Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

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

Follow Capitol Access on Twitter @LaCapAxS.

wikimedia commons

Louisiana’s Joint Budget Committee meets today to vote on two-year contract extensions for the state’s Medicaid-managed care organizations.

“Why two years? Because we have made dramatic changes to these contracts, not just tweaks,” Health Secretary Rebekah Gee explained when lawmakers began debating the extensions two weeks ago.


Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice

"We've been told by the United States Supreme Court, 'You guys have to fix this,'" Baton Rouge Sen. Dan Claitor said, when he brought this year's bill to restrict sentencing juveniles to life without parole.

But Act 277, Louisiana's legislative response to the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v Louisiana, may need a do-over.


Sabine Heinlein

Many aspects of Louisiana’s criminal justice overhaul go into effect today.

“The prison population grew exponentially, and it became — quite candidly — a cottage industry/prison industrial complex of housing people that were sentenced to jail,” explains LaFourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre, who backed the changes. “Now we are moving away from that model, and there’s going to be some difficulty in that.”


Huey Long's Ghost

Oct 31, 2017
Louisiana State Archives

They say Huey Long’s ghost still haunts the Louisiana Capitol.

“The corporate element of this state are being told what they can do, what they can’t do, what they will pay for the welfare of the people of Louisiana,” said Louisiana’s 40th governor.

But it’s not his voice echoing through the marble halls, or Long’s fog-shrouded figure rounding a corner late at night that people mean when they talk about his ghost these days.

“It’s politics, and it’s Huey Long politics,” explains state Sen. Conrad Appel of Metairie.

npr.org

How do you pick a college? There are some standard questions.

“What do you want to be, and what are you really good at?” suggested Director of the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Aid, Sujuan Boutté. "Which of these institutions have what you want to major in, and they’re good at it? Where can you get in?”

But according to Boutté, Louisiana students have to do the math and consider the financial factor.


Sue Lincoln

Edgar Cage called Thursday’s annual meeting of Together Louisiana to order, and then complimented members for their work.

“There is a shift that has begun because of the work of Together Louisiana and our local organizations at parish levels,” he announced.


wikimedia commons

“This is a horrible tragedy,” said Grambling University communications director Will Sutton, following the early Tuesday morning shooting deaths of two men outside a dorm at GSU. “There’s no place for violence on the Grambling State University campus.”

But with the shootings also comes a now-familiar admonition, that it’s also not the time to talk about gun control.


courtesy: Universal Pictures, imdb.com

As the past two years with six legislative sessions have shown, fixing the fiscal cliff is not easy.

“The citizens of this state do not want to raise their taxes,” insist lawmakers.  In fact, the chairman of the House tax-writing committee states, “I can assure you, nobody wants to raise taxes.”

Nobody really wants to extend the fifth penny of sales tax, either.

Mark Carroll

It’s an oft-repeated theory among state lawmakers: “Our hands are tied because we have dedicated funds,” and “There’s money in stat deds. So isn’t that money just sort of sitting around?”

Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt is a proponent of that theory, and she ‘s heading a task force looking at eliminating many statutory dedications. But, as she found out during the group’s initial meeting – it don’t come easy.


wikimedia commons

How should Louisiana solve for its upcoming $1.4-billion fiscal cliff? This time last year, hopes focused on the work of the Tax Structure Task Force and its recommendations. But as House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger said on “Talk Louisiana”, we all know how that turned out.


Pages