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  • Applications now being accepted for energy bill assistance program

    January 28, 2015 11:23 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Qualifying low-income households may be able to get some help with paying their energy bills for the remainder of winter through the Office of Social Services' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. To see if your household qualifies for funds available through the program, refer to... more »
  • 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills

    December 11, 2014 2:12 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new government report shows that nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers - nearly 43 million people - have unpaid medical debts. The findings from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggest that many Americans are being trapped by debt because they are confused by the notices they... more »
  • Rape exams should be billed to state, Jindal says

    December 9, 2014 1:11 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has directed a state crime victim's board to pay hospitals and health centers for sexual assault victims' medical exams. Jindal's executive order, issued Tuesday, is trying to keep victims from being charged for a forensic medical exam, billing that advocacy groups and lawmakers called... more »
  • Tannehill, former Tiger Landry lead Dolphins over Bills

    November 14, 2014 6:10 AM

    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - Ryan Tannehill shook off five sacks and a third-quarter deficit, throwing for two late touchdowns to help the Miami Dolphins break a streak of three consecutive losses to Buffalo with a 22-9 win Thursday. Tannehill went 26 for 34 for 240 yards and threw touchdown... more »
  • Facebook video feature blamed for high bills

    September 3, 2014 8:01 PM

    PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA- Facebook's autoplay video feature is blamed for increasing data plan bills over the limit. The consumer finance website, Moneysavingexpert.com, flagged the issue. Now, smartphone users are advised to change the default setting in the Facebook App to stop the streaming video function. more »
  • Jindal signs bills to crack down on sex trafficking

    June 9, 2014 3:46 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal signed four bills into law on Monday that would help protect sex trafficking victims, and creates a new crime targeting people who purchase such services. HB 1025 permits the court to seize the personal property directly used in connection with sex trafficking and... more »
  • Residents frustrated over proposed rate increase check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    June 3, 2014 9:52 PM

    BAKER - A crowed wasn't shy about sharing their thoughts on proposed utility rate hikes Tuesday night. Hikes to water and sewer services would help balance the city's budget. It is set to have an $800,000 hole. The city council is split on raising the rates, although some leaders... more »
  • JIndal signs bills into law in support of veterans

    May 29, 2014 1:23 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law two bills aimed at supporting Louisiana's veterans. The measure (House Bill 654) by Rep. Nick Lorusso, R-New Orleans, will expand residential lease protections for members of the military, to make it easier for them and their spouses to terminate home... more »
  • Bills to pay down state retirement debt stall

    March 20, 2014 2:16 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers on the House Retirement Committee deadlocked on a proposal that would steer more money to retirement debt by taking dollars from an account used to pay cost-of-living increases to retired state workers. The committee voted 5-5 Thursday for the proposal, stalling it. After the vote, Rep. Kevin... more »
  • Insurance rates spike due to lack of fire service check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    February 10, 2014 4:51 PM

    ST. FRANCISVILLE - Some property owners in West Feliciana Parish saw homeowners insurance double because they live too far away from a fire station in the parish. The fire protection district will discuss adding two new stations to meet insurance requirements for property owners. Melvin Harvey owns a camp... more »
  • Five accused of using counterfeit bills

    January 1, 2014 12:20 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Five people from the Houston area have been arrested for trying to pass off counterfeit $100 bills around Baton Rouge. East Baton Rouge Sheriff detectives arrested 22 year-old Victor Henry, 22 year-old Mazarati Esset, 23 year-old Krystal Noriega, 22 year-old Tabatha Jolivet and 22 year-old Kayla... more »
  • Bills to speed oil and gas drilling considered

    November 20, 2013 12:04 PM

    WASHINGTON - Three bills to speed up oil and natural gas drilling are being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the bills that's expected to win approval in the Republican controlled House today would restrict the Interior Department from enforcing proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing, or... more »
  • Brees & Stills shine, Saints beat Bills 35-17

    October 27, 2013 2:59 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - The Saints rookie, Kenny Stills, is had a career game against the Buffalo Bills. The former Oklahoma Sooner had three receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. The Saints beat the Bills 35-17. Drew Brees had another tremendous day. The Saints... more »
  • Bills pull within two scores, Saints lead 28-17

