Legislative-Briefs-Government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

June 2016

National law aims to increase physical education and recreation in schools:
The Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) will be hosting a series of public meetings this summer across the state on the national Every Student Succeeds Act. This federal law adds physical education back into the list of core subjects for schools after it was taken out by No Child Left Behind. The state is preparing a long-term plan to implement the law’s guidelines and seeking public comments and feedback in the process.
In the public meetings, State Education Superintendent John White will discuss with parents, educators, and communities about the opportunities provided under the new federal law and receive feedback on what updates need to be made to the state’s education system.
The New Orleans meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 2-4 p.m., at Woodson/KIPP Central City Academy, 2514 Third St., New Orleans, LA.
For more meeting dates and locations, as well as additional information about the Every Student Succeeds Act, please visit the DOE website www.louisianabelieves.com.

Louisiana expands Medicaid coverage:
More than 200,000 people have signed up for Louisiana’s new expanded Medicaid program since enrollment opened June 1, 2016, according to news website modernhealthcare.com. The coverage expansion takes effect July 1.
Louisiana is the 31st state to expand eligibility requirements for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The expansion came after Gov. John Bel Edwards pushed for state lawmakers to approve it earlier this year.
For more information about the expansion, visit the Department of Health and Hospitals website by clicking here.

Updated bike map for New Orleans unveiled:
New Orleans’ new bike map – and its accompanying safety guide – debuted to the public in May 2016, outlining popular trails, routes, and more than 100 miles of bike lanes across the city.
In its third edition, the new map reflects the latest additions to the New Orleans Bikeway Network (as of April 2016) and new connector routes suggested by the public. The Guide to Safe Cycling provides drivers and riders with an overview of traffic laws so that everyone can stay safe and legal on city streets, as well as a new guide to Trail Etiquette.
The map is the product of several sponsors: local advocacy group Bike Easy, the City of New Orleans government, and the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission.
Printed copies are available free of charge at all New Orleans Public Library branches, local bike shops, and Bike Easy events. Or download a free copy below.
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Lawmakers adopt Louisiana Farm to School Program Act:
Schools across Louisiana may soon see more local foods in their cafeterias and classrooms, thanks to a new statewide law.
The law – the Louisiana Farm to School Program Act – takes steps to coordinate information, resources and food suppliers so that fresh, local food can be served in more Louisiana school cafeterias. The law also requires a plan to integrate classroom and hands-on activities related to agriculture, food, health and nutrition into school curricula, or lesson planning.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill on June 8, 2016, the final step to the law’s adoption after approval from both state House and Senate lawmakers. Sen. Francis Thompson, (D-Delhi), authored the bill.
Under the new law, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, will develop and implement a farm to school program to be administered by the state Department of Education.
Read more about the law and its impact in this Louisiana Farm to School Alliance one-pager or read the full law here.

State ‘vulnerable road users’ bill fails:
Louisiana lawmakers voted down a bill that would have punished drivers who injure or kill someone else using the road not in a vehicle, such as walking or using a wheelchair, motorcycle or bicycle. The proposed law, Senate Bill 171, provides protection for “public road users,” also called “vulnerable road users.” The bill included several possible penalties – such as fines, jail time, license suspension, and other measures – for drivers operating their vehicles in a “careless manner” and causing the injury of a public road user. The bill, authored by Sen. Gary Smith, (D-Norco), passed the state Senate but failed in the House of Representatives.

By Tulane PRC staff
June 2016

Topics:   community health , policy , built environment , food environment , school food , obesity , diet , nutrition , physical activity

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