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State lawmakers head back to Baton Rouge

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Regular session begins today

The Regular Session of the Legislature begins today, and for two local lawmakers, many things can happen.

State Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Minden, said the failure of the House to garner additional revenue during the recent special session will lead to cuts during the regular session. How deep those cuts will be, however, is up for debate.

“Some people claim there is no cliff and the cuts will not be bad,,” Reynolds said. “I hope they are correct, but all the data points in a different direction.”

Reynolds said voters could watch for one committee in particular.

“During the regular session, you should follow the Appropriations Committee for the cuts,” he said.

State Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier, has been working on bills leading up to today’s kickoff. The Senate was all but inactive during the regular session.

“I’ll be working to rollback a few provisions of the criminal reform package passed last year. These were unintended consequences that were adverse to our local communities,” Gatti said.

In addition, he is tackling sexual harassment and abuse, especially from those involved in sports.

“After the recent sex abuse case with the Olympic doctor, I’m filing for tougher penalties for coaches, teachers, etc., who are in a position of authority and abuse students or athletes of any age,” Gatti said.

“I’m also asking to remove all statutes of limitations so abusers from decades ago can be brought to justice both criminally and civilly.”

Of local interest, Gatti is taking steps to help student-led prayer. “I will address the attacks on prayer in Bossier and Webster with legislation that will hopefully bring relief,” he said.

The 2018 Regular Legislative Session will convene at noon today. Final Adjournment will be no later than 6 p.m. on Monday, June 4.

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