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.
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.”
In the aftermath of union-filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of education reform measures, a bill to prohibit participation in state retirement by future employees of the teachers’ unions was narrowly defeated on the House floor Monday.
“They’re not public employees. They do not work for the state of Louisiana,” Representative Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport), the bill’s author, explained.
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Eric Reed was the first black quarterback at his elementary, middle, and high school when the Baton Rouge public schools were being integrated.
Epithets were used against him more than once.
Reed’s junior year at predominantly white Istrouma High School, 1974, was a turning point. The night after a race riot at the school, the football team played the last game of the regular season against all-black McKinley.
“Anytime Istrouma played McKinley, I happened to be the target of a lot of trash talk, because I’m the one who didn’t go to McKinley or Capitol, I chose to go to Istrouma, so I was -- the term they used back then -- the ‘oreo’, you know, I sold out.”
Both teams needed the win to get to the playoffs, but Reed says he didn’t have the usual fire in his belly. Istrouma lost 7 to 6.
At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.
These students from Ruston and Central high schools aren’t just bellyaching about their school lunches, they’re testifying before Louisiana’s Senate Agriculture Committee. They’re hoping to advance a resolution they initiated.
A bill that would take students attending “C” rated public schools out of eligibility for the voucher program failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.
“Either ‘C’ schools are failing schools, or they’re not,” stated Amite Representative John Bel Edwards, explaining the proposed program change as simple logic. “This program was premised upon giving choices to parents whose kids were trapped in failing schools. A ‘C’ school is not a failing school. It’s just that simple.”
State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.
Members of the House Transportation Committee put their stamp of approval on the Coastal Restoration Spending Plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Jerome Zeringue, director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, says they’ll spend $725-million. Most of that money is oil-spill funds from BP.