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.”
In honor of National Poetry Month, Ann Marie Awad sat down to talk with Ava Leavell Haymon, Louisiana’s Poet Laureate. She’s on a mission to change the way the rest of the world looks at the state of Louisiana through poetry.
“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.
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.
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.