Among the many bills that state lawmakers passed this year are five measures dealing with domestic violence. That's the topic of this week's Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

I spend a lot of time criticizing politicians for things they do wrong. It's only fair I speak up when they do something right.

State lawmakers this year passed five bills that significantly strengthen Louisiana's domestic violence laws. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed all of them.

These new laws give victims of domestic abuse greater rights and more protections. They were authored by state Rep. Helena Moreno and state Sen. J.P. Morrell, both of New Orleans.

Moreno's three bills impose greater criminal penalties against abusers. One measure makes domestic abuse battery a crime of violence and increases penalties on repeat offenders. Another speeds up the process for getting protective orders against abusers, and a third takes away firearms from abusers while they are subject to protective orders.

Morrell's two bills deal with civil penalties. One authorizes punitive damages against abusers. The other gives married victims the right to an immediate divorce.

These bills were proposed by women leaders of the local United Way. Their passage is a big step forward for victims of domestic abuse, and for Louisiana.


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