Water fee hikes, financial guards among new Louisiana laws to take effect in new year

    Water bills will rise by a few dollars to support safety tests on drinking water, state museums can start hiring police officers and regulations aimed at protecting the elderly from financial abuse are among the Louisiana laws taking effect with the start of the new year.

    The Associated Press reports 19 new or revised statutes are slated to hit the books when 2017 begins, passed by state lawmakers during their spring legislative sessions. Many are modest or technical adjustments, but some changes could draw notice from taxpayers.

    Customers of Louisiana’s community water systems will see their $3.20 annual fee rise to $12 to help cover the Office of Public Health’s drinking water inspection program. Nearly 1.6 million customers, including households and businesses, are expected to pay the higher fees, raising an estimated $13.5 million for the state public health office annually, according to a financial analysis done for lawmakers. Another $500,000 will be paid to the Louisiana Rural Water Association each year, and a slice of the fee money will go to local government agencies that own the water systems.

    Other new regulations are aimed at protecting elderly people from being swindled of their money, property or other assets. The law offers an avenue for salesmen, investment advisers and others to report concerns if they suspect they’ve identified what is classified as “financial exploitation.” It enables protective measures to be taken, such as delaying the disbursement of funds from financial accounts if someone believes there’s improper behavior, and outlines the requirements for such actions.

    The Associated Press has the full story.

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