    October 27, 2013 2:34 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - The Saints finally got their offense going thanks to two touchdown throws to tight end Jimmy Graham. After a first quarter of penalties and miscues, Drew Brees finally got the offense firing on all cylinders - starting with a long 69-yard touchdown pass to rookie wideout... more »
  • Saints get on the scoreboard first, lead 7-0

    October 27, 2013 12:29 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - The Saints forced a fumble deep in the Bills territory on the first play from scrimmage, but kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 47-yard field goal to take no points from the opportunity. Thad Lewis left the game after the sack, but came back in the game... more »
  • Audit: Panel isn't verifying property tax bills

    July 15, 2013 10:29 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A new audit says the Louisiana Tax Commission has regularly approved changes that parish tax assessors made to homeowners' tax bills without checking the accuracy of those changes. In a review released Monday, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office raised questions about whether the tax commission is properly... more »
  • Landrieu bill bans some religion-based fund cuts

    July 11, 2013 2:21 PM

    NEW ORLEANS- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has introduced a bill to forbid the federal government from withholding money from programs whose participants engage in voluntary religious activity. The Louisiana Democrat introduced the Freedom to Pray Act on Thursday. Landrieu says she has been working on it since a constituent told... more »
  • Gov. Jindal vetoes controversial surrogacy bill

    June 21, 2013 4:58 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has sided with conservative groups and vetoed a bill that would have created a new legal and regulatory framework for surrogacy births in Louisiana. Lawmakers had overwhelmingly voted to support the bill by Norco Sen. Gary Smith, who has two children with his wife... more »
  • Walker may raise utility rates

    June 15, 2013 10:33 AM

    WALKER, La. - Utility rates in Walker may rise for the first time in more than a decade. The Advocate reports the Board of Aldermen has scheduled a public hearing for June 24 on four ordinances to adjust the city's rates on gas, water, sewer and garbage collection. The adjustments... more »
  • Jindal signs salt dome bills tied to sinkhole

    June 14, 2013 1:14 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law three bills tightening regulations on salt domes, a response to the 15-acre Assumption Parish sinkhole that caused evacuation orders for 150 homes. Stricter guidelines will be required for monitoring and assessing areas around salt domes, and stiffer penalties will be... more »
  • Lawmakers back pay raises for local officials

    May 31, 2013 10:36 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Pay raise bills for judges, parish clerks of court and assessors are sailing through the Louisiana Legislature. It remains unclear whether Gov. Bobby Jindal will support the measures, two of which have received final passage. The Senate gave final backing Friday to a bill that will let... more »
  • Colo. governor signs marijuana regulations into law

    May 28, 2013 4:02 PM

    DENVER - Colorado's governor signed six marijuana regulatory bills into law Tuesday while the state awaits a federal response to recreational pot legalization. The new laws seek to regulate the newly legal drug and keep it away from children, without being so strict that weed stays in the black... more »
  • College tuition hike bills scrapped for session

    May 22, 2013 4:26 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Attempts to raise tuition at Louisiana's public colleges appear dead for the session, despite concerns about repeated rounds of cuts to schools. Rep. Walt Leger, the number two ranking member of the House, said Wednesday he's shelving his proposal to let the campuses raise tuition according to... more »
  • Committee considers gun measures at Capitol

    May 7, 2013 10:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Several gun bills are scheduled to be discussed this morning at a Senate Judiciary committee hearing in Baton Rouge. The measures include a proposed lifetime concealed carry permit, a bill defying any future federal ban on semi-automatic weapons, and allowing people with concealed carry permits to... more »
  • Pro-gun bills approved by La. House committee check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    April 17, 2013 4:24 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers are advancing a batch of bills they say are aimed at pre-empting any stricter gun laws that could make it out of Congress. In heated exchanges over five hours of debate, the House Criminal Justice Committee approved Wednesday an array of "state's rights" gun regulations.... more »
  • Lawmakers refuse to hear income tax repeal bills check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    April 15, 2013 10:40 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The state House Ways and Means committee said today they would defer all income tax repeal bills for this session, essentially killing Governor Bobby Jindal's main plan for tax reform. Committee chair Joel Robideaux (R-Lafayette) said such bills already scheduled for a hearing would still be... more »
  • Taxes, gun permits, school district on session agenda

