Array of new state laws now in effect

John Dupont
Gov. John Bel Edwards

A stringent anti-abortion bill, legalization of medical marijuana, a 16-year-old minimum age for marriage and a tighter mandate for child restraint seats were among more than 250 pieces of legislation that officially went into law Aug. 1.

State lawmakers approved the bills during the 2019 legislative session. The signature of Gov. John Bel Edwards put the finishing touch to put them on the books as state law.

The abortion legislation – one of the most widely discussed laws in this year's session – imposed drastic limits on access to abortions administered though medication.

As part of the new law, gynecologists are now barred from providing the abortion medication. The legislation grants the authority only to the three state-licensed abortion clinics – Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport.

The move by Gov. Edwards, a Democrat, drew praise from Republicans and conservative members of his own party, but brought criticism from the national Democratic Party.

The medical marijuana law will allow patients to use an inhaler in the same fashion as an asthma patient once the cannabis becomes available in the state.

Another widely discussed bill put stringent anti-hazing laws into effect. The legislation came in the wake of the 2017 death of Maxwell Gruver, an LSU fraternity pledge student whose death – related to alcohol – occurred during a hazing ritual.

As part of the law, colleges must immediately report claims of hazing, along with those allegedly involved in the incident. Failure to comply would result in a $10,000 fine.

In addition, campus police would have more authority to investigate allegations of hazing.

The marriage law, which sets minimum age at 16, marks the marriage-related first law to address age. Lawmakers cited protection from sexual predators in their push for the bill, which was approved in the final week of the session.

The laws for child car seats mandates that any child under two years old must be restrained in a rear-facing seat until they reach the weight or height limit.

Children who outgrow the rear-facing car safety seats must be placed in a forward facing seat with a harness until they exceed the weight or height limit.

Children must remain in booster seats until they reach 9 year old, while children under age 13 are required to sit in the backseat.

ACT 431 —HB 225 Provides relative to the sale or transfer of charter school facilities financed through tax-exempt bonds.

ACT 432 —HB 301 Extends the ad valorem tax exemption for raw materials, goods, commodities, and other property to certain property destined for the Outer Continental Shelf.

ACT 433 —HB 349 Provides relative to the delivery of alcoholic beverages.

ACT 434 —HB 404 Abolishes certain boards, commissions, authorities, like entities, and related funds.

ACT 435 —HB 484 Establishes requirements for physicians and abortion facilities relative to medical records of women upon whom abortions are performed.

ACT 436 —HB 508 Provides relative to the delivery of alcoholic beverages.

ACT 437 —HB 562 Provides relative to proprietary schools.

ACT 438 —SB 36 Provides relative to emergency departments.

ACT 439 —SB 116 Provides for the transfer of certain deposits and safe deposit box contents to the unclaimed property division of the Department of the Treasury.

ACT 440 —SB 159 Provides for review and reports on cost recovery budget request forms completed by certain budget units.

ACT 441 —SB 190 Provides with respect to the membership of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board.