Ultimately, the Legislature did not act on SB 398 in the most recent session, and I thank our state lawmakers for not leaving Louisiana's veterans out in the cold.
Many thousands of veterans who served from World War II on through the Vietnam era were exposed to this dangerous material when they were in the armed forces, defending our country. But because the federal government has asserted sovereign immunity, these veterans are barred from holding the federal government (their employer during their time in the military) liable for their exposure. So veterans must try to find and sue the companies that once supplied the government with asbestos ' most of which have gone belly up.
A medical criteria bill like SB 398 would weed out the cases of those claimants who have filed asbestos claims even though they aren't sick, and greedy trial lawyers have clogged up our court system by filing case after case on behalf of people who aren't even sick. But a medical criteria bill would do almost nothing to resolve the unique challenges faced by sick veterans.
What's needed is a national victims' trust fund bill like the FAIR Act, which is being considered by the U.S. Senate. This approach would take asbestos claims out of the overburdened court system, and it would provide fair and prompt compensation to all sick asbestos victims, veterans included. The national trust fund would compensate only those victims who meet established medical criteria, to ensure that the sickest get compensated first.
It is clear to me that a national trust fund solution is the answer to the asbestos litigation problem. Our nation's veterans deserve to be treated with fairness. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter supported an earlier version of the trust fund bill. I thank them for their support and call on both of them to push for passage of this critical legislation this year.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.