Louisiana will not issue any licenses for new day care programs for “medically fragile” children and teens beginning July 1 under legislation Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law Tuesday night.
The moratorium on new Pediatric Day Health Care centers will last one year and is aimed at toughening the regulations of a Medicaid program whose costs have swollen from $2 million to about $30 million during its four years in existence.
The Pediatric Day Health Care program, created in 2011, is designed to help children who have multiple medical problems that require extended care like spina bifida, lung problems, heart disease, neuromuscular disease and seizure disorders.
House Bill 498, now Act 254, was among 35 bills Edwards signed, according to a press release late Tuesday.
The new laws include extending for a year a $45 court fee to help fund lawyers for criminal defendants who can’t afford representation on their own. Come August 1, 2017, the fee would drop to $35 under House Bill 136, now Act 239.
Edwards also signed legislation that beginning August 1 would prohibit a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation, known as D&E.
Four other states have passed laws similar to House Bill 1081, now Act 264, which anti-abortion groups describe as “dismemberment abortions.” Only two senators voted against the measure as the bill made its way through the legislative process.
D&Es are used, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, because such surgical abortions have fewer complications than procedures done with medication after the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Under the new law bill, the performing physician would be legally responsible and subject to a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine up to $1,000 per incident. In addition, civil damages could be sought by the woman who has the abortion and others.
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