seek a waiver from the federal government to limit access to unhealthy foodsEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SB195MIGUEZWELFARE:  Provides relative to work requirements within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.Signed by the Governor; Became Act 308
SB196MIGUEZWELFARE:  Provides relative to program integrity in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.Stalled in Senate Health and Welfare Committee
SB293EDMONDSWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Provides primary point of contact for workforce solutions. Signed by the Governor; Became Act 330
SB356JACKSON-ANDREWSWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Provides for workforce training and education initiative for public assistance recipients.Signed by the Governor; Became Act 336
SCR11REESECONGRESS:  Urges the Congress of the United States to amend federal law to allow states to provide for the consolidation of federally funded workforce development services with federally funded social safety net services.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SCR40FIELDSGOVERNOR:  Urges and requests Gov. Jeffrey M. Landry to make application to receive funding for the Summer EBT programEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

After years of post-pandemic growth that produced large annual surpluses, legislators started the 2024-25 budget cycle with a relatively flat revenue forecast. The result was a budget that increased spending on police and prisons while cutting funding that helps low-income parents afford early childhood education. Public school teachers received $2,000 stipends, but were left without a permanent pay raise for the second year in a row. 

The revenue picture brightened in May, when the Revenue Estimating Conference added $285 million to the state’s 18-month revenue outlook. That money helped legislators direct more than $100 million to earmarked spending in their districts. 

The Senate also added special language to the Revenue Stabilization Fund statute in order to tap an additional $717 million in spending, which was earmarked for transportation infrastructure; criminal justice and first responders; higher education capital improvements; and water system improvements.  

As lean as this year’s budget cycle was, things are projected to get leaner in the coming years. The state is projected to collect $541 million less in sales tax revenue in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2025, due in large part to the expected expiration of a temporary 0.45% sales tax and the reinstatement of a 2% tax exemption on business utilities. 

Legislators wisely set aside several bills that would have made budgeting even more difficult in future years. These bills included a proposed constitutional amendment that would have restricted the amount of money the Legislature could appropriate each year, even if money is available, and a bill that sought to cut taxes on oil producers by up to $40 million per year. 

Instrument  AuthorSummaryStatus
HB1MCFARLANDAPPROPRIATIONS: Provides for the ordinary operating expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2024-2025Line item vetoed by the Governor; Became Act 4
HB259BEAULLIEUTAX/SEVERANCE TAX: Reduces the severance tax rate for oil over a certain period of time and specifies the severance tax rate for oil produced from certain wellsPassed the House; Stalled in Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee
HB314MCFARLANDAPPROPRIATIONS/ANCILLARY: Provides for the ancillary expenses of state governmentSigned by the Governor; Became Act 685
HB418BEAULLIEUTAX/SEVERANCE TAX: Reduces severance tax rates on oil and gas produced from inactive wells and orphan wells Signed by the Governor; Became Act 695
HB502GEYMANNAPPROPRIATIONS: (Constitutional Amendment) Limits the amount of monies that may be appropriated in a fiscal year Stalled in House Appropriations Committee
HB526BEAULLIEUBUDGETARY CONTROLS: (Constitutional Amendment) Provides relative to the expenditure limit Stalled in House Appropriations Committee
HB619BEAULLIEUBUDGETARY CONTROLS: Provides relative to the expenditure limit Stalled in House Appropriations Committee
HB709GEYMANNAPPROPRIATIONS: Limits the amount of monies that may be appropriated in a fiscal year Stalled in House Appropriations Committee
HB782MCFARLANDAPPROPRIATIONS/SUPPLEML: Makes supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023-2024Line item vetoed by the Governor; Became Act 774
HB786MCFARLANDFUNDS/FUNDING: Provides for the transfer, deposit, and use of monies among state fundsSigned by the Governor; Became Act 723
HB843MCFARLANDLEGISLATIVE EXPENSES: Makes appropriations for the expenses of the legislature for Fiscal Year 2024-2025Signed by the Governor; Became Act 733
HB846KNOXFISCAL CONTROLS: Provides relative to reporting on federal and state funding of mental health servicesSigned by the Governor; Became Act 455
HR61WRIGHTTAX/STATE: Authorizes the House Committee on Ways and Means, or a subcommittee thereof, to study the state's tax structure and develop recommendations for tax system reformsEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
HCR21SCHLEGELSCHOOLS/FINANCE-MFP: Provides for legislative approval of the MFP formula for FY 2024-2025Passed the House; Stalled in Senate Education Committee
HR264PHELPSSTATE AGENCIES: Requests state agencies to seek funding, through state or federal funds or available grants, for unfunded programs and policiesEnrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
SB431CLOUDFUNDS/FUNDING: Provides with respect to the creation of the Juvenile Detention Commission for the purpose of reviewing and recommending funding for juvenile detention centers. [Enrolled version broadened scope]Signed by the Governor; Became Act 587
SB494MIZELLECONOMIC DEVELOP DEPT: Provides for the Department of Economic Development. Signed by the Governor; Became Act 590
SR137FIELDSFUNDS/FUNDING: Requests state agencies to seek funding, through state or federal funds or available grants, for unfunded programs and policies.Enrolled; Sent to the Secretary of State
*Bold text denotes legislation that passed. Instruments and authors are hyperlinked.

This report was researched and written by Invest in Louisiana, with key contributions from Alison Ocmand, Jan Moller, Jamie Carson, Danielle Barringer-Payton, TC Nash, Stacey Roussel, Christina LeBlanc, Kelsey Jenkins and Sissy Phleger. Page design by Jamie Carson. The work of Invest in Louisiana is made possible by generous support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and by individual donors.