2018 legislative session

Wallis Watkins

Two weeks into the regular legislative session, lawmakers continue to hear concerns from various departments over next year’s budget, like being unable to afford to house state inmates, or pay for Louisiana’s safety-net hospitals. 

Wikimedia Commons

Harrah's — by contract, the only land-based casino in New Orleans — is one step closer to extending its deal with the state of Louisiana.

The current contract is set to end in six years. But a bill brought by Speaker of the House Taylor Barras would give it another 30. In return, Harrah's has agreed to invest $350 million in its facility. 

Wallis Watkins

LSU announced Wednesday that it is banning the fraternity Phi Delta Theta from its campus until 2032 for violating university hazing policies. Just a few hours earlier, a House committee voted to increase the penalties for hazing in the state of Louisiana. 

Wallis Watkins

Much like health care and higher education in Louisiana, the Department of Corrections is facing deep budget cuts next fiscal year, which would leave them with less money to house inmates. 

Wallis Watkins

Today, the Legislature begins the second week of a three month-long regular session — and there's a lot of work to be done. But, according to a statewide survey, few Louisianians are confident that state government can handle its biggest problems. 

The Louisiana legislature has finished its first week of the regular session. Gov. John Bel Edwards laid out his legislative priorities in an address to the chamber on Monday. Edwards also appeared before the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations to support bills that would raise the state minimum wage and require state contractors to abide by the Equal Pay for Women Act.

Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service

Appearing before the Senate Labor committee Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards urged members to pass equal pay and minimum wage legislation. 

Some lawmakers say Louisiana’s constitution makes it difficult to address the state’s budget crisis. So Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge) says it should be rewritten, at least in part. That hasn’t been done since the 1970s. 

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.