State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, will be online Thursday at 1 p.m. to chat with Lens readers. He’ll discuss several issues, including his support for the Common Core education standards — which people on the left and right are trying to weaken or kill — and his opposition to efforts to derail a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East against 97 oil and gas companies.
Also, Morrell is sponsoring two bills, SB 291 and SB 292, that would strengthen civil legal remedies for victims of domestic abuse.
Another bill of his, SB 323, would reduce the charge for second and third possession of marijuana from a felony to a misdemeanor.
His SB 75 would set minimum chlorine levels for all municipal water systems, after a 4-year-old died in St. Bernard Parish from a brain-eating amoeba found in the water. The bill has already passed the Senate unanimously.
Morrell is also sponsoring a resolution, SCR 16, that would create a commission to determine the costs of Louisiana’s death penalty.
Morrell, 35, was elected to an unexpired state House seat in 2006 and to an unexpired state Senate seat in 2008. He was re-elected in 2011. His Senate district covers half of St. Bernard Parish; the lower half of eastern New Orleans; the 9th Ward, Marigny and Bywater; half of Gentilly, the residential part of the French Quarter; and parts of Algiers, Gretna, Harvey and Marrero. Morrell is an attorney who mostly handles land issues such as permitting.
His father Arthur is the Criminal District Court clerk in Orleans Parish, and his mother Cynthia is an outgoing member of the New Orleans City Council after she was defeated for re-election last month.