Politics

Capitol Access
6:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Small Victory for Medicaid Expansion Proponents

A Medicaid Expansion plan passed the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare Tuesday in a 4, 3 vote.

 

Opponents of the expansion repeated the arguments they’ve given throughout the debate: federal funding is unreliable, and the plan will cost the state too much money. 

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Tue April 30, 2013

One-time Funds Nixed from Budget, Temporarily

The House Appropriations Committee again called into question the way the Jindal Administration crafts the state’s budget.

 

On Monday the committee passed the budget bill and the funds bill, which allows for interagency transfers, the primary source of one-time funds.

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Capitol Access
8:16 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Expansion, Privitization Could Work Together

 

The state may need to accept the federal Medicaid Expansion to fund LSU hospitals under the new public/private partnerships.

 

That’s according to Steve Spires, with the Louisiana Budget Project, an advocacy group that focuses on the effects of policy changes to low- and middle-income households.

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Capitol Access
10:29 am
Fri April 26, 2013

For or Against: Votes in the Medicaid Expansion Debate

Lawmakers face an onslaught of decisions every day at the capitol: vote up or down, pass this amendment, defer that bill... A few key players in this week's Medicaid expansion debate explain why they voted the way they did.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Food Banks Appeal for State Funding

The Louisiana Food Bank Association is asking lawmakers for $5 million dollars in state funds to assist with the purchase of food from farmers, fishermen, and vendors. Food banks have hit a wall with many grocers finding more efficient ways to keep food fresher longer and giving away less of their inventory.

The $5 million dollars would buy more than 2 million pounds of food. Historically the association has received state funding, but didn’t receive any funding for food last year.

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Politics
1:14 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Bill To Create Mental Health Courts Heads To House

Legislation seeking to allow for more mental health courts to be set up in Louisiana has been approved by the Senate. These new problem-solving courts would work much like drug courts do now.

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Capitol Access
9:13 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Turns Down Medicaid Expansion

The legislature technically decided Wednesday to put off accepting federal funding for health care expansion, which would include more low-income individuals under Medicaid.  A series of bills were voluntarily deferred, both in the House and Senate, to be taken up next week. A bill by Rep. Barbara Norton was involuntarily deferred - that’s typically a death sentence for a bill. 

The representatives that voted to shelve Norton’s bill did so because they’re unsure of what will happen if they accept the money - despite that the Legislative Fiscal Office testifying that the program would initially save the state money.

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Capitol Access
9:50 am
Wed April 24, 2013

On Tobacco Taxes, Medicaid, Lawmakers Clutch Purse Strings

Polls show that the people of Louisiana and the legislature are at odds. Tuesday a constitutional amendment to raise the cigarette tax failed in committee – though recent polls by the American Cancer Society show 73 percent of Louisianians would approve of a tobacco tax increase.


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The Affordable Care Act
1:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Fiscal Office: La. Could Save With Medicaid Expansion

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates Louisiana could save up to $554.9 million over five years and between $185.2 million to almost $511 million over 10 years by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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Capitol Access
9:02 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Restructuring Flies Through Committee; Tobacco Bills Up in Smoke

House committees took up two big ticket items Monday: budget reform and tobacco taxes.  Bills that would makeover the process of building the state’s budget passed favorably in the House Appropriations committee. A packed Ways and Means committee did not vote on tobacco taxes; representatives deferred their bills.


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