    April 8, 2013 6:54 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The agenda is already packed with more than 900 pre-filed bills, as dozens of state lawmakers flock to the capitol to begin the 2013 legislative session. The two-month session opens at noon. The centerpiece of the session will likely be Gov. Jindal's tax reform plan.... more »
  • Dollar coins could save country billions check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    November 30, 2012 5:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE- An idea to exchange dollar bills for dollar coins is resurfacing as the country debates how to trim the budget. While the coins would cost more to mint than bills, they would last decades longer than paper money. The switch could save the federal government nearly $4.4... more »
  • Wounded teen takes unique approach to paying bills

    September 14, 2012 3:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The family of a Baton Rouge teen injured in the recent Colorado movie theater shootings is taking an innovative approach to paying for her medical costs. Bonnie Kate Pourciau's family created a page on fundraising site Indiegogo asking people to donate to her recovery. As... more »
  • Gov. Jindal vetoes bills to change video poker laws

    June 5, 2012 5:33 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed a package of bills that would have tweaked the state's video poker laws, after the conservative Louisiana Family Forum asked him to scrap the changes. In a letter sent to the governor, Family Forum leader Gene Mills said the bills would deregulate... more »
  • A glance at 2012 At The Capitol

    June 4, 2012 3:20 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's lawmakers spent three months combing through bills in the regular legislative session. Nearly 2,000 bills were filed for consideration. Here's a look at what happened to some of the issues, with the session ending Monday: BUDGET: A $25.6 billion budget proposal for 2012-13 will finance... more »
  • Groups opposed to governor's pension reform meet at capitol check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    April 23, 2012 5:53 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Representatives for Louisiana state workers, firefighters and Baton Rouge police gathered at the Capitol to oppose Governor Bobby Jindal's pension reform package. The group gathered minutes after a senate committee rejected a bill making it easier for the retirement system to be changed. The governor says a... more »
  • Pension reform bills could be the next big battle at the Capitol

    April 6, 2012 10:33 AM

    BATON ROUGE- There could be action next week on bills that are part of Governor Jindal's pension reform plans for state workers. The bills would force state workers to pay more into their retirement system. They would also raise the retirement age for some state employees to 67. We'll... more »
  • Jindal retirement bills stalled in Legislature

    March 29, 2012 2:25 PM

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal's push to revamp pensions for thousands of rank-and-file state workers is stalled in the Louisiana Legislature as lawmakers haggle behind the scenes over the proposals. Neither the House retirement committee nor the Senate retirement committee has scheduled the measures for hearing yet.... more »
  • Education reforms bills advance in LA House

    March 23, 2012 10:40 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Governor Bobby Jindal's educational reform package passes another hurdle after another late night debate. The bills make sweeping changes to teacher tenure and establishes a voucher program. It is designed to help students in poor performing public schools attend private schools with the use of public money. ... more »
  • Jindal education bills up for House debate

    March 22, 2012 7:15 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Debate has begun in the state House on bills making broad changes to Louisiana education law. Thursday's debate began with consideration of a bill to make government-funded private school tuition available for low-to-moderate income families whose children now attend low-performing public schools. That provision is part of a... more »
  • Louisiana teachers protest at State Capitol check to see if lock exists for regeneration Play Video

    March 14, 2012 10:28 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Protests are underway at the State Capitol by teachers from school districts across Louisiana making their voices heard by state lawmakers. The teachers are making sure lawmakers hear their concerns as they currently debate several education reform bills. News 2's Michael Shingleton is outside the... more »
  • Jindal pushes school bills quickly

    March 9, 2012 2:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal is pushing to fast-track his education proposal with lawmakers, with the centerpiece bills scheduled for hearings within days of the legislative session's start Monday. "We don't expect to waste any time," Jindal said Friday. Jindal's proposing to revamp teacher pay and job... more »
  • EBR gets $1M for energy bills

    January 4, 2012 3:08 PM

    BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish has more than $1 million to allocate to residents who need help paying their utility bills. The city-parish received the money from a federal grant through the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency. Officials say the parish will allocate $108,126 for people who already have... more »
  • Accountant bills N.O. Traffic Court for nearly $1.3M

