Louisiana House of Representatives
|Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||3 terms (12 years)|
|2015 session start:||March 10, 2014|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Charles Kleckley (R)|
Democratic Party (44)
Republican Party (59)Independent (2)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Louisiana Constitution|
|Salary:||$16,800/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 19, 2011 (105 seats)|
|Next election:||November 3, 2015 (105 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Louisiana legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The Louisiana House of Representatives is one of the five state legislative lower houses whose members are elected to four-year terms, as opposed to the more common two-year term.
As of May 2015, Louisiana is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article III of the Louisiana Constitution establishes when the Louisiana State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 2 of Article III states that, in even-numbered years, the Legislature shall convene on the last Monday in March and meet for no more than sixty legislative days during a period of eighty-five calendar days. In odd-numbered years, the Legislature is to convene on the last Monday in April and meet for no more than forty-five legislative days during a period of sixty calendar days. During regular sessions in odd-numbered years, the Legislature can only consider measures regarding the state budget, revenues, and appropriations.
Section 2 of Article III also allows the Legislature to be called into a special session by the Governor of Louisiana or by a majority of the members of each legislative house. During special sessions, the Legislature can only legislate on matters related to the proclaimed purposes of the session.
Section 2 of Article III also authorizes the Governor of Louisiana to call an emergency session without prior notice in the event of a public emergency.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from March 10 through June 5.
In the 2014 legislative session, 13 members of the House formed the Louisiana Legislative Conservative Coalition. The coalition, under the chair of Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R), will attempt to pull the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation to the right and re-instill conservative principles to the delegation.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from April 8 through June 6.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included the state budget, an overhaul of public education, increasing the retirement age of public workers, gun control, and abortion.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from March 12 through June 4.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in regular session from April 25 through June 23. The Legislature was in a special session regarding the census and redistricting from March 20-April 15. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from March 29th to June 21st. 
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Louisiana was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Louisiana is one of only four states that hold state elections in odd-numbered years. Clerk of the Louisiana House Alfred "Butch" Speer explains why:
For scores of years we conducted our party primaries in the winter of the odd numbered years, with any necessary 2d primary held in January. Because Republican voter registration was so miniscule from 1877 until 1980, the general elections were mere irritants to the Democrat primary victor. Once we scrapped the partisan primary system  we set the entire system up to run in the fall of the odd numbered year, our traditional election season.
During the 2011 election, the total contributions to House of Representatives candidates was $15,991,763. The top 10 contributors were:
|2011 Donors, Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Louisiana Democratic Party||$334,340|
|Louisiana Association Of Business & Industry||$292,506|
|Republican Legislative Delegation Campaign Cmte Of Louisiana||$252,500|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Louisiana||$187,436|
|Garofalo Jr, Raymond E||$185,000|
|Lowrie, Michael (Duke)||$182,516|
|Bobby Jindal Campaign Cmte||$165,000|
|Jett, Ronald D||$163,845|
|Louisiana State Farm Agents||$155,250|
As of the 2000 Census, Louisiana's 105 state representatives each represent an average population of 42,562 people. In 2007, the candidates for state house raised a total of $23,068,639 in campaign contributions.
|Year||Number of candidates||Total contributions|
The top 10 donors were:
|2007 Donors, Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Louisiana House Democratic Campaign Cmte||$464,391|
|Leblank, Patrick L||$381,647|
|Louisiana Association of Business and Industry||$328,662|
|Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation Campaign Cmte||$317,500|
|Louisiana Manufacturers Association||$182,513|
|Louisiana State Farm Agents||$170,750|
|Crescent River Port Pilots Association||$168,650|
Elections for the office of Louisiana House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on October 4, 2003, and a general election on November 15, 2003.
During the 2003 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $12,267,180. The top 10 contributors were:
|2003 Donors, Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Dove Sr, Gordon E||$375,700|
|Louisiana Association Of Business & Industry||$253,255|
|Lambert, Eddie J||$195,000|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Louisiana||$167,836|
|Bankston Campaign, Tommy||$158,200|
|Crescent River Port Pilots Association||$143,800|
Elections for the office of Louisiana House of Representatives consisted of a general election on October 23, 1999.
During the 1999 election, the total contributions to House of Representatives candidates was $13,135,824. The top 10 contributors were:
|1999 Donors, Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Louisiana Association Of Business & Industry||$378,654|
|Little Jr, Ross||$171,975|
|Louisiana Manufacturers Association||$145,920|
|Louisiana Medical Association||$126,550|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Louisiana||$109,577|
|Louisiana Restaurant Association||$83,760|
|AGRIPAC Farm Bureau||$82,830|
In order to run for office, the following qualifications are in place:
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Must be a resident of the district they seek to hold office to for a minimum of two years.
- Must not have served more than two and one half terms previously in office. This is for any candidate who has held office in the past after January 8, 1996.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense.
- Have no outstanding fines with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.
- Pay a $225 filing fee with the Clerk of Court in the parish they reside in or collect 400 signatures.
