Sen.Gatti pre-files Medicaid, gun bills

Senator Gatti addresses the Louisiana Senate with Senate President Alario standing near by. Courtesy Photo
Senator Gatti addresses the Louisiana Senate with Senate President Alario standing near by. Courtesy Photo

A wide variety of bills, ranging from abortion to gun rights, have been pre-filed by Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City, District 36.

The senator has pre-filed 27 bills, dealing with various policy issues from abortion and healthcare costs to the second amendment rights and government efficiency.

Senate Bill 38 is an effort to hold down the cost of the state’s Medicaid program by reducing what the state will pay healthcare providers that treat Medicaid patients in emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.

This bill limits the amount the state will pay to the non-emergency rate rather than the higher emergency room reimbursement.

SB 46 protects a citizen from prosecution if they are legal gun owners and choose to carry their handguns without a conceal-carry permit.

“To me, these are just common sense proposals,” Gatti said. “It just makes sense that we should not pay to treat Medicaid patients for non-emergency conditions in expensive emergency rooms, and we definitely shouldn’t be prosecuting citizens who can legally carry a firearm just because they did not pay a permit fee and take a training course.”

SB 33 would ban the sale, receipt and transfer or acquisition of a fetal organ or body part from an induced abortion and subject those who violate the law to felony prosecution with a minimum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, if convicted.

“We hear all the talk about withholding funding for operations that participate in the sale of aborted fetal organs and body parts, but this is not just a defunding issue,” he said. “It is a crime and should be treated as such.”

Two other bills Gatti pre-filed are SB 85 and 149. SB 85 seeks to determine once and for all if the state really could save money by eliminating certain supervisory positions across state agencies. The bill requires agencies to report to the legislature regarding their supervisor-to-staff ratios.
SB 149 reduces the amount of state aid provided to virtual charter schools by 50 percent and reallocates that other 50 percent per student back to the local school system. The idea is that virtual schools do not have the extensive overhead costs associated with a brick and mortar operation.

The 2016 regular session began March 14 and will end by 6 p.m., June 6.

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