Politics

Politics
3:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Justices Divide By Gender In Hobby Lobby Contraception Case

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 8:12 pm

There was a clear difference of opinion between male and female justices at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The issue was whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to include contraception coverage in the basic health plan now mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

The female justices were clearly supportive of the contraception mandate, while a majority of the male justices were more skeptical.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Tourism Giveth, Yet the Budget Taketh Away

The Senate Finance Committee got an outline of the proposed state budget Monday, and Houma Senator Norby Chaubert was curious about something.

“I notice that the majority of the statewide offices saw an increase in funding,” Chaubert said. “But I did not see the Lieutenant Governor’s budget getting any bump.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s office, which oversees the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, is indeed struggling to make ends meet.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Student Data: Private Property or Shared Resource?

Louisiana parents gave the House and Senate education committees an earful last week.

“There seems to be no effective safeguard in law to protect our children’s information from the whim and will of BESE and LDE,” said Sara Wood of Mandeville.

She was talking about data privacy. Seven bills have been filed this session, each trying to prohibit how much individual information about Louisiana students is shared—and with whom.

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Politics
6:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Senator Landrieu Among Those Banned From Russia

Senator Mary Landrieu.
Office of Senator Mary Landrieu

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:03 am

The Russian government has not released its reason for banning Democratic US Senator Mary Landrieu and eight other officials from the country. But there are at least two possibilities: orphans and energy.

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Politics
6:03 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Insight: On Ethics, Things Have Changed, Dilligence Needed to Keep it That Way

This week the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana put out a commentary on state ethics policies.

PAR President Robert Travis Scott says tweaks are needed to require officials to disclose their reasons when they recuse themselves from a debate or vote. And he says the state needs to be careful not to create an environment ripe for corruption by allowing even modest gifts worth up to $25, as is being considered by the legislature this session.

The discussion comes in light of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who was convicted of racketeering, announcing a Congressional run and Gov. Bobby Jindal touting his record on ethics reform.


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Parents Mobilizing Over Common Core

Credit Bill Feig / The Advocate

Whether you love it--like Vera Collins of Jefferson Parish, who says, “Louisiana’s Common Core State Standards is vital to making the dream a reality”—or hate it, like Ralph Roshto of Lacombe, who says, “Supporting Common Core is like a chicken supporting Colonel Sanders,”—Common Core is driving parents to the state capitol in droves.

But just what is this education issue that’s polarizing Louisiana moms and dads?

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Politics
6:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

With Wind At Its Back, GOP Expands 2014 Senate Map

Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner officially announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at Denver Lumber Co. on March 1. Gardner will run against Democratic incumbent Mark Udall.
Chris Schneider AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:49 am

Republicans seem to have all the momentum lately when it comes to the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

GOP chances were already looking brighter because of the drag on Democrats from the Affordable Care Act and President Obama's low approval ratings. Then came two developments that suddenly expanded the playing field: Former GOP Sen. Scott Brown recently announced his intent to run against New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and GOP Rep. Cory Gardner jumped in against Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Abortion Restrictions Advance in the House

Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), center, and Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills, right.

A bill that would impose tighter restrictions on abortion providers is headed to the House floor. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson is the author of the measure, HB 388, which requires any doctor who performs more than five abortions annually to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of his or her practice. That rule is not just for those who perform surgical abortions, either. It’s required for doctors prescribing the so-called “abortion pill”, also known as RU-486.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

State turns over roads to BR, unlocking possibilities

Photo by Ann Marie Awad

After long negotiations with the state regarding the turnover of some roadways to local authority, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden announced Wednesday that Government street will be getting a makeover.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Repealing Unconstitutional Law

It might seem obvious…when the U.S. Supreme Court rules a state law “unconstitutional”, then the state repeals that law. Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor has been trying to get one of those old laws off the books for several years now, but prior attempts never made it past the first hurdle—the Senate Education Committee. This time his repeal bill, SB 70, has made it to the Senate floor, and it’s eligible for debate there as early as today.

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