Politics

Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Senate Sends Dozens of Bills to the Governor

 With less than a month left in the session, the full Senate spent most of Tuesday afternoon digging through a mountain of House bills awaiting final passage. More than 120 House bills were on the Senate’s to-do list, and the upper chamber managed to complete the legislative process on about half of those.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Feds Give LSU Hospital Deals Thumbs Down

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols explains turn down of LSU hospitals deals.
Credit Sue Lincoln

Louisiana got some bad news from the federal Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) late last Friday. CMS says “no deal” on six of the LSU hospital public-private partnerships.

“I don’t know what their issue is, but it appears that the basis for the denial is related to the means of financing—specifically as it relates to the advance lease payments,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the House Appropriations committee Monday.

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Politics
4:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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Politics
2:15 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Energy Behind Repealing Obamacare May Be Ebbing

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, have backed off pushing for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:39 pm

Sure, you can still hear congressional Republicans talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

But there's clearly something different about the current climate, and the GOP approach to Obamacare. The thrill of repeal may not be gone for Republicans, but much of the urgency of repeal is.

For starters, the House GOP doesn't have more repeal votes lined up for these weeks after the spring recess.

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Politics
3:26 am
Mon May 5, 2014

All The Single Ladies: 5 Takeaways About Unmarried Female Voters

Democrats have an urgent problem this year: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:11 pm

In a midterm election that's expected to hinge on the demographic composition of the electorate, single women could be the key to Democratic chances to hold on to the Senate in November.

While Republicans have a longstanding problem with female voters, this year it's Democrats who have the more urgent problem: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.

Here are five things to know about single female voters.

They're Not Up For Grabs

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Death Penalty Drugs Bill Advances

 If you can’t get lethal injection drugs, how do you impose the death penalty?

"We have the death sentence. Whether some of you agree with that or disagree with it, that's what we have,” said House Criminal Justice committee chairman Joe Lopinto. “If we're going to have that we need to be able, as a state, to follow through with that order."

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Politics
6:03 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Death Penalty Fades As Hot-Button Issue

Death penalty opponents set up signs April 23 at the Florida State Prison near Starke, Fla., just hours before the execution of Robert Eugene Hendrix, 47, who killed his cousin and his cousin's wife to prevent him from testifying in a burglary case against him.
Phil Sandlin AP

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 9:00 am

It's almost hard to remember how dominant an issue the death penalty was a generation ago.

Crime and drugs were the top issues for voters in 1994. Not coincidentally, support for the death penalty peaked that year, at 80 percent, according to Gallup polling.

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Politics
5:50 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Insight: What Goes Up (for Debate) Often Comes Down

A couple of high-profile bills were on the Louisiana legislature's docket in the past week, both were dashed. A proposal to allow for medical marijuana was rejected and the possibility for the return of the electric chair was commuted to a more palatable proposal for shielding suppliers of lethal injection drugs.

Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Senate Committee Turns Down the MFP

 

The Senate Education Committee took testimony on the MFP Thursday, and ended up rejecting the formula for funding public schools.

The formula included $150-million in new spending: for a growing number of students, for career education and for kids with special needs. On a conference call following the committee meeting, state Superintendent John White said he’s not worried about students losing out, despite the formula being turned away. That’s because House Appropriations already added the extra money to HB 1, the next state budget.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bill Snuffed Out

Former state senator Tony Guarisco testifies on medical marijuana bill.
Credit Sue Lincoln


Louisiana’s legislature approved medical marijuana for certain diseases in 1991. Twenty-three years later, a bill that would finally set up a prescription system for dispensing the drug was heard in Senate Health and Welfare Wednesday.

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