Politics

State Budget 2013
5:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Appropriations Questions DOE Surplus

House Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin and Vice-Chair Simone Champagne hear testimony from Department of Education officials as they continue sifting through the state's proposed budget.
Credit Louisiana House of Representatives

 While departments across the state are seeing steep cuts, the Department of Education has been getting more than it needs, according to accusations Wednesday in a House Appropriations Committee meeting.

Committee chairman Jim Fannin noted: year after year, the department has been allocated more money than it spent. In fiscal year 2012 the department's actual expenditures were $400 million dollars less than its $5.6 billion dollar operating budget.

Read more
The Senate Race
4:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 4:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

Read more
Budget 2013
6:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Appropriations Committee Frowns on BESE Transparency Efforts

The House Appropriations Committee is questioning the number and necessity of contracts that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains with private entities.

At a committee meeting Tuesday Chairman Jim Fannin told BESE President Chas Roemer that contracts should be reviewed more often, so that the board can ensure the funds are being spent wisely. BESE cut costs last year by reducing the number of meetings from ten to seven a year, which gave them less time to review contracts.

Read more
Tax Reforms
9:36 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Robideaux Covers Tax, Budget Reform

Representative Joel Robideaux has been a part of nine legislative sessions. He spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday about this session's initiatives.
Credit Louisiana House of Representatives

The lawmaker sponsoring Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax reform package is saying the administration has learned from his mistakes last session. 

After the blow back from the abbreviated debate on education reform in 2012, Representative Joel Robideaux said discussions on the Governor's initiatives got underway sooner this year. “Some may say that wasn’t a good way to go," Robideaux told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, "because we’ve taken two months of opposition, but from a legislative standpoint, I think it’s great because we’ve had two months of debate we wouldn’t have otherwise been afforded.”

Read more
The Affordable Care Act
5:00 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Rep. Cassidy On Affordable Care Act, Offers Up Alternative Reforms

Rep. Bill Cassidy, LA-6th District
Credit Bill Cassidy

News broke Tuesday that 6th District Rep. Bill Cassidy will announce his candidacy for Senate Wednesday.

While Congress has been off last week and this week for their annual April recess, Cassidy has spent some of his time off here in Baton Rouge.

Cassidy recently co-sponsored the Defund Obamacare Act, which is part of the Republican handling of the Affordable Care Act three years after the healthcare overhaul was signed into law.


 

Read more
High School Athletics
12:08 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

High School Football Playoff Split Issue Heads to the Legislature

A state lawmaker has pre-filed a bill that aims to make it illegal for an association or organization to prohibit any school from participating in athletic activities based on its admissions criteria.

Read more
Tax Reform
9:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Jindal Speaks to Tax Plan Opposition

More stakeholders are turning their noses up at the governor’s plan to eliminate income and franchise taxes in favor of raising and broadening the sales tax.

House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards said the plan is a play from a national conservative think tank that will look good to voters in other states, if the governor decides to run for national office. His caucus thinks it will hurt low- and middle-income families, as well as small business, like those in the tourism industry.

The Louisiana Association for Business and Industry released a statement saying it will oppose any change to the system that raises tax on businesses.

Read more
Dept. of Health and Hospitals
7:52 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Greenstein Skips DHH Budget Hearing Amid Investigation

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has been instructed to stay quiet about the specifics of the cancelation of a nearly $200 million Medicaid contract.

That’s what State Inspector General Stephen Street told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday before a hearing on the Department of Health and Hospital’s budget for the next fiscal year got underway.

Read more
Tax Reforms
5:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Details on Rebate Program, Incentive Changes Released

The Department of Revenue released more details of the Governor's tax overhauls to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Under the Governor's proposed tax reforms low-income filers will be eligible for a rebate and some business incentive programs will see changes. The state House Ways and Means Committee met again Tuesday to discuss details on these elements of the proposal. 

The Governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax and the corporate income and franchise taxes. Under the proposal, the sales tax will grow to make up that revenue.

Read more
Politics
2:36 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Lawmakers Question If DHH's New Budget Saves

Officials from the Department of Health and Hospitals were grilled Tuesday morning by the Appropriations Committee on how they plan to save money in the next fiscal year.

Among other cost-saving measures, the department’s $8.9 billion proposed budget calls for turning over a number of existing Medicaid services to private entities, and investing more in the Bayou Health reforms. Savings also hinge on the privatization of the LSU charity hospitals, although no official agreements have been made yet.

Read more

Pages