If there was a theme to “Budget Day” in the Louisiana House, it could be summed up by Thursday’s oft-heard refrain, “If we don’t do it, the Senate’s going to do it.”
There wasn’t a lot House members could do to alter the allocations, until they got to the Department of Education section. Because House Appropriations had forwarded the budget bill, HB 1, to the full House before the Senate Education Committee rejected the MFP, House members now had $70-million to play with.
Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at email@example.com and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.
In a cozy little duplex in Beauregard Town, Tess Brunet runs a neighborhood record store.
The Houma native opened the store with her partner Patrick -- he’s from Maine. And he’s the one who came up with the name, Lagniappe Records.
“He was so enamored by South Louisiana and New Orleans and he’s discovering all these things about this region and you know Lagniappe is you know it’s normal to me I know what that is, people anywhere else besides here they see that word and they’re like ‘how do you say that?" she jokes. "He fell in love with this area.”
After touring the country as a musician, Brunet landed in New Orleans, but she kept being drawn back to Baton Rouge.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.