On Wednesday of this week the Louisiana State Senate passed Senate Bill 230 by Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton and Senate Bill 232 by Sen. Regina Barrow, which both address reporting related to violence and sexual harassment on Louisiana’s college and university campuses.
The bills address matters of interpersonal violence intended to control or intimidate another person through the assertion of power over them. Should the bills become law, they will strengthen reporting requirements, require advanced training for employees and improve coordination with local law enforcement. The bills also provide additional transparency and oversight while maintaining confidentiality for victims.
“This legislation was drafted as a direct response to the testimonies heard before the Select Committee on Women and Children, clarifying the loopholes within Act 172,” said Sen. Mizell, who is President Pro Tempore of the Senate.”
She noted that state Rep. Malinda White of Bogalusa is a co-author of Bill 230, along with many of the members of the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus. Mizell is chairman of the caucus.
The recent revelations of inappropriate actions by former LSU football coach Les Miles were very frustrating, Mizell said, but equally frustrating was the lack of reporting and the lack of disciplinary actions following assaults committed by LSU student athletes.
Mizell said she and other members of the Women’s Caucus and the Senate Select Committee for Women and Children were dismayed that there were no firings at LSU, even as the University of Kansas fired Miles and athletic director Jeff Long, and Oregon State University fired President King Alexander.
Alexander had previously been president at LSU when some of Miles’ alleged sexual harassment actions occurred, which is why Alexander was fired at Oregon State. Miles and Long were fired not for any actions at Kansas but rather because of what Miles is alleged to have done at LSU. Long, former athlete director at Kansas, was blamed for the hiring of Miles.
Senate Bills 230 and 232 passed the Senate by a vote of 37-0 and 36-0, respectively, and now both await House introduction.
PHOTO: Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton