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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Tryfon Boukouvidis / LSU Manship School News Service

A House committee voted Wednesday to reconstitute a commission that is trying to slow the spread of HIV, which affects nearly 22,000 Louisiana residents. Overall, Louisiana had the second highest rate in the nation of AIDS cases per 100,000 people, after the District of Columbia, and the third highest rate of HIV infections, after the District of Columbia and Georgia.

Wallis Watkins

The Legislature has started considering next year's budget, including $700 million in cuts. On Tuesday, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the state’s chief budget officer, set the scene for the House Appropriations committee. 

Wallis Watkins

Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off the regular session Monday with a state-of-the-state address. He touted accomplishments from his first two years in office, such as chipping away at the backlog of infrastructure projects, a low unemployment rate and bipartisan criminal justice reform. 

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

The state Legislature is back at work today. Just one week after ending a rocky special session, Gov. John Bel Edwards used his State of the State address to urge lawmakers to work together and move forward.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

The Trump Administration is placing a tariff — or tax — on imported steel and aluminum in an effort to bolster U.S. manufacturing.

The price of imported steel will go up by 25 percent, which means construction costs will go up, too. 

Credit rating agencies are taking notice of the ongoing political gridlock in Louisiana’s legislature, and it could lead to higher borrowing rates for the state. 

MARTIN VIA FLICKR / CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-ND/2.0/

The state legislature couldn't figure out a way to solve the budget shortfall for next fiscal year. That leaves Louisiana’s universities — and students on TOPS scholarships — wondering how to pay for school. An answer isn't likely to come before June.

Wallis Watkins

Legislators are moving on from a failed special session to focus on the regular session that starts Monday.

Robert Travis Scott is President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a non-partisan public policy group. Despite the collapse of the special session, Scott says there's still progress to be made over the next few months. 

Wallis Watkins

The special legislative session to address the state's budget shortfall for next fiscal year ended early, with no solution in sight. The Legislature spent two weeks in an impasse over how to replace revenue that's set to expire after June 30. Unable to compromise, lawmakers will head into a regular session starting Monday to draft the state's budget for next fiscal year. 

Wallis Watkins

Lawmakers ended the special session early, failing to raise any revenue to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, clearly frustrated, says the session failed because of a lack of leadership in the House. 

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