The 2014 Louisiana legislative session is under way, with Governor Bobby Jindal delivering his “State of the State” speech to a joint meeting of the House and Senate. Compared to previous years, the governor offered an abbreviated slate of measures he wants to be able to sign into law.
“Our first and most important priority must be to make sure that we have got the best-trained, most skilled, most productive workers anywhere in the world,” Jindal says, regarding his initiatives to improve workforce development.
Opposing opinions surfaced from state education leaders this week on whether the state should move forward on implementing national education standards called Common Core. The ongoing struggle to fund higher education continued at a meeting of higher education officials Wednesday.
In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers have passed a $25.4 billion budget compromise to finance the state for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The Senate approved the deal with a 38-1 vote. The House voted 104-0 Thursday and the deal has Gov. Bobby Jindal’s backing.
The budget includes a $69 million increase for local school districts and teachers sought by House Democrats. To address concerns of House Republicans, lawmakers cut down the use of one-time financing for recurring expenses.