Politics

Capitol Access
7:33 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Legislators Arrive at New Budget Compromise

Legislators from across the political spectrum stood on the Capitol steps Thursday afternoon touting their independence and a seeming conclusion to budget negotiations.


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Capitol Access
9:18 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Clears House Committee

Department of Health and Hospitals Interim Secretary Kathy Kliebert faces scrutiny from a wing of yea-voters.
Kelly Connelly WRKF

With a one-vote margin, a bill that would force Louisiana to accept federal Medicaid Expansion advanced through the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday.

Governor Bobby Jindal has opposed the Expansion, claiming it would be too expensive and that the federal program doesn’t meet Louisiana’s needs.

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Capitol Access
8:59 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Jindal Promises Continued State Funding for Vouchers

The State Supreme Court has ruled that the state can't pay private school tuition through the same funding channel as it uses to support public schools.

Now, Gov. Bobby Jindal is going to have to find another way to keep the voucher program going.

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Second Amendment
12:42 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Gun Legislation To Protect Concealed Permit Holders' Information Advances

A law seeking to criminalize the release of any information about concealed handgun permit holders was advanced in the Senate on Tuesday.

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Capitol Access
7:22 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Lawmakers Assert Independence on Budget

The legislature’s bipartisan budget negotiations have yielded a late-night preliminary deal, struck after the legislature closed up shop on Monday. The plan will cut tax exemptions and reduce spending to curb the state's dependency on one-time funds.

 

The deal includes cutting tax exemptions by 15 percent across the board. That will free up $329 million, enough to replace a large chunk of the half a billion in one-time funds in next year’s budget.

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Politics
12:38 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Bill to Ban Social Network Updating While Driving Advances

A bill seeking to expand the state's ban on texting-while-driving to include posting statuses on social networks has advanced in the legislature.

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Budget Cuts Take Toll on Higher Ed

After five years of steep budget cuts, some members of LSUnited, the faculty union, are hoping the legislature’s budget negotiations will raise enough revenue to prevent further cuts.

Lawmakers are looking at plans to cut tax exemptions and get rid of one-time funds, which might provide more stability to the state’s universities.

Michael Russo, a librarian and an instructor, said LSU’s finances are dismal.

"A half billion here, a half billion there," Russo said, "I don’t know what else they can cut."

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Capitol Access
4:03 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bipartisan Budget Deal in the Works

 

Thursday House Speaker Chuck Kleckley endorsed a plan that would raise revenue and cut spending.

Earlier this week, the budget was on track to avoid much debate on the floor, but it hit a snag on Tuesday.

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Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
8:15 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Proponents of Community-Based Waiver Supports Call For More Funding

Decked out in yellow shirts, proponents of community-based waiver supports for the developmentally disabled rallied at the state capitol.
Credit WRKF

Despite the threat of rain, proponents of state-funded supports that allow developmentally disabled individuals to live at home – rather than in institutions or group homes – rallied at the state capitol Wednesday.

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Capitol Access
6:05 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Education Overhaul Revisions Get Mixed Reviews

 

The governor announced Wednesday that 8,000 children have been offered a private school voucher for the second year of the program -- 3,000 more than enrolled with this year’s inaugural crop.

The voucher program, passed last session, allows parents of low-income families to take their kids out of schools rated C, D and F and send them to private schools on the state’s dime.

The program’s funding mechanism is awaiting judgement by the State Supreme Court, as are accountability measures, another part of the overhaul.

Meanwhile, bills are popping up this session to refine the overhaul.

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