—Bills to expand gun rights in Louisiana, such as allowing people to have concealed weapons in places where they are currently banned and prohibiting state enforcement of any new federal restrictions that might be enacted on semi-automatic weapons. The proposals have set off wide-ranging debates on state's rights, home security and community violence.
Likely less-watched by many outside of the Capitol is one of the most heavily lobbied issues inside the building, a bill that would expand the scope of practice for optometrists, allowing them to perform certain types of eye surgery though they didn't go through medical school.
White-coated ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors and currently can perform such procedures, have filled the Capitol's halls to oppose the change. The bill is on hold on the House floor while lawmakers determine whether they can broker a compromise.
All the haggling continues until June 6, when the regular legislative session must end.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Melinda Deslatte covers the Louisiana Capitol for The Associated Press.
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