House concurs in changes to industry self-audits, UL-city land swap, campaigning-for-kin amendment

Lafayette Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan on the House floor
Lafayette Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan on the House floor. Photo by Travis Gauthier

While House members balked at concurring on Senate amendments to several important measures Tuesday, two Lafayette representatives moved to accept Senate amendments to three of their pet projects.

Just the day before, Republican Jean-Paul Coussan had put his HB72, allowing oil, gas and chemical companies to inspect themselves, back on the calendar until he had time to talk to key senators about their changes, such as making the self-audited reports to the Department of Environmental Quality a public record.

But Tuesday he was back at the front mic asking the House to concur. It did, 88-4, a sign some members still remain skeptical. Thirteen others abstained, including Schexnayder. All seven Lafayette Parish members voted for it.

Late Tuesday, Coussan was back to announce that a conference committee had just resolved differences with his HB335, which will permit the City of Lafayette to swap Fire Station No. 5 on Johnston Street to UL Lafayette for a tract of land UL Lafayette owns along Cajundome Boulevard. It passed 100-0.

Rep. Jonathan Goudeau, author of HB315, the constitutional amendment that would permit state civil servants to participate in political campaigns on behalf of “close family members,” went to the front mic and said simply, “I concur.” The Senate had added a multitude of step-relatives and their spouses and half-siblings and their spouses to the definition of “close family members.” The House concurred 91-3. Beaullieu did not vote.

The Senate approved it Sunday 35-0. Voters must now ratify it on Nov. 8, 2022.