Politics

Coverage of politics from the Louisiana statehouse in Baton Rouge and beyond.

Congress is now talking about repealing “No Child Left Behind”, the federal education policy requiring states to administer standardized tests annually. Louisiana House education Committee chairman Steve Carter is taking the possibility in stride.

Sue Lincoln

The $1.6-billion state budget deficit is going to be a major factor in the in the gubernatorial election this fall. All four announced candidates for governor appeared at a forum earlier this month, and offered their ideas on how to deal with the shortfall.

Skies may actually be clear over Baton Rouge today, but gloom hangs over the state capitol, as the Revenue Estimating Conference downgraded Louisiana’s income forecasts Monday. That means there’s a $103-million shortfall for the current fiscal year. And the deficit for the next budget year, which starts July 1, has ballooned to $1.6-billion.


Rather than attending the Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras festivities, or Iowa’s Freedom Summit for GOP presidential hopefuls, Governor Bobby Jindal courted a base for a possible 2016 presidential run, keynoting both the Louisiana Right to Life March and his own “The Response” prayer rally. The two events were held concurrently on the campus of LSU.


Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.


Rep. Cedric Richmond
United States Congress

Not even two weeks into its new session, the U.S. House has already passed a bill to chip away at Obamacare by only requiring that employers provide health insurance to employees working 40 hours or more, instead of 30 hours as is the current mandate. And the House voted for legislation meant to block President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

But 2nd District Congressman Cedric Richmond — the sole Democrat left in Louisiana’s delegation — is optimistic that — with the presidential race coming up — there will be opportunity to get some things done for his minority constituents once the Republicans get past their conservative talking points.

On his first day in his new job, freshly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., designated the Keystone XL pipeline bill as Senate Bill 1 --the first legislation introduced under his leadership.

That signaled more than just McConnell's own support for the bill. The prestige of being S-1 also conveys a sense of the priority and urgency Senate Republicans in general attach to the project, which would permit the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border and carry crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

Gwen Hamilton
Don Kadair

Gwen Hamilton was involved in forming the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. She was recently called back in as its interim CEO.

She talks a lot about “transformative change” — the sort of change you can’t help but notice.


Barring new and jarring developments, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is going to survive the story that he addressed a conference of white supremacists in 2002.

Unless further evidence emerges of liaisons with the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO, Scalise will take his oath next week for the 114th Congress as the No. 3 leader of the chamber's GOP — the party's largest majority since 1928.

Pages