Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the final batch of bills from the legislative session on Wednesday — increasing penalties for litterbugs, altering the Baton Rouge City Court and making it tougher for immigrants to wed in Louisiana, among other actions.
According to the Governor’s Office, Jindal signed 469 bills and vetoed nine from the session that ran April 13 through June 11. No measures were left unsigned to take effect without Jindal’s direct authorization.
Fines are doubling for people who throw their trash on the ground.
Under the legislation Jindal signed, litter fines will go from $75 for a first offense of simple littering to $150. A second offense will set litterbugs back $1,000.
Simple littering is the disposal of litter on public or private property or on waters of the state.
Fines for “gross littering,” or the intentional disposal of large items, would double from $1,000 to $2,000 for a first offense.
The money from the increase will go to the retirement system of the law enforcement agency issuing the litter citation. The amounts from the current fine level will continue to be split between law enforcement agencies and the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Fund.
Also signed Wednesday is a bill that will change the make-up of the five-judge Baton Rouge City Court.
Under the new law, there will be two majority-white and two majority-black districts and a fifth at-large, city-wide district.
It replaces an election plan that results in a majority-white court.
The new redistricting plan comes after years of failed attempts amid disagreement among the East Baton Rouge legislative delegation.
State Rep. Alfred Williams, a Democrat from north Baton Rouge, gave up on a plan to create a majority-black court — three out of five judges — to reflect the changing racial makeup of the city. He agreed to accept the ultimately approved plan advanced by state Sen. Dan Claitor, a Republican from south Baton Rouge.
The plan kicks in with a fall citywide election to fill a vacancy on the court.
Jindal also agreed to legislation that aims to block illegal immigrants from getting married in Louisiana.
The bill bars anyone from receiving a marriage license without a birth certificate, valid international ID or passport. The bill also requires couples to attest under oath that they did not lie on their marriage paperwork. It also requires people with birth certificates in foreign languages to have them translated first.
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