Politics

Insight
5:50 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Insight: Inside the Cost-Saving Report

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, just a few hours before the final gavel came down on the legislative session, the Jindal administration unleashed a 400-plus page report from their consultants who had been asked to find recommendations for saving the state money.

Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, has been combing through the report.


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Game Over: 2014 Louisiana Legislative Session Adjourns

Bill signing on final day of 2014 session. From left to right: House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, Senator Robert Adley, Rep. Neil Abramson, Governor Bobby Jindal

“We have told the Governor we give up. We’re ready to go home,” Senator Robert Adley announced, prompting laughter from his fellow lawmakers, as Senate President John Alario responded, “Very good.”

2014 can be viewed as a session of hits and misses. Governor Jindal told the press he believes he scored a hit with his budget, which includes pay raises for state workers, as well as a bit more money for higher education.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Conference Committees: Resolving the Last Differences

Lawmakers aren't chatting about their post-session plans here. They're working out compromises on bills.

Conference committees are where all the action is now, at the end of the session. But just what is a “conference committee”?

“There are bills that, you know, the House and Senate will disagree on and in many cases you can’t get it worked out,” Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson explains, “So a conference committee is selected to try and resolve that.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Thou Shalt Not Pull the Plug

“We have to err on the side of life and give that baby a voice.”

That’s the philosophy behind a bill to require keeping a pregnant woman on life support until her child can be born. HB 1274 is headed to conference committee after its author, New Orleans Representative Austin Badon, urged the full House Thursday to reject an amendment added by the Senate earlier this week.

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Politics
1:24 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Insight: When Dust Settles on Legislative Session, Will Jindal's Legacy Be Intact?

State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion. 


Politics
4:34 am
Thu May 29, 2014

EBR School District Revamp Back to the Drawing Board

The state House has rejected a proposal to restructure the East baton Rouge Parish School District. 

In making his closing argument for the bill in the House, Rep. Steve Carter rattled off dire statistics about test scores and arrests at parish schools. 

“The entire business community recognizes the fact we need to do something," Carter said. 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber offered the plan to restructure the parish district. 

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Tax Amnesty Grab: Unicorns and Fairy Dust

Senators saw a pile of unallocated potential money as part of a House bill to extend the tax amnesty program, and they jumped at it.

“Let’s do something we can go home and say, ‘Yes! We did something for economic development’,” Delhi Senator Francis Thompson urged.

“My amendment will give 25-million dollars to the Board of Regents, to higher education,” New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson offered.

“Let’s put it where we got a 12-billion dollar backlog. Put everything we got into those roads,” Benton Senator Robert Adley pushed for infrastructure funding.

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Hard Sell For 'Hard Choices' Says Hillary's Running In 2016

Publisher Simon & Schuster says the initial printing of Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-released memoir, Hard Choices, has already sold out.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:19 pm

As subtle as a bugle call, the marketing effort now underway for Hillary Clinton's new book is the clearest indication to date that she is in fact running for president in 2016.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Taking a Closer Look at State Contracts

Louisiana has billions of taxpayer dollars tied up in thousands of contracts—for goods and services, consulting, privatization and more. Lawmakers, frustrated by the continuing battles to balance the state budget, are pushing to take a closer look at those contracts.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Drivers’ Licenses: Costing More, but Lasting Longer

It looks like the cost of a driver’s license is going up—but so is the length of time between renewals.

“The fee will be more, but it’s a six year fee, so over time it’ll be the same,” explains Franklin Foil.

The Baton Rouge representative authored the measure increasing both the cost and expiration dates for all Louisiana drivers’ licenses. A basic license, which now costs $21.50 and is good for four years, will be going up to $32.50, and will be valid for six years.

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