Politics

Politics
7:49 am
Thu May 22, 2014

GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivers remarks during the the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in March 2013.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare.

But now that the 2014 races are starting to take shape, that strategy isn't looking quite so simple. Democrats are fighting back. They're focusing on Republican opposition to the health law's expansion of Medicaid as a part of their own campaigns.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Rep. Katrina Jackson: You’ve Come a Long Way, Lady

Rep. Katrina Jackson, at her desk on the House floor
Credit Sue Lincoln

A couple of weeks after the end of the 2012 legislative session, an irate Katrina Jackson called a press conference. She was livid because Governor Jindal had vetoed her signature piece of legislation, supporting public schools.

“This bill passed by a unanimous vote of the House, and only missed one vote in the Senate, Jackson said in June 2012. “He’s defying the expressed will of the Legislature!”

Now, two years later, Governor Jindal is tweeting that he’s looking forward to signing her H.B. 388, which received final concurrence in the House Wednesday afternoon.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Crappie and Roosters and Gators, Oh My!

With less than two weeks left in the session, bills are piling up in both chambers. While both the House and the Senate worked on shortening their stacks of paperwork Tuesday afternoon, critters became a recurring theme.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

The 54-Million-Dollar Question: FY 2015

Louisiana Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield urges Revenue Estimating Conference to keep questioned income in forecast.
Credit Sue Lincoln

The Revenue Estimating Conference, the state’s official income predictors, met Monday afternoon to adopt new revenue projections for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

LSU economist Dr. Jim Richardson had immediate concerns about the Jindal administration’s numbers, which included $54-million extra in anticipated tax collections.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

20/20 Hindsight: Dedicating State Funding Streams

 “I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about this,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Jack Donahue said, regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to help Higher Ed.

The House-approved measure that would have dedicated state funding for colleges and universities was shot down in Donahue’s committee late last week. Donahue, who also serves on the Senate Education Committee, said he supported the concept but was reluctant to lock up any more state dollars.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Rules for Environmental Damage Suits Advance

They’re called “legacy lawsuits”—when property owners sue oil and gas companies for environmental damage done in decades past. Thursday, Louisiana’s House spent hours hearing—and ultimately approving—two bills dealing with legacy lawsuits.

“When we get to court, we know there’s an issue,” explained Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, while introducing his bill, which would let parties on either side ask the Department of Natural Resources to come up with a remediation plan for the polluted or otherwise damaged property.

Read more
Politics
3:04 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Metro Council Approves Annexations that May Stymie St. George Effort

Members of the group Better Together, which advocated in favor of the annexations, fill the front row of the Metro Council chamber, May 15, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

 

The Baton Rouge Metro Council has approved the annexation of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge General Hospital, and the Mall of Louisiana. 


Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Louisiana Senate Approves House Abortion-Restriction Bill

 With a 34 to 3 vote, the full Senate has approved HB 388, requiring doctors who perform any abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

“There are parts of the state where there is no hospital within 30 miles, period,” protested New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell. “That would make it impossible for there to be procedures done in rural areas.”

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings and Messages About Sex Education

Louisiana’s full House approved “Erin’s Law” on Monday. Approved in 20 other states, it requires schools to teach kids what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There was no debate, and the votes for passage were unanimous.

Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearing a bill to require schools to teach comprehensive sex education. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith is the author, and she made reference to the previous day’s approval of “Erin’s Law”.

“It came out of this committee; passed the House floor. My question to you is, how can you teach sexual assault without talking about sexual education?” Smith queried her fellow committee members.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Effort to Elevate TOPS Standards Ends

“It it’s not broken, let’s don’t try to fix it,” Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi summed up the sentiment of a majority of the Senate regarding TOPS.

TOPS isn’t broken, but many lawmakers see curbing the cost of the college scholarship program as part of the fix for the state budget. A measure that would have saved an estimated $24-million per year, by raising the standards for TOPS was argued on the Senate floor Monday.

Read more

Pages