A couple of high-profile bills were on the Louisiana legislature's docket in the past week, both were dashed. A proposal to allow for medical marijuana was rejected and the possibility for the return of the electric chair was commuted to a more palatable proposal for shielding suppliers of lethal injection drugs.
At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.
Vance McAllister swept into Congress six months ago, elected in a special election to finish out Rodney Alexander's term representing the 5th District in north Louisiana. And already, McAllister has been ensnared in a scandal, caught on tape kissing a woman who is not his wife.
Now political opportunists on all sides are calling for McAllister's resignation and chomping at the bit to fill his seat.
JR Ball, NOLA.com's news manager in Baton Rouge, has had an ear to the frenzy.
On Wednesday, Louisiana’s capitol building was full to the gills with people representing all sides of the debate over the Common Core state standards. Associated Press Capitol Correspondent Melinda Deslatte helps explain all the hubbub.
Every year at around this time, with lawmakers just back in Baton Rouge for the legislative session, the capitol press corps makes fun of state politicians — and themselves — with a bit of song and dance.
This week the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana put out a commentary on state ethics policies.
PAR President Robert Travis Scott says tweaks are needed to require officials to disclose their reasons when they recuse themselves from a debate or vote. And he says the state needs to be careful not to create an environment ripe for corruption by allowing even modest gifts worth up to $25, as is being considered by the legislature this session.
Friday is the deadline for pre-filing bills for the Louisiana legislative session that starts March 10. So far, the proposals include renewed attempts at state retirement reform, constitutional amendments to expand Medicaid, and the return of the electric chair.
As reporters and analysts dug deeper into the state budget proposal this week, the plan was scrutinized for it's creative financing, including using the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund as a pass-through account.