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7/6/2009 4:56:50 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana: Update--Religious Freedom Amendment Fails

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 6, 2009

Louisiana: Update--Religious Freedom Amendment Fails

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

During the 2009 legislative session the Home School Legal Defense
Association worked closely with Christian Home Educators Fellowship
(CHEF) of Louisiana in monitoring several bills.

Earlier this session Representative Henry introduced a Religious
Freedom Amendment to strengthen religious freedom under the Louisiana
Constitution. House Bill 340 was an excellent bill that, if passed,
would have protected religious exercise from government intrusion.

Under H.B. 340 the government would have been prohibited from
burdening the free exercise of religion unless they could demonstrate
the government "has a compelling governmental interest in infringing
upon the specific (religious) expression" and there is "no other less
burdensome alternative." This is commonly referred to as the strict
scrutiny test. For more information about Religious Freedom
Restoration Act please see: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6708 .

However, time ran out on this bill. The session ended while H.B. 340
was in conference committee. We appreciate all of you who made calls
on behalf of H.B. 340.

Another bill that HSLDA watched closely was House Bill 531. Under this
bill, eligible home study students would have been permitted to
participate in public school athletics. While HSLDA is neutral on the
issue of public school participation, we monitored the bill to ensure
there would be no negative impact on the right of parents to teach
their children at home. We also provided information on what other
states have done regarding this issue.

When this bill was sent to conference committee in the final days of
the legislative session, an amendment was proposed that would have
made it a crime for home study students to submit false academic
documentation. This amendment proposed that a homeschool parent would
face a fine of up to $250, six months in jail, and potentially have
their homeschool program revoked. No other state that allows
homeschool participation in public school sports has a similar crime.
Additionally, under this amendment, this potential crime would have
only applied to homeschool parents. Recognizing that it would be
unwise to allow such an amendment, Rep. Henry, the primary sponsor of
H.B. 531, prevented the bill from going any further.

The Louisiana legislature adjourned "sine die" on June 25th.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How long are you in for?

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It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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