It took a costly special session, but Louisiana will enter the new fiscal year on July 1 with a budget in place.
It took a costly special session, but Louisiana will enter the new fiscal year on July 1 with a budget in place.
A $28 billion-plus Louisiana operating budget won final legislative passage Friday, a week later than expected, after a stalemate in the spending negotiations forced lawmakers into a special session.
In a legislative session mired by budget feuds, tax disagreements and a divisive debate over Confederate monuments, Gov. John Bel Edwards had one major achievement: He convinced legislators to overhaul Louisiana’s criminal sentencing laws and its approach to prisoner rehabilitation.
It would appropriate all forecasted revenue for fiscal year 2018, but instruct state agencies to refrain from spending a combined $60 million as a precaution against midyear shortfalls.
House Republican leaders made their initial offer Tuesday for a $28 billion-plus Louisiana operating budget, calling it a good-faith effort to broker a compromise in the limited days of the special session.
Bills by Coussan, Miguez signed by Edwards. Justice Reinvestment signings set for Wednesday
With four money bills left to address, the House will begin work on Monday. The Senate won’t return to work until Wednesday.
Speaker Taylor Barras said he was working as quickly as he could. If so, it was the worst display of clock management in Baton Rouge since Les Miles prowled the sidelines at Tiger Stadium.
A budget compromise offered on Thursday morning by Speaker Taylor Barras to Senate leaders offers hope for a budget agreement but it remains to be seen as to whether Barras can deliver the votes in his chamber to get the deal done.
SB16 leaves Louisiana in violation of Supreme Court rulings on juvenile life but not as blatantly
House Bill 269, authored by Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, requires state institutes of higher education to state their support for the First Amendment and create a system of disciplinary sanctions for students who interfere with freedom of speech.
House rejects Senate changes to budget and construction bills. Differences few, but stark.
Sen. Dan Morrish’s SCR116 would authorize the Judicial Council to study the feasibility of splitting up one of the last three-parish JDCs in the state.
Bills to rename the state’s premier high school and to deregulate natural hair braiding have stirred passions in the session. Both face key votes on Monday afternoon.
Defining ’irresponsible’ could decide budget, other money bills’ fate
The bill requires the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to create a website listing transparent pricing information for prescription drugs.
House amendments in the SB16 would allow prosecutors to continue to seek life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders, leaving the state exposed to further court fights
Senate Finance Committee members voted to use 100 percent of the state’s projected revenue next year to restore funding cuts made by the House
Emerson hair braiding bill faces Senate amendments while Coussan’s LITE Center bill awaits governor’s signature
With seven days remaining in the session, the Senate Finance Committee will begin taking votes on changes in HB1 on Thursday
Justice Reinvestment reform bills are slogging toward passage, but time is tight
More than a dozen items were added to the committee’s agenda Tuesday evening, pushing back action on HB1 until Thursday
Stalking bill heads to governor for signature. House concurrence needed on protective order amendment.
After two weeks of hearings on the state budget bill approved by the House, the Senate Finance Committee will recommend its changes to the bill on Wednesday
Local LSMSA alums join the fight over an attempt to rename the state’s premier public high school
HB71 and SB198 will be considered by Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Senate Finance’s HB1 hearings reveal how much Bobby Jindal changed Louisiana’s budget priorities
The bill was part of a national conservative counter movement to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign working to boycott Israel for its actions toward Palestinians.
LDH says HB1 cuts would be irresponsible. Senate Finance will let public have its say on Saturday.
House amendments to SB16 could lead to more suits over the state’s failure to comply with SCOTUS ruling on juvenile life sentences
HB688 cleared the House on Thursday somehow escaping Republican threats to kill all Justice Reinvestment task force bills in a dispute with Democrats
The Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works moved three bills changing aspects of how one obtains a driver’s license in Louisiana, including how to deal with traffic cops, online courses and an additional fee.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that changes Louisiana’s legal definition of “school bus driver” to “school bus operator.”
HB691 would create the Floodplain Evaluation and Management Commission to manage flood control efforts in the state
Private school families may be breathing a sigh of relief after legislation to repeal income tax credits and deductions for families with children attending nonpublic schools hit a roadblock in the House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill would require the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to create a website that contains transparent pricing information for prescription drugs.
A spokesman said state police will be forced to reduce overtime, which means fewer troopers on roads to respond to accidents and general crime.
The bill's author hopes it will prevent unwanted interactions between police officers and arrestees, such as what occurred in Baton Rouge last July.
House Bill 269 would have required state institutions of higher learning to state their support for the First Amendment and create a system of disciplinary sanctions for students who interfere with invited speakers.
House Bill 517 by Rep. Gary Carter, D-New Orleans, requires the state superintendent of education to annually submit a written report to the House and Senate education committees on every public and charter school for the next five years.
The committee will meet on Sunday to continue the process that began on Tuesday
LSMSA alumni are fighting bid to rename their school after one of its founders
Shreveport Rep. Cedric Glover voluntarily withdrew his bill Thursday that would have prevented state colleges or universities from affixing their names or logos to an alcoholic beverage after having some fun in front of the House Education Committee.
