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Louisiana Legislative Action 2008

At the Anual Meeting, April 19, 2008, Bill Stewart reported on three bills being considered in the current session:

HB179 (CARTER) This bill changes the provisions governing the use of sick leave and annual leave available to faculty. It is said to have been developed to provide greater flexibility in the use of these two kinds of leave, but it has the potential to give administrations the ability to limit these benefits. It was developed without appropriate review by Faculty Senates.

HB199 (WOOTON) This bill authorizes concealed handgun permit holders to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Its proponents argue that the presence of armed individuals on campus would reduce the potential for harm by individuals such as the young man involved in the West Virginia shootings. However, many law enforcement officers and many faculty are gravely concerned about the dangerous implications of making firearms more common on campuses, especially in the light of the regrettable but well known incidence of reckless drinking in such settings.

SB 561 (NEVERS) The Louisiana Academic Freedom Act is the latest version of the attempts to pose challenges to the teaching of evolution. Most recently, the bill was amended to exclude the earlier references to evolution, global warning and intelligent design. However, it remains a blatant infringement of academic freedom, substituting legislative dicta for faculty judgment in determining curricular content.

All three of these bills were objected to by those at the Annual Meeting April 19, 2008. All three are opposed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. You should express your views of these bills to your legislators. To learn who your legislators are, go to http://www.legis.state.la.us/ click on legislators > How can I contact my legislator>If you do not know who your legislator is click here

Recent newspaper account can be found at http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/18477219.html



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