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Lawmakers consider bills on virtual learning policies, police funding

 Baton Rouge
Posted at 8:05 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 21:56:29-04

A bill that would create school policies for virtual learning has cleared the senate.

Lawmakers unanimously approved the Ka'Mauri Harrison Act. It now goes to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards, who, according to The Advocate, is expected to sign the bill.

The act is named for a Jefferson Parish boy who was suspended from school after a teacher saw a BB gun in his bedroom during a virtual class.

House Bill 83 would provide for judicial review of certain disciplinary actions and provide for discipline policies that are applicable during online instruction.

Read the full act here.

Also during the session, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amended version of a bill that would pull state funding from cities that defund police departments. That bill is now headed to the full Senate after the committee approved of it in a 5-4 vote.

The amended HB38 calls for the state to pull funding for cities who slashed police spending by 25 percent instead of the original 10 percent.

Lafayette senator Gerald Boudreaux says the bill could violate the state constitution's home rule provision. He also says the state should focus on finding the money to fully fund police, fire, and public works departments.

"We have cities within the state that are reducing their public works budgets, and drainage has killed people. Drainage has knocked people off of the rocker because they continue to flood, some places over and over again," said Boudreaux. "My position is we're going to look at police, let's take it out of the national level. We're Louisiana elected officials, I would say the same thing. Then why not the fire department. We have municipalities because of budget restrictions and limitations will have to lay off firemen."

The bill is set to go before the full Senate on Thursday.

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