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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Sue Lincoln

“One thing about budget strife is it gets a lot more folks to the table, thinking a little bit more outside the box than we’ve ever thought before,” says House Speaker Taylor Barras.

But is Barras going to broker a solution or encourage continued strife?  A panel discussion put on by the Public Affairs Research Council last Friday last week gave some insight into the Speaker, and the conflicts between his House and the John Bel Edwards administration.

The first seed has yet to be planted, but state lawmakers are –- figuratively — tilling the fields to prepare for medical marijuana.

In the House Agriculture committee Thursday, Rayville Rep. Bubba Chaney questioned Ag Commissioner Mike Strain on where LSU and Southern Ag centers stand on starting production, in light of the state budget cutbacks.

“The facility build-out, the cost of that, is that going to be borne by the universities themselves, or the state?” Chaney asked. “What’s the opportunity there for a public private partnership?”

Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey (R) presented his package of seven gun laws in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday. 

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“We are cutting $792 million," said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Governor Edwards presented the revised plan for next fiscal year's budget to the House Appropriations committee Tuesday, highlighting proposed cuts for k-12 education, TOPS and hospitals.

This afternoon, Louisiana’s full Senate considers the Equal Pay Act, which seeks a way to close the gender pay gap. Louisiana women earn — on average -- 65 cents for every dollar Louisiana men earn.

“We know we’re not doing something right, if we’re on the bottom – 51 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.,” says Julie Schwam Harris with the Legislative Agenda for Women. “If we’re not making progress, we know that the law that currently exists is not adequate for us.”

Louisiana’s gender pay gap has been growing about a penny per year lately.