BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The House voted 87-0 Monday for a measure seeking to prohibit employers from demanding that their workers or job applicants provide access to their personal online accounts such as Facebook pages or email.

The bill (House Bill 314) by Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, would ban the employers from penalizing anyone who refused to provide such access. It also would keep public school officials from seeking access to students' personal online sites.

However, the proposal includes an exception for any company-owned device issued to an employee. Employers and school officials also would have access to anything they could find on the Internet without needing a password.

The proposal heads next to the Senate for debate.


Despite opposition from the state's top higher education board, the Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill that would let the community college system get construction financing outside of the traditional budget process.

The measure (Senate Bill 204) by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, heads next to the full Senate for debate.

The Board of Regents, which oversees all higher education managing boards, said the bill was an end-run around the regular construction budget process that all other public colleges must follow. Joe May, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, is still supportive of the legislation.


In other legislative action:

—The House Ways and Means Committee supported a measure (House Bill 705) to repeal state tax credits for wind energy systems and to phase down tax breaks for solar energy systems. The program has cost far more than originally estimated, and lawmakers have been concerned about the price tag. The proposal by Rep. Erich Ponti, R-Baton Rouge, was approved without objection and heads next to the House floor for debate.

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