- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Kenner lawmaker is back with his attempt to reduce the number of incidents of dogs falling or jumping from the back of moving vehicles.

Rep. Tom Willmott, R-Kenner, is proposing to require that dogs be placed in ventilated crates or a restraint system if they are in the back of a truck on an interstate highway.

Willmott’s proposed similar bills, but they failed to garner enough support for passage for the two prior years. His latest version of the proposal (House Bill 1091) received the backing Monday of the House transportation committee in a 13-2 vote.

The measure moves next to the full House for debate. It won support there last year, but failed in the Senate.

If the law passed, violators would be fined up to $150 if they didn’t comply with the requirements for one dog, with another $50 for each additional dog.

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The Senate voted 35-2 to create a new exception to the state ethics code.

The proposal (Senate Bill 122) by Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish would allow a member of a local governing authority in a town with 5,000 residents or less to do business with people who have contracts with the town.

Morrish said small communities in his area have trouble finding people to serve in office because of current restrictions.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed the bill for the last two years, saying he saw no reason for the exception.

Morrish, R-Jennings, added language that would restrict the member’s compensation from the contractual relationship to $10,000 or less per year in the hopes of winning passage from Jindal this time.

The measure moves to the House for consideration.

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In other legislative action:

-A proposal to require a minimum turnout of 20 percent of registered voters in a tax election before a tax or borrowing plan could be approved and take effect was stalled in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee. The panel deadlocked in a 5-5 vote Monday on the proposal (Senate Bill 200) by Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin. He could try to bring it up again at another time.

-Intentionally projecting a laser at a plane or in its flight path in Louisiana could land a person in jail, under a bill that won the unanimous support Monday of the House. The measure (House Bill 1029) by Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, would carry a prison sentence of at least one year and up to five years for a first offense. Subsequent offenses would carry a minimum prison sentence of two years and up to 10 years. The bill heads next to the Senate for debate.

-Anyone who breaks into a home armed with a dangerous weapon would face a minimum jail sentence of five years, under a proposal (Senate Bill 313) that was approved Monday by the Senate. The bill by Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, R-Baton Rouge, moves to the House for consideration.

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QUOTE:

“As you know, I represent and live in a redneck area.”

—Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, during debate on a bill that would restrict how dogs could ride in the back of pickup trucks.

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Online:

Louisiana Legislature: www.legis.la.gov


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