Mayor intends to seek voter approval for a penny for road improvements if bill becomes law
The pace of activity in both chambers picked up this week as the time for action has shortened.
Channeling the spirit of workplace reform, a Senate committee on Wednesday favorably moved two bills — one to ultimately increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, the other to enact a non-discrimination policy for Louisiana employees who identify as LGBTQ.
The CPRA’s plan carries a $50 billion price tag over 50 years. The state can only count on about $19 billion right now.
HB122 would prohibit colleges and universities from asking about criminal backgrounds on initial applications
Focus shifts to House committee, floor votes today
HB71 unleashed a heated debate and a firestorm of criticism in Baton Rouge, but even if it becomes law, it will not likely affect Alfred Mouton’s statue
A bill by a north Louisiana legislator could affect Lafayette Fire Department seniority rules. The required public notice for the was paid for by the leader of the state’s firefighters’ association.
SB1 by Sen. Francis Thompson would attach Jimmy D. Long, Sr.’s name to school
The convention would offer proposals on government revenue and spending, and which areas should remain off-limits from cuts.
Bills to reform Louisiana’s criminal justice system had mixed success last week, but that could change this week.
Sen. Eric Lafleur says committee will work through the weekend on state budget bill
Rep. Cameron Henry believes Jindal and Edwards tax reform efforts failed due to rushed process, lack of clarity on how taxes would work.
The latest master plan, which is updated every five years, includes 124 projects that proponents say will build 802 square miles of land and reduce flood-related damage by $150 billion over 50 years.
Currently, state law only applies such cases of domestic abuse to family and household members.
Bobby Jindal once ousted him from Appropriations Committee, Henry now clashes on budget issues with his former fiscal ally Governor Edwards
HB677 by Rep. Valerie Hodges would require ignition devices be used in order to get a hardship license after OWI arrest
Rep. Julie Emerson’s HB468 approved by large margin after lengthy debate
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously moved Thursday to incorporate $18 million of legislative suggestions into its funding formula for Louisiana’s public schools next year, but not at the expense of other programs.
HB122 by Rep. Vincent Pierre was pulled without a vote. He hopes to bring the bill back before the committee next week.
SB59 by Sen. Fred Mills would give healthcare providers direct access to wholesale drug prices
SB154 by Sen. Troy Carter of New Orleans would require drivers be warned of presence of mobile speed camera units
The House Education Committee Wednesday rejected 9-3 a proposal that would allow parents of children in public charter school to know what educational experiments in their schools are working and which aren’t.
The Louisiana House of Representatives Tuesday narrowly killed a controversial bill that would have imposed penalties on so-called sanctuary cities, primarily New Orleans.
SB16 up for Senate debate, House committees to consider six Justice Reinvestment bills
Rep. Barry Ivey’s HB68 was involuntarily deferred by the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice on Wednesday morning
A set of bills moving through the state Legislature’s ongoing regular session would create new layers of disclosure in regard to prescription drug pricing in Louisiana.
A bill that would amend Louisiana’s marriage law to allow foreign-born applicants to obtain a marriage license without producing a birth certificate has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
A Senate bill to fight child exploitation is on a collision course with the budget passed last week by the House.
Effort to reform state’s film tax credit program rocked by communications issues
A retired police chief representing the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police said the cameras do in fact slow traffic and lessen speed-related accidents by 80 percent.
A proposed constitutional amendment by Rep. Alan Seabaugh would allow local governments to negotiate deals with private entities that would provide early access to revenue but reduce local government income once exemptions expire. Seabaugh calls it a tool
House Ways and Means Committee faces a long list of tax bills as it begins the week
Practice of using Transportation Trust Fund money to fund Louisiana State Police would end with voter approval
Budget cuts to the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs could lead to the closure of state-funded veterans’ cemeteries in Leesville and Rayville.
Cutting $234 million in LDH funding could lead to deep cuts in programs
LDAA amendments negotiated behind closed doors in contrast to Task Force’s year of transparent work.
Currently, state law prohibits any transaction involving drug paraphernalia, but gives an exception to products made for scientific research, medical or clinical use.
Most demonstrators waved various Confederate and American flags and hailed from northern and central Louisiana.
House votes to strip attempt to spend HUD disaster relief money from state budget
With the Senate adjourned for the week, the House will debate and vote on seven funding bills today, including HB1.
Bill would have limited time between tax elections following voter rejections.
Changes reflect changes sought by district attorneys. Package still
HB130 would define and set
Some Republicans, with an eye to 2019, don’t want to give Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards the benefit of having orange barrels all over the state’s highways when he runs for re-election.
HB205 would also allow lifers who have been denied pardon to reapply after three years, instead of five.
Rep. John Schroder’s HB499 and HB509 address aspects of Louisiana’s domestic violence problem
Stuart Bishop’s bill would close severance tax exemption loophole in funding for Oilfield Site Restoration Fund
Flood disaster relief for homeowners shifted to flood control project near Baton Rouge
The Senate Finance Committee discussed a bill Monday that aims to help states decide, based on objective data, which state programs deliver the best bang for the buck.
