SW La. senators vote against age requirement for assault weapons

Assault Weapons

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, was sponsor of Senate Bill 274, the assault weapons prohibition. It picked up 9 votes for and 21 against.</strong></span></p>” id=”9bcc3fdf-4fa1-450e-a325-d9f55a455141″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent”}}

BATON ROUGE — Southwest Louisiana’s three state senators Tuesday voted for a bill that prohibits persons convicted of first-degree murder from being granted medical furloughs while in prison and against a proposal to make it illegal to sell assault weapons to persons under age 21.

The three are Sens. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur; Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings; and John Smith, R-Leesville. Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, who also represents Allen Parish, was recorded as absent. The Senate medical furlough bill goes to the House.

Five House members from the area voted for House Bill 561 that repeals the examination and licensing of retail and wholesale florists and creates a floral dealer permit. It moves to the Senate.

The state pardon board recently rejected a plea from Clyde Giddens, 77, who is serving a life sentence for the violent 1963 murder of a 36-year-old housewife. The decision spurred the medical furlough bill.

Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, was sponsor of Senate Bill 274, the assault weapons prohibition. It picked up 9 votes for and 21 against.

Morrish voted for a proposed constitutional amendment to do away with the 70 retirement age for judges. S.B. 278 by Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, got only 12 votes for and had 24 against. Johns and Smith were opposed, and LaFleur was recorded as absent.

A constitutional amendment removing the retirement age was rejected by 58 percent of the voters in 2014. Claitor’s bill is up for reconsideration.

Johns, Morrish and Smith voted for S.B. 176 that allows students to wear bulletproof backpacks. It moves to the House.

Two TOPS scholarship Senate bills were sent to the House. S.B. 380 creates the TOPS Second Chance Award for students fulfilling stiffer requirements than others receiving the scholarship grants. The bill passed 20-15. Johns and Morrish voted for it. Smith was against.

Johns and Morrish voted for S.B. 394 that creates the TOPS-Tech 2Plus2 Award. Smith was against. It is designed for students who had a TOPS-Tech Award and enroll in a baccalaureate program at a four-year institution. Both bills go to the House.

Reps. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles; Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur; Stephen Dwight, R-Moss Bluff; A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles; and Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville, voted for ending the licensing of florists.

Reps. Johnny Guinn, R-Jennings, and Frank Howard, R-Many, were opposed. Reps. James Armes, D-Leesville, and Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, were recorded as absent. Hill is on medical leave.

The legislation requires the state Department of Agriculture to adopt the necessary florist rules and regulations on or before Sept. 1 and adopt them on or before Dec. 1. An amendment creates a floral dealer permit and a permit fee between $70 and $100 for each dealer.

A bill that would raise cosmetology fines failed to get the necessary 70 (two-thirds) vote needed for fine changes. The vote was 61 for and 34 against, but the bill can be reconsidered.

H.B. 491 increases present citation fines of $25 per violation of laws up to $300 per week to $35 per violation up to a total of $350 per week. The fees would be nonrefundable.

Armes and Franklin voted for the bill. Abraham, Danahay, Dwight, Hensgens and Howard were against. Guinn and Hill were recorded as absent.

Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, was sponsor of Senate Bill 274, the assault weapons prohibition. It picked up 9 votes for and 21 against.

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