Two weeks into the regular legislative session, lawmakers continue to hear concerns from various departments over next year’s budget, like being unable to afford to house state inmates, or pay for Louisiana’s safety-net hospitals.
LSU announced Wednesday that it is banning the fraternity Phi Delta Theta from its campus until 2032 for violating university hazing policies. Just a few hours earlier, a House committee voted to increase the penalties for hazing in the state of Louisiana.
Today, the Legislature begins the second week of a three month-long regular session — and there's a lot of work to be done. But, according to a statewide survey, few Louisianians are confident that state government can handle its biggest problems.
The Louisiana legislature has finished its first week of the regular session. Gov. John Bel Edwards laid out his legislative priorities in an address to the chamber on Monday. Edwards also appeared before the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations to support bills that would raise the state minimum wage and require state contractors to abide by the Equal Pay for Women Act.
Some lawmakers say Louisiana’s constitution makes it difficult to address the state’s budget crisis. So Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge) says it should be rewritten, at least in part. That hasn’t been done since the 1970s.
The Legislature has started considering next year's budget, including $700 million in cuts. On Tuesday, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the state’s chief budget officer, set the scene for the House Appropriations committee.
Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off the regular session Monday with a state-of-the-state address. He touted accomplishments from his first two years in office, such as chipping away at the backlog of infrastructure projects, a low unemployment rate and bipartisan criminal justice reform.