A few points to add to your coverage of Rep. Kenny Havard’s amendment on SB 486 related to the age of dancers in strip clubs:

1. Foster children are in the custody of the state – the state is the parent – and, at age 18, they are released to fend for themselves. Many of these children have had their education interrupted in ways that prevent even high school graduation. Child advocates have tried in vain to obtain funds to reinstate a program that once provided minimal support. The bill would raise the age from 18 to 21 for what has become an avenue into human trafficking.

2. There is a cost to introducing an amendment on the House floor. It has to be prepared by staff, checked for legal structure, copied, posted on the website, and, no matter the outcome, recorded in the official journal. If someone would calculate and publish the actual cost, it might help to eliminate frivolous amendments.

3. Legislative days are long and tedious and occasional quips and jokes relieve the tension. However, all members should consider who or what they may be insulting when they try to bring levity into the process.

4. If a member opposes a bill for whatever reason, that member can push the red button and vote against it. Suggesting that an amendment was filed to underscore opposition to a bill and then voting for it makes no sense.

5. One of the first rules of politics is to apologize immediately for missteps.

Sandra C. Adams

retired lobbyist

Baton Rouge