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Damaging Oil Pipelines Would Become Illegal Under Louisiana Lawmaker's Bill

It’s illegal to trespass on critical infrastructure sites in Louisiana, like a refinery or a nuclear power plant. Representative Major Thibaut’s bill would add pipelines to that list.

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4 New Exemptions To The Tax Penalty For Lacking Health Insurance

There already have been more than a dozen reasons U.S. consumers can use to avoid paying the penalty for not having health insurance. Now the federal government has added four more. These "hardship exemptions" let people off the hook if they can't find a marketplace plan that meets not only their coverage needs but also reflects their view if they are opposed to abortion. It's unclear how significant the impact will be, policy analysts say. That's because starting in tax year 2019 the penalty...

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Wallis Watkins

Legislators are moving on from a failed special session to focus on the regular session that starts Monday.

Robert Travis Scott is President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a non-partisan public policy group. Despite the collapse of the special session, Scott says there's still progress to be made over the next few months. 

Wallis Watkins

The special legislative session to address the state's budget shortfall for next fiscal year ended early, with no solution in sight. The Legislature spent two weeks in an impasse over how to replace revenue that's set to expire after June 30. Unable to compromise, lawmakers will head into a regular session starting Monday to draft the state's budget for next fiscal year. 

Wallis Watkins

Lawmakers ended the special session early, failing to raise any revenue to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, clearly frustrated, says the session failed because of a lack of leadership in the House. 

Wallis Watkins

Louisiana’s special legislative session could come to an early close Monday, with no fix for next year’s billion-dollar budget shortfall.

Wallis Watkins

A bill to raise state sales tax failed on the House floor for the second time Sunday night, putting even more doubt on the future of a rocky special session. 


LSU AgCenter

You might be wondering about your tropicals right about now. Tender tropical plants were significantly affected by this winter's cold temperatures.

Sago palms took a beating this year and the AgCenter has been receiving a lot of questions about them. You want to prune off any fronds that have cold damage. The plant will be fine without them. The trunks have enough sugars in them to make sure the palm can leaf out this spring.

Wallis Watkins

After the House failed to pass a major tax bill Wednesday night, the future of the special session appeared shaky. But there was some progress in getting negotiations going again Thursday. 

Wallis Watkins

Louisiana’s House of Representatives is still sharply divided over how to fix the fiscal cliff. The House was finally set to vote on tax and budget bills Wednesday, but when members took to the floor hours behind schedule, it still wasn’t clear if they were any closer to a compromise. 

Wallis Watkins

The Louisiana House worked behind the scenes Tuesday on tax negotiations. And key to those negotiations is the Legislative Black Caucus, led by Representative Joe Bouie (D-New Orleans).

"The strength of the Black Caucus regarding tax reform is the fact that you usually need 70 votes," he said.

Wallis Watkins

Any momentum to reach a budget deal in the House was lost on Monday. The body was set to vote on key tax and budget measures that had finally made it out of committee. But Speaker of the House Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia) told members he didn’t think the bills could pass the full House. 

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