Last-Minute Changes Direct Millions to Law Enforcement

Legislation that emerged from a special compromise committee Monday with just hours remaining in the legislative session will eventually steer $50 million to Louisiana State Police, sheriffs and district attorneys through several fee increases. The bill also added sweeping authority for the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to impound vehicles, revoke registrations and cancel license plates.

The changes to HB 872 by Rep. Barry Ivery, R-Central, were approved by the House following just a few minutes of explanation and with no questions asked. The same kind of limited exchange took place on the Senate floor just moments before.

The bill doubles and triples fines and penalties for different forms of motor vehicle insurance violations; many were increased in the bill following closed-door negotiations Monday. The legislation would create the Insurance Verification System Fund to ensure drivers do not allow their coverage to lapse and addresses criminal sanctions as well for falsified documents and other infractions.

Lobbyists who tracked the bill Monday said they were most concerned with a provision that increases the reinstatement fee for vehicle insurance from $25 to $100 for the first 31 days. If there’s no coverage obtained for between 32 and 90 days, the reinstatement fee jumps from $100 to $250, and then from $200 to $500 for a period in excess of 90 days.

“These are people who can’t afford insurance in the first place,” said a lobbyist.

For law enforcement, however, the new funding is badly needed. In the next fiscal year that begins July 1, State Police will receive $42 million. One lawmaker said he was told as much as $800,000 would go toward the Acadiana Crime Lab. Rep. Terry Landry, D-Lafayette, the former head of State Police, said it was his understanding that most of the money will go toward pay raises.

Ivey, the bill’s author, could not immediately comment when asked for an interview Monday morning.

Beginning in fiscal year 2015-2016, State Police will continue to receive its $42 million, while sheriffs will receive $7 million and district attorneys will receive $1 million.

Michael Ranatza, executive director of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, said the $7 million will be used to help sheriffs hold parole violators, a service for which they’ve been severely underfunded in recent years.

According to the legislation, the $1 million will be used to underwrite the hiring of new assistant district attorneys around the state.

The question now becomes whether the fees actually cover the costs of the insurance program, because if they don't, the courts could invalidate them by declaring them as taxes instead. And taxes can only be passed by the Legislature in odd-numbered years.

Issue 1207

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | May 30, 2019 | Issue 1207 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com Aboard Air

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

   By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |   May 28, 2019    |    Issue 189   | 

Issue 1206

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | May 23, 2019 | Issue 1206 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com ABORTION

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

   By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |   May 21, 2019    |    Issue 188   | 

Issue 1205

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | May 16, 2019 | Issue 1205 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com You’ve Been

Issue 1204

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | May 9, 2019 | Issue 1204 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com Keeping the

Issue 1203

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | May 2, 2019 | Issue 1203 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com Double

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

   By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    April 30, 2019    |    Issue 185  

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker {  S P O N S O R E D   B Y   H A R R I S ,   D e V I L L E   &   A S S O

Issue 1201

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS | April 18, 2019 | Issue 1201 | News@LaPolitics.com | @LaPoliticsNow | LaPolitics.com What Will

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    April 15, 2019    |    Issue 183    |    News@LaPolitics.com    |    @LaPoliticsNow    |   

Issue 1199

By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS   |   April 4, 2019   |   Issue 1199   |   News@LaPolitics.com   |

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    April 2, 2019    |    Issue 181    |    News@LaPolitics.com    |    @LaPoliticsNow    |   

Issue 1197

By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    March 21, 2019    |    Issue 1197    | 

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

   By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    March 19, 2019    |    Issue 179 

Issue 1196

LaPolitics Weekly B y   J E R E M Y   A L F O R D   &   M I T C H   R A B A L A I S Issue 1,196  

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

   By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais    |    March 12, 2019    |    Issue 178 

Issue 1195

By   JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS Issue 1,195                        

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS February 26, 2019   |

Issue 1194

B y   J E R E M Y   A L F O R D   &   M I T C H   R A B A L A I S Issue 1,194        

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates By JEREMY ALFORD & MITCH RABALAIS February 19, 2019

POD: Donelon, Disco & the Dividends of Defeat

https://soundcloud.com/lapolitics/donelon-disco-the-dividends-of-defeat  In the latest episode of The LaPolitics Report podcast,

Issue 1,193

Issue 1,193 - February 14, 2019 By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais Dollars & Question Marks Abraham’s ante, Gumbo coming

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

ROLL CALL St. Tammany emerges at center of gubernatorial campaign… John Gallagher talks 2019 municipal races… A look back at the

Issue 1192

Issue 1192 - February 7, 2019 By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais Keeping Their Powder Dry GOP wants to see movement in