Victims of domestic violence should be given special housing protections, the full Legislature has agreed.
Senate Bill 174 by Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, won final passage Tuesday with a 36-0 vote and heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk.
In addition to allowing victims to break a lease to escape an abuser, the proposal will give landlords the power to immediately evict those who are deemed abusers by the courts or a state welfare agency. In limited situations, landlords will also be barred from evicting abuse victims.
Supporters said the bill is needed because there aren’t enough protections for women who endure abuse. Opponents worried about taking away landlords’ authority and causing unintended legal problems for them.
The bill was heavily rewritten from what Broome originally sought, which would have granted abuse victims wide-ranging leeway with landlords and prohibited evictions for repeat police visits.