Frequently  Asked Questions
 

How do I register to vote?

Complete a postage-free postcard application available at any post office or library, then mail it or take it in person to the voter registrar in your city or parish. Your application must be received 30 days before an election for you to be eligible to vote in that election. Your spouse, parent, or child (acting as an agent) may complete and sign a voter registration application for you, provided that the person is a registered voter or has applied for voter registration.

See Department of Elections  - Sec of State

Who is eligible to vote?

Any United States citizen may vote, provided that he or she is registered to vote and is a resident of the Louisiana Parish in which the person is registered to vote, is at least 17 years old but must be 18 years old prior to next election to vote, is not a convicted felon, and has not been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.

Who is my representative?

Determine your representative by clicking here:

What does the Louisiana House of Representatives do?

The Louisiana House of Representatives is composed of 105 members, each elected for a four-year term. A member of the house must be a citizen of the United States, must be a qualified elector of the state, and must be at least 18 years old. He or she must have been a resident of the state for two years immediately preceding election, and for one year immediately preceding election must have been a resident of the district from which he or she was chosen.

The House of Representatives elects one of its own members as presiding officer--the speaker of the House. The House creates and enforces its own rules and judges the qualifications of its members.

The House of Representatives, together with the state Senate, constitute the Louisiana Legislature. The duties of the legislature include consideration of proposed laws and resolutions, consideration of proposed constitutional amendments for submission to the voters, and appropriation of all funds for the operation of state government. All bills for raising revenue considered by the legislature must originate in the house of representatives. The House alone can bring impeachment charges against a statewide officer, which charges must be tried by the senate.

What is the legislative process?

In Louisiana, as in the Congress and most other states, the lawmaking process involves four major stages: introduction, committee action, floor action, and enrollment. In a bicameral legislature like Louisiana's, with both a house and a senate, the first three stages must occur in each of the houses consecutively. After the House in which the bill is introduced completes action on the measure, the bill is sent to the second House, where the process is repeated through the three stages. The fourth stage, enrollment, occurs in the originating house after both Houses have agreed on the final form of the proposal.

What is the legislator's role during session? 

The legislator’s role during the session is to carry out the lawmaking function of the legislative branch. The responsibility of the legislature to formulate policy is the legislative role first declared by the founding fathers. The Legislature of Louisiana exercises the power of the citizenry. The legislature may enact any law not specifically prohibited by the state or federal constitution or preempted by federal law.

Floor debate and voting on legislation during a session are the traditional roles perceived for legislators. Today, the role of a legislator during session involves far more and is far more visible, as technology and the media have opened the legislative process to wider access by the public.

What does the Speaker of The House do?

The speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Louisiana Constitution requires the House of Representatives, each time a new legislature convenes, to choose one of its own members to serve as speaker.

As presiding officer, the speaker maintains order during floor debate, recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural matters. The constitution also requires the speaker to sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature. As a member of the House of Representatives, the speaker may vote on all questions before the House.

The other duties and responsibilities of the speaker are determined by the members of the House in the House Rules of Procedure, which are adopted by a majority vote of the members at the beginning of each regular session of the legislature. The members give the speaker the authority to appoint the membership of each standing committee, subject to rules on seniority, and to designate the chair and vice chair for each committee. Under the rules, the speaker is responsible for referring all proposed legislation to committee, subject to the committee jurisdictions set forth in the rules. The rules also allow the speaker to appoint conference committees, to create select committees, and to direct committees to conduct interim studies when the legislature is not in session.

How often does the Legislature meet?

§2. Sessions

Section 2.(A) Annual Session. (1) The legislature shall meet annually in regular session for a limited number of legislative days in the state capital. A legislative day is a calendar day on which either house is in session.

(2)(a) No member of the legislature may introduce more than five bills that were not prefiled, except as provided in the joint rules of the legislature.

(b) Except as provided in Subsubparagraph (c) of this Subparagraph, any bill that is to be prefiled for introduction in either house shall be prefiled no later than five o'clock in the evening of the tenth calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session.

(c) Any bill to effect any change in laws relating to any retirement system for public employees that is to be prefiled for introduction in either house shall be prefiled no later than five o'clock in the evening of the forty-fifth calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session.