    December 27, 2011 1:46 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - An accountant billed New Orleans Traffic Court nearly $1.3 million dollars in less than three years. The Times-Picayune says records and checks show that Vandale Thomas started with a one-year, $75,000 contract - but billed the city for that much within six weeks, and just kept going.... more »
  • Failed abortion bills likely to return

    June 27, 2011 2:36 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Most legislation pushed by abortion opponents failed to pass during the Legislature's just-completed session, but abortion supporters expect similar bills to pop up next year. The Legislature did approve a bill setting up a website with information on abortion alternatives and requiring that abortion clinics post... more »
  • State lawmakers wrap up their work today

    June 23, 2011 3:08 AM

    BATON ROUGE- The two-month regular legislative session is drawing to a close today. Lawmakers planned to complete next year's state construction budget and decide whether to renew a 4-cent state cigarette tax before wrapping up their work by 6 p.m. The session is marked by defeat of many of Gov.... more »
  • Construction plan, cigarette tax remain in session

    June 22, 2011 1:56 PM

    BATON ROUGE - As the legislative session entered its final two days, work remains incomplete on the state's construction budget, and a decision has yet to be made on a 4-cent cigarette tax renewal. The House and Senate must adjourn by 6 p.m. Thursday. Most of the conflicts... more »
  • Contractor sues Livingston over Gustav bills

    February 27, 2011 10:18 AM

    LIVINGSTON- A lawsuit seeks about $53 million from the Livingston Parish Council for Hurricane Gustav cleanup costs. International Equipment Distributors Inc. is suing for bills that the parish has not paid and for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused reimbursements, according to The Advocate. FEMA has... more »
  • Jindal pushing bills to ease protection for funds

    February 22, 2011 1:40 PM

    BATON ROUGE, La. - Gov. Bobby Jindal will again ask lawmakers to make it easier to tap into protected funds when Louisiana faces a budget shortfall. The governor wants lawmakers to allow dedicated funds that are usually protected to be cut up to 10 percent when the state faces... more »
  • Energy assistance program keeps heat on in BR

    December 28, 2010 3:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE – People who need help with their energy bills to stay warm this winter can apply for another round of assistance from East Baton Rouge Parish. The Office of Social Services is now accepting applications for its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. They will take... more »
  • Baker says bye-bye to $14-a-month water

    December 27, 2010 10:38 AM

    BAKER - People who live in the City of Baker are getting high-tech water meters installed, after the city got $4.7 million in stimulus money for the project. That means no more flat-rate water bills for just $14 a month, no matter how much water was used. Superintendent... more »
  • Lawsuit claims Houma church owes $500,000

    October 13, 2010 11:09 AM

    A Mississippi construction company has taken a Houma church to court over an alleged $500,000 in unpaid bills from a $3 million sanctuary built last year. Associated Builders of Columbus, Miss., is seeking a judgment against Beacon Light Baptist Church for unpaid construction work on its new 23,000-square-foot building. The... more »
  • 2 men booked with counterfeiting

    September 16, 2010 6:14 AM

    Louisiana authorities have arrested two men accused of passing counterfeit $100 bills made from $5 bills washed with oven cleaner. Zachary Police Chief John Herty tells The Advocate that officers recovered four of five fake bills that one of the suspects said they passed at local stores for merchandise that... more »
  • Entergy bills on the rise after new fees approved

    July 30, 2010 10:30 PM

    Entergy is tacking on a new charge to next month's bill in the form of a fee. Other utilitiy companies also have extra fees, which they say they have to pass on to you. Companies such as Entergy and DEMCO say most of the fees you find on your bills... more »
  • Some Ascension citizens face sewer rate hikes

    July 12, 2010 8:45 AM

    Two interrelated sewer companies that serve subdivisions in Ascension Parish are seeking rate increases that would as much as double monthly residential bills. Ascension Wastewater Treatment Utilities Inc. and Wastewater Treatment Utilities Inc. each want to raise monthly sewer rates to a $41 flat fee for residential and commercial users.... more »
  • Senate rewrites House-backed budget plans

    June 15, 2010 2:09 PM

    Louisiana Senators have rewritten the state's budget bills to reverse House-proposed cuts to charity hospitals and colleges and to account for further drops in revenue. The Senate Finance Committee used "rainy day" funds and money from a tax amnesty program to get this accomplished. Senators stripped all the... more »
  • Shrimp certification program created

