STAR is joining LaFASA (Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault) and LCADV (Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence) on Tuesday, April 28 at the Capitol to demand changes in the way our state handles and responds to domestic and sexual violence.
This legislative session includes bills that respond to our state’s needs involving these issues. Below is a detailed list of summaries for each bill.
2015 Louisiana Legislative Summary
HB 139 by Representative Valeria Hodges
- House Bill 139 is a technical bill that amends any reference of “simple rape”, “forcible rape”, and “aggravated rape” to “first degree rape,” “second degree rape,” and “third degree rape,” respectively.
HB 143 by Representative Helena Moreno
- House Bill 143 provides that unclaimed prize tickets from “pari-mutuel wagering” and “electronic gaming jackpots” will be collected and used exclusively for health care services of victims of sexual assault.
- This legislation directs these funds from the unclaimed prize tickets into the Crime Victims Reparations Fund.
HB 194 by Representative Helena Moreno
- House Bill 194 creates standards and procedures for the examination and treatment of sexual assault survivors and any billing for the treatment that was a result of the offense.
- It will also require each of the nine regional health service districts to develop an annual sexual assault response plan by October 1 of each year, to be submitted to and overseen by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals.
- It also recommends that all regions adopt a Sexual Assault Response Team protocol to address sexual assault care and issues such as who purchases sexual assault collection kits and the standards and procedures for the storage of the kits.
- It also prohibits a hospital or healthcare provider from directly billing a victim for services rendered when conducting a forensic medical examination.
HB 289 by Representative Jerry Gisclair
- House Bill 289 establishes maximum periods of time for the transfer of a rape kit from a hospital to a law enforcement agency or from a law enforcement agency to a crime lab for analysis.
- The bill adds a requirement for the local law enforcement agency to retrieve the unreported rape kits no later than seven days after receiving notification that a code number has been assigned to the evidence.
- It also requires hospital staff who calls to notify law enforcement to retrieve a rape kit to document the date, time, and method of notification and the name of the official who received the notification.
HB 311 by Representative Helena Moreno
- House Bill 311 proposes to remove the requirement that victims report the crime to law enforcement within 72 hours of the incident in order to be eligible to apply for reparations from the Crime Victims Reparations Board.
- It also allows hospitals and healthcare providers to apply to the CVR board for payment directly.
- The bill excludes any of the CVR “ineligibility requirements” from applying to sexual assault victims.
HB 489 by Representative Julie Stokes
- House Bill 489 will protect individuals from having their private images distributed or transferred without their consent.
- Current Louisiana law penalizes individuals who take nude photos or videos of people without consent. However, there is currently no criminal penalty under Louisiana law for disseminating illegally obtained private images and videos, or for disseminating images originally obtained with the consent of the person but which were intended to remain confidential.
- This proposed legislation will protect privacy rights by criminalizing the nonconsensual dissemination of a private image.
SB 36 by Senator Amedee
- Senate Bill 36 creates a sexual assault protective order (SAPO) for survivors of non-intimate partner sexual assault.
- The SAPO will be an expedited summary proceeding, which will allow for survivors to get orders of protection in a timely fashion.
SB 37 by Senator JP Morrell
- Senate Bill 37 requires the council on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop and continuously update a POST recognized sexual assault awareness training program for peace officers that consist of classroom and/or Internet instruction.
- It also requires the council to develop the sexual assault awareness training program in a series of modules to include all of the following:
- The neurobiology of sexual assault and trauma, including victim impact.
- Response to sexual assault, including but not limited to investigative methods, collecting and securing evidence, and interviewing victims.
- Applicable federal and state victim’s rights laws.
SB 81 by Karen Carter-Peterson
- Senate Bill 81 proposes that beginning January 1, 2016, an employer who employs five or more full-time employees is required to provide paid sick leave benefits for all full-time employees.
- It also states that any paid sick leave can be used for injuries sustained by the employee as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
SB 117 by Gary L. Smith, Jr.
- Senate Bill 117 renames “simple rape”, “forcible rape”, and “aggravated rape” to “first degree rape,” “second degree rape,” and “third degree rape,” respectively.
- It also clarifies that the crime of sexual battery can occur directly or through clothing.
- It also creates the crime of misdemeanor sexual battery, which is the intentional touching of the breasts or buttocks without the consent of the victim.
SB 242 by Senator JP Morrell
- Senate Bill 242 requires criminal justice agencies to annually report the following information concerning sexual assault kits and sexually-oriented criminal offenses:
- The number of sexually-oriented criminal offenses reported.
- The status of each sexually-oriented criminal offense reported.
- The number of sexual assault collection kits submitted for analysis.
- The number of reported sexual assault collection kits requiring analysis.
- The number of reported sexual assault collection kits received.
- The number of unreported sexual assault collection kits received.
- The number of reported sexual assault collection kits that were untested due to judicial or investigative reasons.
SB 255 by Senator JP Morrell
- Senate Bill 255 requires annual sexual assault climate surveys at public postsecondary institutions.
- It also requires the Board of Regents to develop a Uniform Sexual Assault Policy for handling incidents of student sexual assault.
- It also requires that local law enforcement and campus personnel develop MOUs that facilitate the flow of aggregate and confidential information to identify trends and work together to improve responses to incidents of sexual assault.
SR 11 by Senator JP Morrell
- Senate Resolution 11 creates a task force to study the postsecondary education disciplinary process for campus rape and sexual assault.
SR 18 by Senator JP Morrell
- Senate Resolution 18 designates the month of April 2015 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.