Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan's bill to dissolve the LITE Commission and transfer ownership and control of the facility to UL Lafayette cleared the House in a 100-0 vote on Monday and now heads to the Senate.
HB299 was introduced at the request of the LITE commission, which currently runs the center, Coussan tells The Independent. The facility has struggled to find niche as a public-private partnership as originally envisioned by proponents when it was funded just over a decade ago.
Coussan's bill puts the facility under the direct control of the university and dissolves the commission. The hope is that the university's research focus can more effectively find uses for the facility. LITE's distinctive cocoon was created to enable businesses and researchers to literally walk inside visualizations of their data created by the super computer that is part of the facility.
Virtual reality technology has transferred the experience down from room-size to headsets, thus marginalizing facilities like the LITE's cocoon.
Coussan's bill will now be placed on the Senate calendar and then be assigned to a Senate committee for hearing.