- If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay an additional $112.50 filing fee with the state and/or parish executive committee of their party.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the house, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election. An election is required if there is six months or more left in the unexpired term. The Speaker of the House must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy occurred. The Speaker of the House must determine the dates for the election along with all filing deadlines. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Louisiana legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Of the 15 states, it is the only state where term limits were imposed by the state's legislators, rather than through the ballot initiative process. Under Louisiana's term limits, state representatives can serve no more than three 4-year terms in the house.
The state's term limits law was enacted in 1995. The first year that the term limits enacted in 1995 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2007.
- See also: Redistricting in Louisiana
In Louisiana, the state legislature has control over the redistricting process. The redistricted maps are introduced as bills in the Senate and the House, and can be vetoed by the governor for any reason. Louisiana faces special scrutiny under the Voting Rights Act as a state with a history of using district lines as tools of racial discrimination, so all maps must be reviewed and preapproved by the U.S. Department of Justice before use.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Louisiana had the third-slowest growth rate of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010. only Rhode island and Michigan experienced smaller positive population gains during this time period (notably, Michigan experienced an overall decrease in population). Louisiana grew 1.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, with a total population rise from 4.47 million in 2000 to 4.53 million in 2010. Notably the South as a region experienced overall growth of 14.29 percent. Hurricane Katrina's impact caused enough people to move out of state to cost Louisiana a Congressional District. The population shifts also substantially affected state legislative districts, including the largely African-American city of New Orleans.
During the redistricting process, Louisiana legislators faced a compressed timeline compared to other states. The odd year elections meant that the 2011 elections in the fall would need districts soon enough to get clearance from the Department of Justice per the Voting Rights Act, allow candidates to file in the appropriate districts, and leave time for the Blanket primary and the general election to happen in early November 2011.
The new state House of Representatives map added two new majority-minority seats, which was one less than some lawmakers wanted. many feared that the justice department would reject the plan without another majority-minority seat, but their fears were unrealized as the Justice Department accepted Louisiana's first map for the first time since the VRA came into enforcement. Three more seats were allocated to the Baton Rouge area, and the legislators who voted against the new map came primarily from the New Orleans suburbs or were African American Democrats, many of whom were from New Orleans. The general loss of population in that area compounded with a sense that their requests were not addressed led these two groups to vote against the map.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of May 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, deciding all points of order, and appointing the membership of all House committees.
|Current Leadership, Louisiana House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Charles Kleckley||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||Walt Leger, III||Democratic|
|House Republican Chairman||Anthony Ligi||Republican|
|House Democratic Chairman||John Edwards||Democratic|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Louisiana legislature are paid $16,800/year. Additionally, legislators receive $6,000/year for expenses and $149/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
Louisiana does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1996.
When sworn in
Louisiana legislators assume office at noon on the second Monday in January after their election.
Louisiana House of Representatives has 16 standing committees:
- Administration of Criminal Justice
- Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development
- Civil Law and Procedure
- Health and Welfare
- House and Governmental Affairs
- Labor and Industrial Relations
- Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs
- Natural Resources and Environment
- Transportation, Highways and Public Works
- Ways and Means
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Louisiana State House of Representatives for the first 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last three years. The Louisiana State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Louisiana was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study period.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Kentucky state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Louisiana has had three periods of trifectas, two Democratic trifectas (1992-1995 and 2004-2007) and one Republican trifecta (2011-2013). Louisiana had its longest period of divided government between 1996 and 2003. For all but two years of the study, Louisiana has ranked in the bottom-10 in the SQLI ranking and only left the bottom-10 in the last two years of the study, 2011 and 2012. The state’s lowest ranking came in 1993 and 1994 under a Democratic trifecta. Its highest ranking (36th) came in 2012 under a Republican trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 46.25
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 38.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 45.73
- Official website of the Louisiana House of Representatives
- Louisiana House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- legis.la.gov, "About the Legislature," accessed December 16, 2013
- Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
- www.houmatoday.com, "Conservatives in state House forming new coalition," accessed February 20, 2014
- wwltv.com, "A look at major issues at session's halfway point," April 24, 2013
- StateNet, Daily Session Summary, 4 March 2011
- 2010 session dates for Louisiana Legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- The Thicket, "Why do Four States Have Odd-Year Elections?," August 25, 2011
- Follow the Money, "Louisiana 2011 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Louisiana House 2007 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Louisiana 2003 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Louisiana 1999 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "Qualify for an Election," accessed December 16, 2013
- Louisiana Legislature, "Louisiana Election Code," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 18:601, Louisiana Statutes)
- Ruston Daily Leader, "Loss of one congressional seat a result of low population growth in state", accessed December 31, 2010
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change," March 2011
- New Orleans Times Picayune, "Redistricting is expected to cost New Orleans three districts in the Louisiana House of Representatives", January 19, 2011
- Key Responsibilities and Duties of the Speaker of the Louisiana House
- Major Office Holders of the Louisiana House
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
State of Louisiana
Baton Rouge (capital)
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