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Louisiana Association of Business and Industry reflects on missed opportunities from legislative session


July 25, 2019
By Carrie Bradon
Originally Posted on The Louisiana Record

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry has offered its takeaway on the 2019 legislative session.

According to Nola.com, LABI as a whole took a hit this session, as it was unable to advance two of its priorities: as initiative to remove limitations on industrial tax exemption and a bill that would lower the jury threshold for car accident-related lawsuits.

Camille Conaway, LABI senior vice president, commented on the wins and losses.

“For the business community, there was mixed results,” Conaway told Louisiana Record. "On the good news front, the bill to restore taxpayer rights to refunds for unconstitutional taxes passed as well as a $700 million infrastructure package and a statewide ride-sharing framework for services such as Uber and Lyft. On the other hand, an aggressive effort to enact comprehensive tort reform was again stymied in the Senate and bills to streamline ITEP met with narrow defeats."

Among losses of the session was Rep. Kirk Talbot’s (R-River Ridge) H.B. 372, which would have brought reforms to the handling of car crash litigation and the auto insurance industry as a whole.

For Louisiana drivers, the passage of H.B. 578 would allow for the redirection of $700 million to roads and bridges from the Deepwater Horizon settlement, which will offer better transportation infrastructure without raising taxes or requiring additional revenue.

While there are a number of bills that are awaiting passage, one that LABI is most supportive is S.B. 198, which would clarify that taxpayers are entitled to seeking a refund claim when they overpay taxes to the state government.