April 2016  
Legislative Session Update
April 3, 2015
Week three of Louisiana's legislative session came to an end with a handful of bills that could create major problems for employers making their way out of House and Senate committees. Those bills, which are part of Gov. John Bel Edwards package of priorities for the session, tackle issues such as establishing a state minimum wage and mandating equal pay for women (see article at the bottom of this update for more detail).
 
Legislators have until tomorrow (Monday, April 4th) to file any of their five additional bills (if they have any remaining); they must introduce those bills by Tuesday, April 5th. Over the past week legislators introduced 32 more HBs and nine more SBs for a total of 1,326 bills filed (949 HBs and 377 SBs) for this session so far. 
 
Also, we finally got fiscal notes this week on Enrolled versions of HB 61 and HB 62 (which passed three weeks ago)...great news considering the Acts became effective Friday. You will recall both of these bills created the new, temporary spikes in sales tax rates-fortunately professional services were spared (as expected) once all the dust settled. 
Capitol Views: Senate Committee Approves Minimum Wage, Equal Pay Bills
By Gordon Briton | Baton Rouge Business Report April 1, 2016

With a vote Gov. John Bel Edwards considers to be a good start for  two bills crucial to his legislative agenda, a Louisiana Senate committee today approved legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage and enforce pay equality across gender gaps.

Edwards, in a rare move for a standing governor, personally testified before the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations where he promoted the bills as fair and good for family values.  The bills would help lift women and children out of poverty, he said.

"This light increase directly helps the problem of childhood poverty," Edwards said of the proposal to the state's minimum wage. "Most of the minimum wage workers in Louisiana are women, and when you help mothers, you help children."

The minimum wage bill, authored by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, would set Louisiana's minimum wage at $8 per hour starting in 2017 and then increase it again to $8.50 per hour in 2018. Read More

LABI Tax Panel Overview
Friday, April 8, 2016

As a reminder, LABI is hosting a tax panel next Friday at their office. The event is free for members and $25 for non-members. You can register for the event here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/special-session-wrap-up-what-passed-and-what-it-means-for-your-business-tickets-23759710935?ref=ebtn .  
Ways and Means Requests Feedback

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, is soliciting a written testimony from businesses in the state that use tax credits, exemptions, exclusions, etc. This is not exactly a new phenomenon - as we went through this exercise a few short years ago with the Revenue Study Commission (created in 2012). As a reminder, shortly after this commission reported on its findings business became more scrutinized for taking advantage of what became so-called "tax expenditures." AIA Louisiana will submit a written testimony

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