Sue Lincoln en Jindal Signs Bill to Quash Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas <div><p>Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill designed to kill a levee board lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. Legal scholars say this could imperil the state’s BP claims.&nbsp;</p><p>Despite an opinion from Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell urging Gov.&nbsp;Jindal to veto Senate Bill 469 because, “No one can currently quantify or identify all the causes of action which will be swept away if this bill becomes law”, the governor has signed the bill.</p><p>Brought at Jindal’s request, the bill seeks to retroactively quash the levee board lawsuit charging oil and gas companies with coastal destruction. Dozens of legal scholars from around the U-S have warned that the measure may also impact pending lawsuits over the 2010 BP oil spill.</p><p>Jindal’s signing of the bill is being touted as “a victory” by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.&nbsp;</p></div><div> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 23:36:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27687 at Game Over: 2014 Louisiana Legislative Session Adjourns <p>“We have told the Governor we give up. We’re ready to go home,” Senator Robert Adley announced, prompting laughter from his fellow lawmakers, as Senate President John Alario responded, “Very good.”</p><p>2014 can be viewed as a session of hits and misses. Governor Jindal told the press he believes he scored a hit with his budget, which includes pay raises for state workers, as well as a bit more money for higher education.</p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27481 at Game Over: 2014 Louisiana Legislative Session Adjourns Conference Committees: Resolving the Last Differences <p>Conference committees are where all the action is now, at the end of the session. But just what is a “conference committee”?</p><p>“There are bills that, you know, the House and Senate will disagree on and in many cases you can’t get it worked out,” Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson explains, “So a conference committee is selected to try and resolve that.”</p><p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27429 at Conference Committees: Resolving the Last Differences Thou Shalt Not Pull the Plug <p>“We have to err on the side of life and give that baby a voice.”</p><p>That’s the philosophy behind a bill to require keeping a pregnant woman on life support until her child can be born. HB 1274 is headed to conference committee after its author, New Orleans Representative Austin Badon, urged the full House Thursday to reject an amendment added by the Senate earlier this week.</p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27319 at Thou Shalt Not Pull the Plug Insight: When Dust Settles on Legislative Session, Will Jindal's Legacy Be Intact? <p>State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 06:24:16 +0000 Amy Jeffries & Sue Lincoln 27320 at Tax Amnesty Grab: Unicorns and Fairy Dust <p>Senators saw a pile of unallocated potential money as part of a House bill to extend the tax amnesty program, and they jumped at it.</p><p>“Let’s do something we can go home and say, ‘Yes! We did something for economic development’,” Delhi Senator Francis Thompson urged.</p><p>“My amendment will give 25-million dollars to the Board of Regents, to higher education,” New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson offered.</p><p>“Let’s put it where we got a 12-billion dollar backlog. Put everything we got into those roads,” Benton Senator Robert Adley pushed for infrastructure funding.</p><p> Thu, 29 May 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27262 at Tax Amnesty Grab: Unicorns and Fairy Dust Taking a Closer Look at State Contracts <p>Louisiana has billions of taxpayer dollars tied up in thousands of contracts—for goods and services, consulting, privatization and more. Lawmakers, frustrated by the continuing battles to balance the state budget, are pushing to take a closer look at those contracts.</p><p> Wed, 28 May 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27204 at Taking a Closer Look at State Contracts Drivers’ Licenses: Costing More, but Lasting Longer <p>It looks like the cost of a driver’s license is going up—but so is the length of time between renewals.</p><p>“The fee will be more, but it’s a six year fee, so over time it’ll be the same,” explains Franklin Foil.</p><p>The Baton Rouge representative authored the measure increasing both the cost and expiration dates for all Louisiana drivers’ licenses. A basic license, which now costs $21.50 and is good for four years, will be going up to $32.50, and will be valid for six years.</p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27146 at Drivers’ Licenses: Costing More, but Lasting Longer Remembering John Maginnis <p>It was just a couple of months ago that John Maginnis appeared on WRKF’s “The Jim Engster Show,” talking about Governor Bobby Jindal’s presidential aspirations.</p><p>“Outside Louisiana, there’s no serious talk about Jindal being a serious contender,” Maginnis told Engster and WRKF’s listeners. “But I think he’s still a viable vice-presidential contender, a running mate.”</p><p>Longtime political reporter John Maginnis passed away unexpectedly Sunday, at the age of 66.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 26 May 2014 06:59:27 +0000 Sue Lincoln 27103 at Remembering John Maginnis Communism and Crawfishing on Common Core <p>“I’m not a communist.”</p><p>But Senator Conrad Appel isn’t a happy camper, either. He took to the floor of the Senate Thursday to deliver a tirade directed toward Governor Bobby Jindal.</p><p>“You can call me a communist. You can call me a socialist fascist—that’s a good one,” Appel declared forcefully. “Anything you want to call me? Do it!”</p><p> Fri, 23 May 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 26990 at Communism and Crawfishing on Common Core