Legislative Update: May 30

Support HB 449 and HB 553!

Both HB449 and HB553 have made it onto the agenda for Senate and Governmental Affairs’ meeting tomorrow, Wednesday 5/31. This means that written testimony is due 4 hours before the meeting…technically 5 AM Central, which effectively means tonight unless you are a very early riser! I will submit the attached coalition letter in support of both bills, but encourage personalized written testimony and in-person comments if you are able to provide either.

As a reminder, HB449 provides for:

  • 1. Increased poll commissioner training and testing regarding accessibility laws and best practices.
  • 2.  The appointment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Compliance Officer in the Office of the Secretary of State.
  • 3.  The creation of a “Voting Accessibility Advisory Group” in the Department of State, comprised of at least 7 members with diverse accessibility needs.

HB553 was originally drafted to call for the appointment of a voter with disabilities on the State Board of Elections Supervisors. The bill was amended in committee on the House side, so we are importantly calling for amendments to ensure it honors the bill’s original intent. I have attached talking points as a reference point to understand and articulate this posture. As always, messages are best communicated in your owns words but hopefully these can help to understand the background and framing.

Statements may be emailed to marinovichl@legis.la.gov and must be received by the committee secretary before 5 AM CT tomorrow, Wednesday, May 31. The meeting will take place in Room F on the Senate side, starting at 9 AM CT, or you can tune into the live-stream here.