September 26, 2019

Why we trust Rep. Pat Smith

When Voters Organized to Educate (Voters Organized) considers who to support in an election, we consider their history advocating for strong families, healthy communities, and criminal justice reform. It would be easy if all candidates had a clear record displaying who they are, especially if that includes vastly different opinions on important issues, but that’s rarely the case. One exception is Representative Pat Smith (#65), who is running for State Senate, District 14. Throughout the past 12 years, Pat has been standing front and center on the issues most important to us. 

Pat has been leading with us for years, particularly as a champion for voting rights. Long before it was popular, before Louisiana started its collective turn towards criminal justice reform, Pat Smith was there. She filed bills that restored voting rights, encouraging people to be full citizens of society. Whether it’s following a prison sentence, or during probation (an alternative to confinement), Rep. Smith believes in an inclusive Baton Rouge, with job opportunities for all, and a Baton Rouge that allows people to raise their families without government limitations.

Pat Smith was there at the filing of VOTE v. Louisiana, supporting the restoration of voting rights for people in her district. Looking back at her time in the House of Representatives, it is clear that she is someone who gets things done. Here is a partial sampling of her bills that became laws:



Act 240 Supports low-income parents who can’t afford classroom fees and supplies.

Act 492 Expands the “critical shortage” exception for re-employment of retired pre-K teachers, interpreters, and educators of deaf or hard of hearing students. 


Act 455 Created the Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) Task Force.

Act 636 Rolled back Jim Crow-era disenfranchisement by expanding voting rights to citizens on probation, or on parole for five or more years.

Act 307 Changed the label of “at risk” students to “economically disadvantaged.”

Act 209 Increased the mandatory reporting age from 16 to 17 for a sexually-oriented criminal offense.

Act 433 Allows for sexual assault protection orders to be heard in any court handling family or juvenile matters.

Act 495 Created mandatory police training regarding domestic violence and interacting with deaf people.

Act 177 Strengthened the Louisiana Commission on HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C.

Act 282 Allows courts to prohibit possession of a firearm for the duration of a stalking protection order.

Act 293 Protects dating partners in domestic abuse cases.

HCR27 Created the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force.


Act 146 Dignity for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Act 53 Streamlined the restitution payment process.

Act 273 Reduced taxes, increased services for the Telecommunications for the Deaf Fund.


Act 234 Created a child-protection hotline, toll-free 

Act 83 Early voting, when interrupted by a holiday

Act 113 Membership of Reentry Advisory Council

Act 660 College vanity license plates

Act 454 Treatment and care of students with diabetes

Act 376 Incorporation petitions


Act 127 Created Riverbend Crime Prevention and Improvement District in East Baton Rouge.

Act 353 Provides emergency services for victims of domestic abuse and other crimes.


Act 37 Expanded work release for people with low-risk designation in final year of sentence.

Act 191 Created intensive parole supervision eligibility for people convicted of habitual offender.

Act 534 Created biannual meetings for certain state agencies regarding teen pregnancy.

Act 355 Protection from Stalking Act.

HCR 135 Requests the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) to create university partnerships for individual therapy and drug treatment.

HCR 136 Requests Dept. of Economic Development to encourage companies to strategize how to increase the number of women employed in STEM positions.

HCR 204 Requests DPSC to align job training programs with high demand, high wage jobs.


HCR 48 Seeks input/action from jail and voting officials regarding voting rights of people awaiting trial behind bars. 

HCR 91 Created Bullying Prevention task force.


Act 245 Created a pathway to DPSC restorative justice program between people harmed by violence and those who committed the harm.

Act 181 Authorizes good time credit for participation in rehabilitation and treatment programs.

Act 21 Created the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council.

Act 401 Created parole eligibility for people incarcerated on life sentences for nonviolent crimes.

Act 432 Relative to Downtown Development District in Baton Rouge.


Act 251 Amended juvenile hearing confidentiality, allowing victims (and their families) to be present.

Act 253 Created parole eligibility for people over 60, who have been incarcerated for 10 years or more on nonviolent charges. 

Act 187 Created the Remedial Education Commission.


Act 323 Created qualifications for the Louisiana superintendent of education.

Act 324 Rules on teachers transferring from charter to local school system.

Act 587 Creates uniform rules and forms on expungement.

Act 325 Allows schools to share services and functions.

Act 288 Increased penalties on employers who fail to secure workers compensation.

Act 328 Authorizes schools to purchase computer hardware with state funds.


Act 278 Approval process for charter schools.

Act 103 Created Louisiana Risk Review Panel for parole.


Act 145 Conditions for student expulsion and readmission.

Act 705 Workers compensation for discontinued businesses.

Act 175 Licensure for adult health care providers.

HCR 138 Requests the Department of Transportation and Development to host a conference regarding the expansion of mass transit. 


Voters Organized to Educate encourages everyone to KNOW YOUR VOTE: vote for Patricia Haynes Smith for Louisiana Senate, District 14 (#65). The legislature needs a true champion of the people, and Rep. Smith is the politician we can trust.  


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