Louisiana legislature

Damon J. Baldone & Associates

When former state representative Damon Baldone walked into the Terrebonne Parish Registrar’s office on Monday, he didn’t think he was doing anything unprecedented. 


With so much current focus on the state budget, the term “statutory dedications” keeps coming up. What are they and why are they an issue? We turn to Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy for answers.

“We have about 370 special accounts into which money automatically flows, because the Legislature has dedicated it,” Kennedy says, by way of introduction.

Former Louisiana State Senator Anthony "Tony" Guarisco, Jr. is our lead off guest and he stays with us for the first two segments of today's show. Tony served as State Senator from 1976-1988 and while in office he successfully sponsored a bill permitting physicians in Louisiana to prescribe medical marijuana for glaucoma and chemotherapy patients, which ultimately did not come to fruition. He and Jim discuss this, as well as other bills Tony pushed for while in office. They also talk taxes, partisanship in Washington, Edwin Edwards, and much more.

Tulane Professor, Author and New Orleans resident Katy Simpson Smith is with us today to promote her debut novel The Story of Land and Sea​. The novel follows three generations of family through the years following the American Revolution and how they come to find redemption amidst slavery and war. She talks with Jim about what she went through in writing her novel, her feeling of responsibility to represent the wide range of experiences women have had historically, and much more. She'll be at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans, La. on Wednesday September 3rd, 2014 at 7:00pm.


Journalist, political commentator and contributor to The Advocate Quinn Hillyer joins Jim for the first half of today's show. Quinn talks about running for political office in the past, President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and what it's like to be now writing for The Advocate. 

Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, and recent author of the critically acclaimed book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, Adam Braun talks with Jim about his book and the work his non-profit organization is doing to make sure every child has access to quality education. To learn more about Adam's organization, visit www.pencilsofpromise.org.


  When legislators return from their four-day Easter recess this afternoon, the full House will take up a rather controversial bill—naming “the Holy Bible” as the official state book of Louisiana.

Not every bill a legislator files is to make new law. Sometimes a bill is needed to repeal an old law. Such was the case Tuesday in the House Criminal Justice committee.

“No matter what you might think about the language, it is unconstitutional,” said Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith, in reference to the state’s sodomy law, also known as “crime against nature”, and her bill to repeal it.

   “This is for personal protection,” Senator Bret Allain said of his bill to allow legislators to carry their guns in the state capitol. The Senate and Governmental Affairs committee considered the Franklin lawmakers’ bill on Tuesday.

  You live on a limited income, paycheck to paycheck. Now your next paycheck is in jeopardy, because your car won’t start. What to do?

There’s that payday lending store around the corner, so you go take out a loan and buy a new battery for your car. You give the lender a post-dated check for the amount of the loan, plus interest and fees. The lender cashes your check after you get paid. Done deal, right?

Not always, according to David Gray with the Louisiana Budget Project.

Sue Lincoln

A bill that would change how civil lawsuits are handled in state courts is headed to the House floor. The tort reform bill removes the threshold for having a civil case heard by a jury, instead of only by a judge. Current state law allows a jury trial only if the amount involved exceeds $50,000.

Louisiana is known as a foodie paradise, but wine ice cream--one of the latest gourmet trends--can’t be sold here without a change in the current alcohol laws. Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter’s bill to allow sales of the new product was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Friday, and members were quick with the quips.

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