NewsCovering Louisiana


A recap of the 2021 legislative session

2021 legislative session ends
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 23:33:02-04

Some of the most talked-about bills or topics during this 2021 legislative session included infrastructure, marijuana, and the so-called "pink tax."

On Thursday, Louisiana lawmakers wrapped up nine weeks of decision-making on state laws.

Acadiana Senator Gerald Boudreaux says the people of Louisiana should get ready to vote on constitutional amendments that deal with rearranging state and local taxes.

"The constitutional amendments will require us to, first of all, get the word out, second, it will require our voters to understand when we go and change something in the constitution. It's serious, and it will have a long-lasting impact," Boudreaux said.

Another hot topic this session, the state's infrastructure.

"We also looked at ways that we can improve infrastructure with federal dollars, as well as maybe looking at complementing what we have," Boudreaux said. We're so far behind on infrastructure in the state so that will give us some opportunities to do that."

Boudreaux supported a bill attempting to decriminalize marijuana in the state. It is something, he says, is long overdue, although he's not condoning illegal use.

"We spend more money incarcerating than educating and that's not where we need to be," he said.

In his address after the session ended, Governor John Bel Edwards said he stands behind the idea.

"As some of you might be surprised to hear, I'm interested in signing the bill that would lessen the penalty of possessing small amounts of marijuana."

Starting next July, women and parents in the state won't have to pay taxes on feminine products or diapers.

Author of House Bill 7, Representative Aimee Freeman says she did this for the benefit of women and parents all over the state.

"We do not pay taxes on medicine, on kidneys dialysis machines, on many other items. To me, it's a necessity and I just wanted to allow the women and children of our state, well, really the parents paying those taxes some extra money in their monthly budgets," she said.

The pink tax break would mean the state is losing around $11 million from the sale of these items.

Representative Freeman wanted the tax break to start in 2021, however, the budget for the next fiscal year was already on the governor's desk. The "Pink Tax" break will go into effect statewide in July 2022.

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