2022 Has Several Bills that Are Important to Survivors and Sexual Assault Cases

Louisiana’s legislative session began on March 14 and will progress through June 6, 2022. Laws are created in order for everyone in society to understand which activities are permissible and which are not. Policy is critical because it establishes a basic plan of action for achieving desired objectives and serves as a fundamental guideline for making decisions. Procedures and policies are designed to communicate intended and expected outcomes and behaviors.

How can sexual assault legislation benefit society?

It’s critical for us as a community to have laws in place to safeguard our general safety and to defend our rights as citizens from abuse by organizations, the government itself, and others. 

LaFASA is committed to keeping our members and community partners informed about any public policy changes that will affect survivors and/or those who serve them. For your convenience, our staff have highlighted and summarized a few important bills from the current Louisiana Legislative session.

Below are the bills being considered that LaFASA supports and will improve the lives of survivors.

To keep up with the most up to date status of each bill, click this link and enter the bill.

LaFASA SUPPORTS

HB 63 (Rep. Freeman)

  • Exempts an entity that provides services to victims of domestic violence or human trafficking from providing a physical address. Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Becomes Act 367. Effective date: 08/01/2022.

HB 265 (Rep. Villio)

  • Adds option of electronic communication to victim notification from pardon/parole board. Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Becomes Act 140. Effective date: 08/01/2022.

HB 313 (Rep. Pressly)

  • This bill amends the Crime Victims Bill of Rights statute to ensure sexual assault victims have access to their forensic medical reports and other information without any redactions of their names and without being charged. Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Becomes Act 207.

HB 431 (Rep. Jordan)

  • This bill ensures that DNA collected from sexual assault survivors is not entered into CODIS, the DNA database, that is used to match criminal suspect profiles from unsolved crimes. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 625. Effective date: 08/01/2022.

HB 520 (Rep. Hughes)

  • This bill will ensure sexual assault survivors have access to emergency contraception at hospitals when they receive forensic medical exams. Current Status: Substitute adopted on the House floor (became HB1061)

HB 1061 (Rep. Hughes)

  • Provides for procedures for victims of sexually-oriented criminal offenses. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 513. Effective date: 01/01/2023.

HB 561 (Rep. Freeman)

  • Provides relative to civil liability for sexual assault. Never got out of the House committee. / Bill is reported to be dead and is reported to never have changed.

HB 585 (Rep. Freeman)

  • Provides that the Sheriff of each Parish shall report on an annual basis to the La. Commission on Law Enforcement data on firearms. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 484. Effective date: 08/01/2022.

HB 615 (Rep. Freeman)

  • This bill will allow crime victims access to police reports after a certain amount of time has passed. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 630. Effective date: 08/01/2022.

HB 638 (Rep. Freeman)

  • This bill will allow human trafficking survivors to expunge non-violent misdemeanors and felonies related to when they were being trafficked from their criminal records. Current Status: Withdrawn from the files of the House.

HB 648 (Rep. Hilferty) 

  • Makes the Crime Victims Reparations Fund more accessible by removing the requirement that a survivor report to law enforcement, removes restrictions on victims that “contributed” to the violence they experienced, expands application timelines, increases award amounts, and adds relocation services as a reimbursable cost. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 487 effective date: 08/01/2022.

SB 69 (Sen. Connick)

  • Removes time limitation to apply for Crime Victims Reparations Fund and makes survivors or victims’ loved ones of all felonies eligible to receive funds. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 411 effective date 08/01/2022.

SB 147 (Sen. Mizell)

  • Mandates that SA survivors get copy of a report of their forensic medical exam. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 540 effective date 08/01/2022.

SB 148 (Sen. Mizell)

  • Provides post-conviction relief for survivors of human trafficking. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 130 effective date 05/26/2022.

SB 255 (Sen. Barrow)

  • This bill clarifies current law to state that a petition for a protection order should not automatically be deemed “frivolous” just because a survivor did not show up for court. Current Status: Signed by the Governor. Becomes Act No. 416 effective date 06/15/2022.

SB 289 (Sen. Barrow)

  • Requires employers to provide paid and unpaid sick leave for employees and covers leave for domestic violence injuries. Current Status: Pending Senate Labor and Industrial Relations  –  Considered 4/21/22.

LaFASA OPPOSES

HB 7 (Rep. Edmonson)

  • Amends the court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program to include online instruction, no longer directs the program’s sessions to follow a specific model, and prohibits the use of any technology prohibited by HIPAA. Current Status: Pending House Administration of Criminal Justice  –  Considered 3/17/22.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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