The Louisiana chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business advocacy group, hosted a forum for U.S. senate hopefuls Wednesday. In attendance were Congressman Charles Boustany, Congressman  John Fleming, and state Treasurer John Kennedy.

Boustany warned the audience, “Fact of the matter is, things are worse than you think.”

Fleming said his extreme conservative credentials make him the best pick for the Senate seat: “We need somebody who is an outsider, if not an outcast.”

How will Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt affect Louisiana’s similar law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges?

In graduate school at the University of Montana, Emily Wendler focused on Environmental Science and Natural Resource reporting with an emphasis on agriculture. About halfway through her Master’s program a professor introduced her to radio and she fell in love. She has since reported for KBGA, the University of Montana’s college radio station and Montana’s PBS Newsbrief. She was a finalist in a national in-depth radio reporting competition for an investigatory piece she produced on campus rape. She also produced in-depth reports on wind energy and local food for Montana Public Radio. She is very excited to be working in Oklahoma City, and you can hear her work on all things from education to agriculture right here on KOSU.

When state Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday,  much of his speech focused on his usual litany.

“You’ve heard me talk about this before,” he said. “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”

He also gave his take on the trio of legislative sessions just ended.

“Governor Edwards won these last 3 sessions,” Kennedy observed. “The governor beat ‘em like a sugar mill mule. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Louisiana taxpayer lost.”

Sue Lincoln

When the second special session ended late Thursday night, the Louisiana Republican Party immediately sent out a press release declaring “victory”, and calling Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards “defeated”.

Of course, that’s not how he sees it.

“I don’t believe that we have failed,” the Governor said. “I would question some of their motives, rather than my leadership.”

Sue Lincoln

  Governor John Bel Edwards tried to put a good face on it.

“I am extremely pleased with where we are, considering where we started. And while we may have come up short in a few ways, we made difficult choices and we made tremendous progress,” the Governor said, during a press conference a few minutes after the session’s close.

Yet when lawmakers adjourned the 2nd special session, they were still $350-million short of what was needed for the budget that begins July first, and the chasm between the House and Senate had widened.

“At this point, we do not have the luxury of amending this bill,” Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs chairman J.P. Morrell told the Senate, so on this final day of the special session, House Bill 50 was considered without an expected amendment that could have raised another $88-million.

“House Bill 50 simply changes the way the capital gains tax is able to be refunded,” Jennings Senator Blade Morris explained.

Last Day, Last Chance

Jun 23, 2016

This is the final day of the second special session, and it must end by midnight tonight.

“We’re going to ask you to come in for 9 a.m.; be prepared to stay the day,” Senate President John Alario warned the upper chamber last evening. “More than likely we’ll be in and out with some long recesses in between.”


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The Senate Finance committee met Wednesday to amend the supplemental appropriations bill, which allocates the money raised during this special session.  

The session must end no later than midnight Thursday.  At this point, says Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte), $258 million of additional revenue has been found.  


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