Below is a recap of activity during the 2020 Special Session as communicated by the state chamber, LABI. There were so many moving parts to the tort reform myriad of bills that I’m relying on their interpretation of the final outcome. ACECL supported HB 57 during the process:
by Speaker Schexnayder
, the comprehensive legal reform bill that ultimately cleared both chambers and is heading to the governor's desk. The bill will:
- Lower the jury trial threshold to $10,000;
- Reform direct action;
- Repeal the seat belt gag rule;
- Address collateral source, allowing judges the discretion to award no more than 40 percent of the difference between the amount billed and the amount paid after the verdict.
The Legislature debated a number of other bills aimed at fixing Louisiana's broken legal system, including the jury trial threshold, direct action and the repeal of the seat belt gag order. HB 57 was a compromise bill, winning broad, bipartisan support in both chambers. Gov. Edwards told reporters at his post-session press conference that he will sign the bill into law.
Tax Relief Bills on the Governor's Desk that may be of interest to ACECL members:
by Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) would require a waiver of penalties and interest for late payment of taxes when it is shown that a taxpayer or his/her tax preparer suffered health impacts due to COVID-19.
by Sen. Bret Allain (R-Franklin) would suspend state franchise taxes for a one year period ending June 30, 2021 for small corporations with taxable capital of one million dollars or less.
by Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell) would permit a 30-day extension beyond the deadline for filing an application under the Quality Jobs incentive program.
The House Appropriations Committee refused to advance
by Rep. Wright, which would have allowed businesses to apply (carryback) 72 percent of their net operating losses (NOLs) against prior years’ income tax returns for a refund.