Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

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

Follow Capitol Access on Twitter @LaCapAxS.

Genre: 

Pages

Capitol Access
10:29 am
Fri April 26, 2013

For or Against: Votes in the Medicaid Expansion Debate

Lawmakers face an onslaught of decisions every day at the capitol: vote up or down, pass this amendment, defer that bill... A few key players in this week's Medicaid expansion debate explain why they voted the way they did.

Read more
Capitol Access
9:13 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Turns Down Medicaid Expansion

The legislature technically decided Wednesday to put off accepting federal funding for health care expansion, which would include more low-income individuals under Medicaid.  A series of bills were voluntarily deferred, both in the House and Senate, to be taken up next week. A bill by Rep. Barbara Norton was involuntarily deferred - that’s typically a death sentence for a bill. 

The representatives that voted to shelve Norton’s bill did so because they’re unsure of what will happen if they accept the money - despite that the Legislative Fiscal Office testifying that the program would initially save the state money.

Read more
Capitol Access
9:50 am
Wed April 24, 2013

On Tobacco Taxes, Medicaid, Lawmakers Clutch Purse Strings

Polls show that the people of Louisiana and the legislature are at odds. Tuesday a constitutional amendment to raise the cigarette tax failed in committee – though recent polls by the American Cancer Society show 73 percent of Louisianians would approve of a tobacco tax increase.


Read more
Capitol Access
9:02 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Restructuring Flies Through Committee; Tobacco Bills Up in Smoke

House committees took up two big ticket items Monday: budget reform and tobacco taxes.  Bills that would makeover the process of building the state’s budget passed favorably in the House Appropriations committee. A packed Ways and Means committee did not vote on tobacco taxes; representatives deferred their bills.


Read more
Capitol Access
9:24 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Women's Health Funding at Risk

Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley last week called on the legislature to restore funding to the state program that provides breast and cervical cancer screenings to uninsured and underserved women, and Sen. Karen Carter Peterson chaired a committee focused on funding for women’s services.

Women testified about holes in funding for domestic violence shelters, pregnancy care, cancer screenings, and sexual health. Peterson called Governor Jindal’s budget proposal for next year irresponsible. According to Beth Meeks, from the Louisiana Coalition on Domestic Violence, the governor’s slashing of women’s services just doesn’t make fiscal sense.

Read more
Capitol Access
9:36 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Southeast School District Tries Again

The slice of east Baton Rouge between Interstates 10 and 12 may be a step closer to seeing its own school district.

A constitutional amendment that would have funded the district failed to pass in the House last year. The same measure passed through the Senate Education committee Thursday without much debate.

Parents that live from Inniswold to Shenndoah testified that they just want to make schools safer and more academically successful for their children, like Norman Browning, president of the pro-breakaway group ‘Local Schools for Local Children.’

Read more
Capitol Access
12:51 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Legislature Picky on Spending

State lawmakers are being more sensitive to how they spend money.

A bill containing minor change to the state’s Enterprise Zone program failed to pass in the House Thursday.

The Enterprise Zone is an incentive program that works to encourage businesses to expand in rural parts of the state. The bill would have changed the definition of a “multifamily residential housing”, making bigger apartment complexes eligible for a tax credit. 

Read more
Capitol Access
9:23 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun Rights Bills Progress at Capitol

Seven of eight bills to loosen restrictions on firearms passed through the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday.

One bill seeks to circumvent federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, despite several members questioning how it would stand up to the Supremacy Clause, which establishes federal law as the law of the land.

Read more
Capitol Access
8:39 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Income Tax Repeal Out, What's In?

After the legislature tabled all tax repeal bills, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus ditched the parts of its tax package that would cut taxes. But it’s keeping the part that raises revenue.

Representative Katrina Jackson leads the caucus. She says under her plan, the funds from raising the tobacco tax would be dedicated. “It starts making the areas of higher education systems whole, and the area of health care as well,” Jackson said.

Read more
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.”

Read more

Pages