(d) The legislature is authorized to provide by joint rule for the procedures for passage of duplicate or companion instruments.

(3)(a) All regular sessions convening in even-numbered years shall be general in nature and shall convene at noon on the second Monday in March. The legislature shall meet in such a session for not more than sixty legislative days during a period of eighty-five calendar days. No such session shall continue beyond six o'clock in the evening of the eighty-fifth calendar day after convening. No new matter intended to have the effect of law shall be introduced or received by either house after six o'clock in the evening of the twenty-third calendar day. No matter intended to have the effect of law, except a measure proposing a suspension of law, shall be considered on third reading and final passage in either house after six o'clock in the evening of the fifty-seventh legislative day or the eighty-second calendar day, whichever occurs first, except by a favorable record vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house.

(b) No measure levying or authorizing a new tax by the state or by any statewide political subdivision whose boundaries are coterminous with the state; increasing an existing tax by the state or by any statewide political subdivision whose boundaries are coterminous with the state; or legislating with regard to tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions or credits shall be introduced or enacted during a regular session held in an even-numbered year.

(4)(a) All regular sessions convening in odd-numbered years shall convene at noon on the second Monday in April. The legislature shall meet in such a session for not more than forty-five legislative days in a period of sixty calendar days. No such session shall continue beyond six o'clock in the evening of the sixtieth calendar day after convening. No new matter intended to have the effect of law shall be introduced or received by either house after six o'clock in the evening of the tenth calendar day. No matter intended to have the effect of law, except a measure proposing a suspension of law, shall be considered on third reading and final passage in either house after six o'clock in the evening of the forty-second legislative day or fifty-seventh calendar day, whichever occurs first, except by a favorable record vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house.

(b) During any session convening in an odd-numbered year, no matter intended to have the effect of law, including any suspension of law, shall be introduced or considered unless its object is to enact the General Appropriation Bill; enact the comprehensive capital budget; make an appropriation; levy or authorize a new tax; increase an existing tax; levy, authorize, increase, decrease, or repeal a fee; dedicate revenue; legislate with regard to tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions, reductions, repeals, or credits; or legislate with regard to the issuance of bonds. In addition, a matter intended to have the effect of law, including a measure proposing a suspension of law, which is not within the subject matter restrictions provided in this Subparagraph may be considered at any such session if:

(i) It is prefiled no later than the deadline provided in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, provided that the member shall not prefile more than five such matters pursuant to this Subsubparagraph; or

(ii) Its object is to enact a local or special law which is required to be and has been advertised in accordance with Section 13 of this Article and which is not prohibited by the provisions of Section 12 of this Article.

(B) Extraordinary Session. The legislature may be convened at other times by the governor and shall be convened by the presiding officers of both houses upon written petition of a majority of the elected members of each house. The form of the petition shall be provided by law. At least seven calendar days prior to convening the legislature in extraordinary session, the governor or the presiding officers, as the case may be, shall issue a proclamation stating the objects of the extraordinary session, the date on which it shall convene, and the number of days for which it is convened. The power to legislate shall be limited, under penalty of nullity, to the objects specifically enumerated in the proclamation. The session shall be limited to the number of days stated therein, which shall not exceed thirty calendar days.

(C) Emergency Session. The governor may convene the legislature in extraordinary session without prior notice or proclamation in the event of public emergency caused by epidemic, enemy attack, or public catastrophe.

(D) Organizational Session. The legislature shall meet in an organizational session in the state capitol to be convened at ten o'clock in the morning on the day the members are required to take office. No such session shall exceed three legislative days. The session shall be for the primary purpose of judging the qualifications and elections of the members, taking the oath of office, organizing the two houses, and selecting officers. No matter intended to have the effect of law shall be introduced at an organizational session.

Amended by Acts 1989, No. 841, §1, approved Oct. 7, 1989, eff. Nov. 7, 1989; Acts 1990, No. 1095, §1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 1041, §1, approved Oct. 16, 1993, eff. Nov. 18, 1993; Acts 2001, No. 1231, §1, approved Nov. 5, 2002, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2008, No. 937, §1, approved Nov. 4, 2008, eff. Dec. 8, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 537, §1, approved Oct. 2, 2010, eff. Jan. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 872, §1, approved Nov. 6, 2012, eff. Dec. 10, 2012.

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