Politics

Capitol Access
8:29 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Privatization Oversight Bill Fails

Governor Jindal’s administration has said privatizing state services saves money, but some legislators are wary about the quality of those those services and whether they help the budget.

A measure that would have provided more oversight for contracts died in a Senate committee yesterday, as those that work at the Capitol hunkered down on the holiday to get everything done before the session ends on June 6.

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Civil Rights Movement
4:59 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

'Four Little Girls' Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. President Obama signed the legislation Friday, as (from left) Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr. Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Terri Sewell, and relatives of Denise McNair and Carole Robertson look on.
Pool Getty Images

They were just little girls when they were killed in 1963, in what came to be known as the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. And now Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, nearly 50 years after the attack in Birmingham, Ala.

President Obama signed the legislation Friday to award the girls — all of them 14, except for McNair, who was 11 — with the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Ban on Red Snapper Needed?

Credit fusionstream / Flickr

According to federal regulations, Louisiana’s nine-day recreational red snapper fishing season legally starts next weekend. But some fishermen have been landing snapper since the state season started in March — at the risk of also landing a ticket from federal authorities.

The discrepancy between state and federal red snapper authorities is the subject of a bill sponsored by Sen. Bret Allain. Allain wants to put an all-out ban on red snapper, reasoning that if the fisheries are in such dire straits, maybe they shouldn’t be fished at all.

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Capitol Access
8:28 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Frugal Committee Backs Capital Investment for Community Colleges

The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved $60 million in capital spending for the state’s technical colleges over the next five years — despite the state’s tight purse-strings.

Chairman Jim Fannin insisted that investing in the technical college system will grow the economy and the tax base.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Public School Funding Plan Rejected Twice

Next year’s method for funding for public schools is a bit up in the air after the Senate Education Committee rejected the proposed formula from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The formula, called the Minimum Foundation Program, or the MFP, was shot down last week because of a clerical error: BESE sent the legislature a draft of the MFP rather the final version.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Lawmakers Weigh Medicaid Options

A House bill that aims to secure state health care spending passed out of the Senate Finance committee yesterday.

The measure would create the "Hospital Stabilization Fund," which would utilize some hospital profits to draw down more federal dollars to help with uninsured patients.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Budget Woes Left to Tackle

Friday, the Senate Finance Committee continued to comb through the budget, and discovered there’s a lot left to fund this session.

To get a summary, Senator Fred Mills asked Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter to detail the five top worries that keep him up at night.

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Capitol Access
9:25 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Some Senators Puzzled by Tax Amnesty Solution

In the Finance committee Thursday Senators questioned the way the House filled the hole it dug in the proposed budget for next year. The House took out one-time money, from selling state property, court settlements, and dedicated funds, and put in a tax amnesty program.

The Legislative Fiscal Office usually considers tax amnesty revenues to be one-time money too.

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Political Analysis
3:31 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Analyst Cokie Roberts Steeped in Louisiana Politics

Steve Fenn ABC, Inc.

NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts grew up in Louisiana in the 1940 and 50s -- the daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, who both represented New Orleans in Congress.

Cokie was home, here in Louisiana yesterday, to deliver the keynote speech at LSU's commencement ceremony.

Before all the pomp and circumstance, WRKF's Amy Jeffries caught up with her.


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Capitol Access
9:32 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Voucher Funding in Limbo

Hundreds of parents, children, teachers and administrators rallied on the steps of the Capitol calling on lawmakers to find a new way to fund private school vouchers, chanting "You promised/ to put kids first."

The old way to fund vouchers was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court last week because it routed money through a formula -- called the MFP -- that is dedicated to public schools.

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