    June 8, 2010 5:49 AM

    A program to market and certify Louisiana's wild-caught shrimp will be created and funded by two bills that have received final legislative passage. The branding campaign is designed to help the state's ailing shrimp industry, which has complained about foreign shrimp flooding the market. The bills backed by Gov. Bobby... more »
  • Back pain widely overtreated

    June 8, 2010 5:30 AM

    A recent estimate has Americans spending a staggering $86 billion a year to care for aching backs. The money covers MRIs, pain pills, nerve blocks, even acupuncture. However, research finds little evidence that the population got better as the medical bills soared over the past decade. The reality is that... more »
  • Construction budget bill advances

    May 24, 2010 1:52 PM

    The House Ways and Means Committee has passed Louisiana's annual construction budget bill. The moves comes despite a battle over the financing plans. The now now heads to the ful House for debate. more »
  • Bill not paid, water cutoff in Tioga-Ball area

    April 29, 2010 6:50 AM

    A policy change caused nearly 200 residents in the Tioga-Ball area to lose water service for nonpayment. In the past, customers of Rapides Waterworks District No. 3 could have carried their bills into next month. Starting this month, people with unpaid balances 10 days after their bill's due date are... more »
  • Powerball winner comes forward in Missouri

    April 23, 2010 11:31 AM

    A Missouri man who won the $258 million Powerball jackpot and plans to use some of the money to pay bills, replace his two missing front teeth and take his children to Disney World said he hasn't decided yet if he'll quit his job at the convenience store where he... more »
  • Regulators OKs Entergy plan to cover storm costs

    April 21, 2010 2:20 PM

    The Entergy Corporation has received permission from state regulators to charge Louisiana customers for $408 million in storm damage from hurricanes Gustav and Ike and for replenishment of $290 million in storm reserves. Entergy will sell bonds to get upfront cash, and the debt will be paid off through... more »
  • Rep. Major Thibaut on 2une In

    April 19, 2010 7:23 AM

    Lawmakers are back at work at the capitol. Representative Major Thibaut of New Roads talked budget with John Pastorek this morning on 2une In. more »
  • School board revamp bills back before lawmakers

    April 5, 2010 3:01 PM

    A Baton Rouge lawmaker is back again this year with his proposals to revamp local school board laws by limiting board members' authority and their elected terms. Republican Rep. Steve Carter of Baton Rouge has tweaked the bills after they didn't make it out of the House a year... more »
  • Gov. Jindal addresses La. legislature

    March 29, 2010 3:17 PM

    Gov. Bobby Jindal addressed a joint session of the House and Senate this afternoon and outlined his vision for balancing the budget. The governor said the greatest challenge Louisiana and the country face is the economy and rising unemployment rates. While Jindal recognized that Louisiana is doing better than the... more »
  • La. legislative session begins

    March 29, 2010 12:50 PM

    Louisiana lawmakers opened their annual regular session Monday, grappling with deep budget problems and nearly 2,000 pieces of legislation that propose everything from college tuition increases to looser gun restrictions and a red light camera ban. Gov. Bobby Jindal will outline his vision for balancing the budget when he... more »
  • Ethics bills seek to tweaking the 'gold standard'

    March 26, 2010 6:18 AM

    Renewed debates over issues of ethics and open government face the Legislature when it convenes next week. North Louisiana lawmakers Robert Adley in the Senate and Wayne Waddell in the House each have filed bills that would provide more public access to records of the governor's office - an effort... more »
  • Former municipal worker arrested for theft

    March 18, 2010 5:58 AM

    A former clerk for the town of Vivian's water department has been arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in water bill payments. Machelle Carter, of Rodessa, turned herself in to authorities on Tuesday. Caddo Parish deputies say Carter altered billing codes to hide her theft of $54,000 in payments... more »
  • Gas bills skyrocket in White Castle

    February 17, 2010 4:37 PM

    Wanda O'Bear of White Castle says it's time for someone to speak out. She says gas bills people are receiving this winter are crippling to some families. Her bill was around $500, and her parents' bill was $800. O'Bear has taken a second job to help pay the bills.... more »

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