Politics

Politics
3:44 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Minimum Wage Raise: Blocked For Now, May Live Again In Campaigns

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:20 pm

Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.

For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.

GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.

But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Senate Drones Bill Crashes in House Committee

A Senate-approved bill to prohibit the camera-equipped unmanned aircraft known as drones from overflying chemical plants and refineries crashed and burned in the House Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday.

“Drones are becoming more and more prevalent,” explained the bill’s author, Baton Rouge Senator Bodi White. “And it’s just an effort to try to at least have some rules or laws for the state of Louisiana with our critical infrastructure.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Coastal Restoration Fund Maneuver Used to Balance Budget

  “There’s no one-time money for recurring expenditures in the budget,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols guaranteed from the start of this year’s budget process. Yet as the House Appropriations Committee worked to modify and approve Governor Jindal’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, the secret behind “no one-time money” was revealed.

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Politics
4:15 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Conservatives Yet To Rally Around Obamacare Replacement

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here at home, President Obama has repeatedly criticized House Republicans for voting to repeal his health care law without offering a replacement.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who'd be denied coverage again.

GREENE: Republicans have promised an alternative but have yet to release it. And that left one Republican lawmakers on the defensive during a town hall meeting in Florida.

Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

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Politics
4:15 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Fights To Remain Open

Jackson Women's Health Organization, located in an art deco section of Jackson, Miss., minutes from the state Capitol building, has long been a flashpoint in the abortion debate.
Debbie Elliot NPR

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 7:21 am

Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans hears arguments Monday in a dispute over a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Kumbayah Moment: Teacher Termination Compromise

Although they didn’t actually “hold hands and sing Kumbayah”, there was a brief moment of peace and accord between the Jindal administration and teachers unions last week. After more than two years of name-calling, angst and lawsuits, they found common ground around a bill to modify the process for terminating tenured teachers who receive “ineffective” ratings.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Tilting at Windmills: Annual Bills, Same Result

  It appeared to be “Tilting at Windmills Day” at the Capitol Thursday, with committees hearing this year’s version of bills that seem doomed to perennial failure.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Attempt to Put Medicaid Expansion on the Ballot Fails

Supporters of Medicaid expansion gather on the state capitol steps. April 23, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

At the conclusion of nearly five hours of emotional testimony, Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman David Heitmeier read the names of those weighing in on Senator Ben Nevers’ bill. The proposal would have put a constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act before voters in Louisiana.

“You’ve got a lot of support here, Sen. Nevers," Heitmeier said.

But Nevers didn’t have the support of the committee. His bill was stopped on a 6 to 2 vote that fell along party lines.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Employment Non-Discrimination Bill Withdrawn

Rep. Karen St. Germain (D-Pierre Part)

 

  She knew she didn’t have the votes going into Tuesday’s Civil Law committee meeting, but Representative Karen St. Germain of Pierre Part still wanted proponents of her anti-discrimination bill to have their say.

“We’re here to do something for the public, and the public means everyone,” St. Germain told her fellow lawmakers. “This is a fairness bill.”

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Politics
5:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Green GOP Group Caught Between 'Rock And A Hard Place'

Volunteer Tom Strain carries debris from an empty lot as part of an Earth Day cleanup effort in Camden, N.J. The Earth Day events celebrated on April 22 promote a sustainable and clean environment.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:11 pm

On Earth Day 2014, it wasn't easy being green in the Republican Party. Just ask Rob Sisson, president of ConservAmerica.

ConservAmerica is a membership organization created in 1995 to keep the environmental spirit of GOP President Theodore Roosevelt alive in his party. Back then, the group was known as Republicans for Environmental Protection.

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