The bill before the Senate Finance Committee removing the statutory mandate that state funds go to itemized state and local programs was held to allow the author additional time to build her case.
HB468 would keep state and local regulators our of natural braiders’ hair
HB1 slated for swift action in House Appropriations Committee today
Sen. Morrell’s bills would direct tax credits to Louisiana production companies and artists. Production outside of New Orleans also encouraged.
The House Committee on Agriculture Thursday moved a bill to the full House for debate that regulates how abandoned animals become wards of the state after declared emergencies.
The Senate Education Committee on Thursday favorably reported to the full Senate a bill that would transfer five state museums — from New Orleans to Shreveport — to local jurisdictions, including one that never existed.
Don’t get any ideas — they were just discussing the topic.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly has agreed that public school students should be able to carry sunblock without a doctor's permission or their school's blessing.
Under the proposal, Louisiana's anti-nepotism laws would be rewritten to let the son of Col. Kevin Reeves continue working as a state trooper even though he hadn't been with the agency for a full year as required by ethics law.
HB1 hits Appropriations on Monday, House floor by Thursday GOP leader says
The bill makes juveniles convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole eligible for parole consideration 25 years after conviction.
“There are more prescriptions for opioids in Louisiana than there are people.”
SB230 would remove five museums from control of Secretary of State
Mayor Johnny Thibodeaux says town would seek vote to dedicate revenue to street improvements
House to consider Rep. Terry Landry’s HB615. Senate to consider bills to kill death penalty and to reform of habitual offender law.
Everything from post-graduate residency requirements to increased GPA requirements to eliminating its dedicated funding have been offered.
The Louisiana House of Representatives Tuesday defeated 44-52 a bill to shorten waiting periods for couples seeking a no-fault divorce.
SB194 positioned as free speech issue while the real fight is over money and turf
HB509 would strengthen protective orders
Legislators moving non-controversial legislation in advance of budget fight
Senate Retirement Committee Monday favorably sent to the full Senate a bill that would incorporate the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System into the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.
Bill would enable LPSS to use sales tax revenue to access USDA school funding.
HB28 one of five prestige license plate-related bills to be considered today.
Sen. Fred Mills’ SB55 and SB75 head to the House for consideration.
Bill to transfer LITE ownership and control to UL Lafayette heads to the Senate.
Justice Reinvestment bills will not be considered by Senate Judiciary C on Tuesday. Death penalty elimination bill will be considered.
Bill abolishes governing board and transfers ownership to UL Lafayette
House Republican leaders may propose a budget for the coming year. that would hold funding at current levels, according to reports. What that budget would look like and what cuts it would entail should begin to emerge today.
Shoreline protection projects added in response to public input
A contentious proposal in the Louisiana House of Representatives by a Shreveport lawmaker would prohibit a state institution of higher learning from allowing its name or symbol to be affixed to an alcoholic beverage.
From 1932 to 2000, nearly 2.5 billion cubic centimeters of sediment have piled up in the Atchafalaya River Basin, as shown here at the base of a cypress tree.Photo by Dean Wilson Mere hours befor
Funding from HUD to help homeowners cover a portion of their costs of recovering from the 2016 floods has arrived. The process for distributing it is in place.
Wait, kids can’t currently do that?
A resolution asking the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to allow computer science courses to count as science credits has moved on to full House debate.
By increasing the gas tax by 17 cents, the additional cost to the average Louisiana driver would be approximately $113 per year — less than $10 a month.
The House Committee on Appropriations Tuesday was filled with stories of hardship and passion as advocates for disability services and health care programs dominated the first day of open testimony on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ executive budget.
The Senate Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee will meet separately Wednesday in sessions available via streaming video.
Three bills by the Breaux Bridge insurance agent will be heard by the House Insurance Committee Wednesday.
Rep. Blake Miguez of Erath wants to lower the cost of accessing death certificates for those involved in estate succession valued at under $75,000.
South Louisiana’s existential crisis collided with the inexorable math Tuesday afternoon in a Senate committee.
It would dissolve Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise’s governing commission and hand ownership and operating responsibilities to UL Lafayette.
Can a Louisiana Democrat restore fiscal stability using Ohio Republicans' plan?
The Louisiana Senate will consider proposals to whittle away at Louisiana's tax break programs to keep more money in the state treasury for spending.
Intent is to make epinephrine more accessible to families of modest means after pharma company jacked up price of its EpiPen — the only such delivery means available to Louisianans.
Several types of hunting equipment – including ATVs, apparel and accessories – may no longer be tax-free during the Annual Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Holiday
Could this be a way to allow Vermilion Parish governments to sever their ties with 15th JDC District Attorney Keith Stutes?
Legislators return to Baton Rouge for the first full week of the 2017 regular session after the Easter break, but don’t expect them to plunge into the heavy lifting of budget writing just yet.
Battling strong sentiment against his tax package, Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to intensify the heat on his Republican critics about the need for tax reform to stabilize Louisiana’s budget.