A four-bill package that arose out of the wrath of LSU administrators largely ignoring young students who complained of sexual misconduct, cleared the Louisiana Senate and House on Tuesday.
Senate Speaker Page Cortez R-Lafayette agreed to the full Senate vote on the two bills passed by the House, and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder R-Gonzales agreed to the House vote on the two measures passed by the Senate at about the same time Monday. No lawmaker has voted against any of the four bills that would fill loopholes found in previous college campus security laws, establish specific administrative reporting requirements, set staff salary levels that universities should hire them to investigate and follow up on complaints, and allow victims to reports.
Two of the instruments are heading to the governor’s office soon and two more will need House approval first of minor wording changes to make language consistent across all four bills, Senator Beth Mizell said. , R-Franklinton, adding that some of the definitions and terminology is new.
Lawmakers have directed their frustrations and questions about LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct cases to the university’s senior lawyer for nearly …
Mizell described the invoices as the end tools “in the toolbox”. Lawmakers will watch how the new laws work and make changes in the future. “Still possible that we will come back next year,” Mizell said.
The legislation is the product of furious hearings by the Special Senate Committee on Women and Children to probe LSU’s systemic failures in addressing harassment and sexual abuse. The panel heard testimony from victims and LSU System President Tom Galligan. But efforts to bring in other LSU leaders, including football coach Ed Orgeron, were stalled when LSU lawyers said they could not testify because the university had been sued.
LSU has hired independent law firm Husch Blackwell to review its handling of Title IX complaints after media examined the university’s handling of sexual assault cases involving two former football players. Former football coach Les Miles was kicked out of his coaching job in Kansas after the report detailed allegations of inappropriate behavior with students during his tenure at LSU, which Miles denies. Former LSU System President F. King Alexander has resigned as head of the state of Oregon over his role in mismanaging cases of sexual misconduct at LSU.
Committee member Mizell and Senator Regina Barrow, the Democrat from Baton Rouge who chaired the panel, each sponsored one of the four measures. New Orleans Democratic Representative Aimee Adatto Freeman, who attended the meetings, and Representative Neil Riser, R-Columbia, sponsored the other two bills.
With two federal investigations, ongoing lawsuits, lawmakers looking for heads, the state auditor being asked to snoop, and more co…
All four bills were approved on Tuesday with little debate.
Mizell’s Senate Bill 230, titled “Campus Accountability and Safety Act,” replaces the term “sexual offense” with “power-based violence” and requires campus police to provide data on offenses at the university. In addition, the measure sets out the duties of higher education personnel and would give clear legal authority to terminate or discipline employees for failing to report a criminal offense of a sexual nature.
Senate Bill 232, by Barrow, would create the 15-member Louisiana Power-Based Violence Review Panel’s advisory group to regularly review laws and policies under the purview of the Board of Regents, which oversees all universities, colleges and public technical schools. The board should meet at least twice a year to review the policies and practices of higher education institutions and their boards, as well as to oversee investigations and judgments on gender-based violence. power in individual establishments.
House Bill 409, by Freeman, would legally define “power-based violence” to include domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. It includes specific reporting requirements and allows victims to obtain a copy of any report relating to any incident involving the victim.
House Bill 394, by Riser, would require every post-secondary educational institution to publish a quarterly security report that includes campus crime statistics.