White’s ‘blaze pink’ bill gets signed into law

Published 6:31 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Last Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law freshman Rep. Malinda White’s (D-Bogalusa) bill that allows hunters to wear blaze pink.

Hunters will now have the option of wearing pink or orange during hunting season. This is the first bill White has authored that has been signed into law.

White has long said the law might encourage more people — particularly women — to get outdoors. In addition, she points to studies that show pink is more visible in the woods than traditional hunter’s orange.

White said she was happy her bill made its way into law.

“Well, I feel really good and honored to be able to carry that for (the Department of) Wildlife and Fisheries,” she said. “Being a hunter myself, I like the idea of having options.”

In addition to the “pink” bill, White has also authored a bill that will require people convicted of domestic abuse to complete court-ordered domestic abuse programs. That bill has made it out of the House and is now in a Senate committee awaiting approval.

White called it a “no-brainer.”

“It’s an existing law,” she said. “All we’re doing is requiring that anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence has to complete the course, whereas in the past it said that they had to only attend.”

White is also author of a bill that will allow the state to issue cease and desist orders to anyone who is administering driving skills tests.

White said the law is specifically meant to crack down on schools that are lax in teaching commercial driving.

“They give the licenses without going through the training,” she said, of some of the schools.

White is also the author of another driver’s license-related bill, a bill that will require driver’s license tests for classes A, B or C licenses to be sent to the state electronically.

Both of those bills are in the Senate.

The regular legislative session will wrap up June 6, and White said her freshman term has been fulfilling.

“I just love this work,” she said. “I feel so good helping my district any way I can and the state as well. It’s so good to see this process up close and personal.”

White won’t get much of a break after June 6, however, as it is expected that Edwards will call a special session to deal with the looming budget deficit next year. That deficit is projected to be nearly $2 billion. White said she will continue to fight for funding for Our Lady of the Angels hospital and other state-funded services in Washington Parish.

“I am here for what needs to take place so that we can keep our state funds,” she said. “I know it may hurt me in the future, but I’m OK with that.

“I just think that right now we’re having to do some hard things that aren’t politically favorable, but this is a time to do what’s right for the people and the state services. And there are no state services in our area that anyone would want cut.”