Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Your on-ramp for news and insight from Louisiana's statehouse.

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Capitol Access
10:46 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Income Tax Repeal Bills Shelved

Last week Governor Bobby Jindal announced his main priority this session would be repealing the income tax. Lawmakers took that off of the table on Monday.

Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Joel Robideaux, said he’d spoken with constituents, House leadership, and policy analysts. There’s little support for bills that repeal the income tax without making up the revenue. “As a result of my conversations and review of the analysis," Robideaux said, "I would prefer if we indefinitely shelve bills to repeal the income tax. It’s a difficult, but I believe necessary measure.”

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Some Policy Analysts Say Ditch Tax Reform "Plan B"

Now that the governor’s plan to replace the income tax with a higher and broader sales tax is off the table, lawmakers, policy analysts and other officials are coming up with new ideas. 

Governor Jindal isn’t requiring a new plan to make up for lost revenue, but eliminating the income tax would cost the state 23.7 billion dollars if it’s phased out over the next ten years.

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Capitol Access
9:37 am
Fri April 12, 2013

LSU Ok to Lease Hospitals Without Lege Approval, DOE Seeks Restructuring

Legislative approval is not required for LSU to lease its hospitals, that’s according to an opinion issued Thursday by State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. A law passed in 1997 gave governance of hospitals to LSU, and a 2003 amendment didn’t include leases on the list of things LSU has to go to the Capitol for – so Caldwell ruled leasing “intentionally omitted.”

The opinion hasn’t stopped the legislature from trying to intervene in privatization. The House moved a resolution to stop the process until the legislature has more information.

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Earl K Long Closure Officialized, Education Changes Proposed

Lawmakers have put the final nail in the coffin to close LSU’s public hospital in North Baton Rouge. In Wednesday’s Joint Budget Committee, the Baton Rouge delegation pointed to gaps in care for pregnant women, prisoners and mental health services.

Sen. Sharon Broome said she was appalled that the decades-old initiative to revamp facilities at Earl K Long morphed into moving services.  “And we tried our best to get a new facility," Broome said. "Administrations change, goals change. I understand that. But I am very concerned when goals change and people are not considered.”

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2013 Legislative Session
6:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Capitol Access: Lege Picks Up Tax Reform, Looks to Ark. for ACA

The legislature is already taking up Governor Bobby Jindal’s charge to move a bill to phase out the income tax, just a day after the governor ditched his own plan for repeal.

In his speech to lawmakers Monday, Jindal didn't mention maintaining his requirement that any new tax changes be revenue neutral.

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2013 Legislative Session
11:56 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Capitol Access: Lawmakers Tackle Tax Reform, Budget, Healthcare Day One

The Legislature is already taking up Gov. Bobby Jindal’s charge to move a bill to phase out the income tax, just a day after the governor ditched his own plan for repeal. The House will consider sending fiscal-hawk Rep. Kirk Talbot’s six-year income tax phase-out to the House Ways and Means Committee when it convenes at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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2013 Legislative Session
8:57 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Capitol Access: Jindal 'Parks' Tax Plan, Ignores Budget

Governor Jindal’s opening address to the legislature didn’t mention healthcare, higher education, or the budget in general. Instead, he flabbergasted lawmakers and media with a thirteen-minute long speech ditching his plan to raise sales tax revenue to replace the income tax. But he didn’t abandon the initiative altogether.

“I know that several of you have already filed bills to phase-out the income tax," Jindal said. "What I’m here to tell you is this: even as we park our bill, I call on you. Let’s work together. Let’s pass a bill this session to get rid of the income tax once and for all in the state of Louisiana.”

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Session 2013
9:27 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Capitol Access: 2013 Session Preview

Lawmakers from across the state convene Monday to kick-off the 2013 legislative session. It’s an odd-numbered year, so officials are tackling mostly fiscal matters – including Governor Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate the income tax. He wants to make up the revenue by increasing the sales tax by 2.25 percent. The proposal has already met a litany of criticism.

Bob Mann – a political analyst and communications director for former Governor Kathleen Blanco – thinks the bill has slim chances. “It looks as if it’s not going to make it out of committee – at least not in its current form," Mann said.

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