LA Rep. Patricia Smith

Sue Lincoln

The House took up the Senate amendments to the current year Supplemental Appropriations bill today – the amendments that yesterday took 7 million dollars from an escrow account in the Attorney General’s office.

Teach The Children Well

May 27, 2016

Much of the session news has been dominated by TOPS, abortion restrictions, and of course the budget. But lawmakers have taken up more mundane concerns too, like what kids are -- or aren’t -- learning in school.

“This bill would just ensure that we continue to teach the critical skill of cursive writing in schools,” Representative Chris Broadwater said of Senator Beth Mizell’s SB 275, as he handled it on the House floor Thrusday. “I’ll be happy to answer any questions.”


“The real issue here is the fact that TOPS is in peril,” remarked Representative Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) in the House Education Committee. 

For next year's budget, which begins on July 1, the state only has $60 million of the $300 million needed to fully fund the popular scholarship program.

Six bills to try and make TOPS more compatible with the state’s fiscal reality were heard in the committee Wednesday. Changes proposed included raising GPA requirements, limiting award amounts, and requiring repayment if students drop out.

S. Lincoln

A bill heard in the House Municipal & Cultural Affairs committee Thursday brought a welcome respite from the simmering angst of the state budget crisis. It names the Gulf Fritillary as the official state butterfly.

“Louisiana has 45 state symbols, ranging from the state dog* to the state donut**,” Monroe Representative Jay Morris explained to the committee. “We don’t have a state butterfly at this time, and all of our neighboring states do have one.”

Sue Lincoln

There are more than 1200 bills filed for the regular legislative session which starts today, but the one of greatest concern is undoubtedly House Bill 1 – the budget.

“We have to fashion a budget, with the revenue that’s available, that’s going to be $800-million short,” Governor John Bel Edwards said, following the close of the special session last Wednesday.