Gov. John Bel Edwards held a press conference late Thursday, June 10, 2021, to discuss the close of the legislative session.
The budget has been signed with the state making critical investments to improve the lives of the residents. Education was the # 1 priority.
- Teachers will get an $800 pay raise,
- Support staff will get $400,
- $19.8 million has been allotted for faculty pay raises at higher education institutions,
- TOPS has been fully funded
- $11 million has been awarded for GO Grants, and
- State needs-based aid is funded for $40 million.
They have added support for families on Medicaid, with disabilities, for foster families and access to services for senior citizens.
They also funded improvements for infrastructure, economic development, public safety and the justice system.
Gov. Edwards stated he will sign 10 of the 13 bills currently released:
Bill 379 - exemplary damages for victims of sexual assault in the workplace
Bill 409 - strengthens and clarifies Title IX reporting procedures on higher education campuses
Bill 330 - police training to strengthen the public trust and responsibility in responding to public officer misconduct
Bill 446 - create a State Office of Americans with Disabilities Coordinator
Bill 10 - Mandatory Kindergarten for every 5 year old
Bill 27 - Clarify Military Friendly Campus designation
Bill 105 - Contract for a statue supporting the work of African American governors
Bill 151 - Rights afforded to youth in foster care
Bill 170 - Create an Office of Human Trafficking Prevention
Bill 215 - Require reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant and post partum women.
There are bills still waiting to move to the governor's office including the Promise Program – financial aid for those 21 and over enrolling in accepted programs, sports betting, which will have a portion of the revenue applied to early childhood education, legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.