Editorial: There’s still time for change

The Maroon Editorial Board

You voted. Now here’s another chance to participate in public policy that affects you. If you don’t agree with potential changes, do something about it. Contact your district representative.

Below is a list of some bills working their way through the Louisiana legislature. Although the changes may be minor, these bills could have a greater impact on your future.

HOUSE BILL 1: House Bill 1 will set the state’s budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Within the proposed budget are possible cuts to public universities and health care.

HOUSE BILL 146: House Bill 146 would ban hand-held cell phone use for drivers. If passed, police officers would only be able to write tickets for violations if the driver is pulled over for another reason.

HOUSE BILL 445: House Bill 445 would create stricter penalties for drivers who refuse to take alcohol tests when pulled over under suspicion of a DWI. Drivers who refuse to submit will have their licenses suspended for two years instead of six months.

HOUSE BILL 499: House Bill 499 would require all passengers in a car to wear a seatbelt. It would allow police officers to pull over cars and write tickets if it is not being followed. Fines would start at $25.

HOUSE BILL 725: House Bill 725 would require drivers to keep a safe distance from cyclists. Cars would have to keep a distance of three feet when passing a cyclist. Fines would not exceed $250.

Information on these bills is courtesy of the Louisiana Legislature and The Times-Picayune.

For more information on these bills and to find out about others, visit the Louisiana legislature’s website at http://legis.state.la.us.