State Capitol Baton Rouge politics

Advocate file photo -- The Louisiana State Capitol.

The so-called "granny cam" bill, which allows residents of nursing homes to position surveillance cameras in their rooms, received its final required legislative approval on Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk to become law. 

The bill represents a huge blow to the powerful nursing home industry, which typically is successful in defeating bills that it opposes. 

However, House Bill 281, was unanimously supported in the House and the Senate floor votes. 

On Friday, House Bill sponsor Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, accepted some amendments that removed criminal penalties from the bill for nursing homes, and addressed how a nursing home resident would be determined mentally capable of consenting to a camera. 

The bill forces nursing homes to allow residents to have cameras in their room, but the residents and their roommates have to sign privacy waivers. The cost of the camera and its installation also falls to the resident. And cameras will not be able to connect to the computer networks of the nursing home, because of concerns raised by the nursing home owners about hacking.

"This bill gives nursing home residents and their family members the option to install a video monitoring device in the resident's room, allowing family caregivers to remain connected and be a part of their loved one's care team," said Andrew Muhl, AARP of Louisiana lobbyist.

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.