Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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courtesty: LOSFA

A bill to increase the grade-point average to qualify for a four-year TOPS award is headed to the Senate – but not without some controversy along the way.


Rex Fortenberry

The House Civil Law Committee began working through proposed constitutional amendments Monday.

“Right now there are 50 constitutional amendments out there,” staff attorney Robert Singletary advised the members.

They weren’t debating the content of the amendments, just okaying the ballot language, in case any of those measures make it through the legislative process.

Compare and Contrast

May 22, 2017
screenshots: S. Lincoln

Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Attorney General Jeff Landry have some similarities: both are statewide elected officials, both are Republicans, and both are frustrated with the proposed state budget. But their reasons are entirely different.


Sue Lincoln

Governor John Bel Edwards saw some victories for his agenda in the Senate this week, with the advancement of criminal justice reforms and anti-discrimination legislation, as well as a bill to increase the minimum wage. The House, on the other hand?

“Quite frankly, I’m disappointed – particularly in the House,” the governor said, with a sigh.


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There is much that divides Louisiana’s lawmakers, but when it comes to criminal justice reform and reinvestment…

“Representative Leger and I finally found something we can agree on,” Denham Springs Republican Valarie Hodges said, with a laugh.

“Love it!” New Orleans Democrat Walt Leger responded.


Louisiana House of Representatives Broadcast Archives

An active day at the Capitol Tuesday began with the House Ways and Means committee taking up HB 632 by Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter.  The bill aims to increase the gas tax in Louisiana by 17 cents.  Along with Department of Transportation Secretary Sean Wilson, Representative Carter stressed the additional money would be dedicated solely to infrastructure.


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“What we constantly are hearing is ‘Our hands are tied because we have dedicated funds in the constitution’,” Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil reminded the House Appropriations Committee Monday.

But the question of whether to dedicate or undedicate state funds may ultimately be left to voters, as state lawmakers are moving forward with constitutional amendments proposing to tie up more money, as well as one to unlock funds that are currently off limits.


Nothing Personal

May 15, 2017
Sue Lincoln

The friction between House Republican leadership and Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is no secret. But is it just partisan politics, or is it personal? I sat down with House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry to try and find out.

“The governor and I get along just fine,” Henry insisted. “We went deer hunting once, duck hunting twice last season. No, personally, he and I get along just fine.”

Henry admits he has some philosophical differences with the governor when it comes to budgeting.

Media Resource Center

The full House put a number of bills through the mill Thursday, having some bi-partisan fun along the way.

“This is my rescue-a-Republican-bill day,” New Iberia Democrat Terry Landry joked, as he helped Denham Springs Republican Valerie Hodges pass her ignition interlock bill.


Ming Wang

“We’re struggling to find ways to pay for health care and balance it against the other needs of the state. The fiscal note says this could generate as much as 100-million in a given year.”

Ascension Parish Representative Tony Bacala said, as he presented his bill requiring the Louisiana Department of Health to move to managed care programs for those with long-term health needs on Wednesday.


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