March 3, 2015 10:26 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has built a $1.1 billion hospital to care for the poor and uninsured in New Orleans. But the manager of the soon-to-be-opened medical center says Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget leaves it millions short of the operating cash it needs. Private operators of hospitals previously run by... more »
March 2, 2015 10:52 AM
BATON ROUGE - After months of worry that Louisiana's colleges would face steep cuts next year, campuses remain in a precarious position with the release of Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget. Much of the funding Jindal proposes to pay for higher education, $372 million, is dependent on uncertain tax credit changes.... more »
February 27, 2015 1:02 PM
BATON ROUGE - An overhaul of state tax credits, smaller cuts to higher education and the reduction of hundreds of state workers are all part of the Jindal administration's plan to fill a $1.6 billion budget hole.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols unveiled the proposed executive budget to lawmakers... more »
February 27, 2015 10:38 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has a $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the 2015-16 fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. Bobby Jindal proposes to close the gap with savings from lessened tax break spending, piecemeal financing and cuts across state agencies. Here's how Jindal proposes to address the shortfall: -Cap... more »
February 26, 2015 5:12 PM
DENHAM SPRINGS - When Governor Bobby Jindal presents his budget Friday, special needs daycares will fear the worst with cuts looming.
Pedia Trust in Denham Springs is one of 21 special needs daycares in Louisiana. They could all be forced to close if Jindal puts an ax to the... more »
February 26, 2015 2:15 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate is moving forward on legislation to fund the Homeland Security Department, but the House is in limbo two days away from a partial agency shutdown as conservatives angrily reject the Senate plan. Many House Republicans say they aren't ready to admit defeat and approve spending... more »
February 25, 2015 5:46 PM
BATON ROUGE - A new report released by the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office cast doubt Wednesday on the Jindal administration's claims that a massive budget gap is largely due to falling oil prices.
The Fiscal Office's report says the upcoming year's budget deficit was pegged at $1.2 billion before... more »
February 24, 2015 2:36 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Divided Republicans are searching for a way out of an impasse over immigration that is threatening to shut down the Homeland Security Department within days. With the agency's budget set to expire Friday at midnight without action by Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday he... more »
February 23, 2015 6:54 PM
BATON ROUGE- If Governor Jindal's proposed cuts to higher education go into affect, then LSU plans to lay off hundreds of instructors and cut 2,000 classes by next fall according to LSU System President King Alexander.
The Jindal administration plans to reveal its budget plans Friday for the next... more »
February 23, 2015 12:30 PM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers said at a higher education conference in Baton Rouge Monday that cuts to the popular scholarship program TOPS are not on the table as the legislature prepares to grapple with a massive state budget deficit.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, Senate education chairman Conrad Appel and... more »
February 23, 2015 2:24 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Many of the nation's Republican governors are blaming President Barack Obama for a budget standoff that threatens a potential Department of Homeland Security shutdown. They'll be able to make their case in person when they convene at the White House on Monday morning. The meeting comes days... more »
February 23, 2015 2:23 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Obama administration is warning states that the possible shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security would harm the nation's ability to counter the extremist appeal of the Islamic State group within the U.S. and help communities struggling with winter snowstorms. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says... more »
February 20, 2015 10:38 AM
BATON ROUGE - Members of the Southern University System Board of Regents voted to combine the SUBR chancellor and system president's positions into a single job Friday.
Only one board member voted against the merger, Rev. Joe Gant Jr.
The move will save the university money and is... more »
February 20, 2015 3:13 AM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers complained, but didn't reverse $61 million in cuts that Gov. Bobby Jindal levied across state agencies to close a midyear deficit. Members of the Legislature's joint budget committee raised objections Friday to reductions to state parks, agriculture programs and health care services. But they couldn't get... more »
February 18, 2015 1:51 PM
BATON ROUGE - Drastic mid-year cuts to the Secretary of State's Office will leave many iconic Louisiana landmarks open only a few days each week and lead to two dozen layoffs according to Secretary Tom Schedler.
The Secretary of State's Office said Wednesday Schedler will ask for approval to... more »
February 16, 2015 7:11 PM
BATON ROUGE- Louisiana movie makers say rolling-back the film industry's tax credit could kill the business. The Jindal administration wants to reduce tax exemptions to help with next years $1.6 billion budget deficit, and it's focusing on film makers.
Higher education and health care are expected to take big... more »
February 13, 2015 1:08 PM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana State University launched a website Friday detailing the dire budget situation the school is facing and asked for help finding ways to save money.
The budget site lays out LSU's proposed share of $383 million in higher education cuts being discussed among lawmakers and the... more »
February 13, 2015 12:52 PM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has been spared a credit rating downgrade - for now. Two national rating agencies - Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Rating Services - announced Friday they were keeping Louisiana at its current credit rating. But both moved the state from a "stable" to "negative"... more »
February 13, 2015 11:25 AM
BATON ROUGE - As Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration looks to balance next year's budget, Louisiana's health care programs are threatened with even steeper cuts than the higher education slashing that has caused such worry. Cuts for services that take care of the poor, elderly and disabled could reach up to... more »
February 11, 2015 11:00 AM
BATON ROUGE - State officials, seeking to stave off a downgrade to Louisiana's credit rating, are asking a national rating agency to give Louisiana time to clean up its budget mess. Moody's Investors Service notified the state its rating committee will meet later this week to decide whether to drop... more »
February 11, 2015 10:57 AM
BATON ROUGE - Year after year, Louisiana didn't have enough money to cover its expenses, yet Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to roll back income tax cuts or ever-increasing corporate tax breaks. Instead, he raided reserve funds and sold off state property.
Jindal suggested job growth from his economic development... more »
February 9, 2015 11:03 PM
BATON ROUGE - About 700 people have signed up to lobby lawmakers in some sort of fashion when they discuss how to deal with the state's $1.6 billion budget shortfall soon.
Last week, the LSU Alumni Association created Tiger Advocates. Association president Cliff Vannoy said the group's first goal... more »
February 9, 2015 10:51 AM
BATON ROUGE - The number of workers' compensation claims filed by Louisiana state employees dropped significantly over the last eight years. But a legislative audit says workers' compensation costs for state agencies continued to increase. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office reviewed claims and costs for state employees from the 2006... more »
February 6, 2015 12:35 PM
BATON ROUGE - Internal documents prepared by LSU leaders said deep budget reductions proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal would force widespread layoffs across LSU campuses, shutter academic programs and lessen the value of the degrees students obtain. LSU campuses from Shreveport to New Orleans were asked to explain how a... more »
February 6, 2015 11:54 AM
BATON ROUGE - The Jindal administration released their plans Friday to deal with a mid-year budget deficit of more than $103 million.
The plan calls for $60.66 million in cuts from state agencies and includes $42.84 million in "revenue opportunities," mostly stopgap spending from state trust funds and one-time... more »
February 4, 2015 3:14 PM
BATON ROUGE - LSU announced Wednesday that a group of alumni have formed a grassroots advocacy group to lobby legislators in Louisiana not to make further cuts to higher education in the upcoming legislative session.
The group, called Tiger Advocates, is sponsored by the LSU Alumni Association. Association president... more »
February 4, 2015 2:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - A Houma area lawmaker has given up on efforts to convene a special legislative session targeting Louisiana's ongoing budget troubles. Republican Rep. Joe Harrison said Wednesday he couldn't get enough support from his colleagues to call the 14-day special session that he sought in a January petition.... more »
February 3, 2015 11:14 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's budget problems are making Grambling State University's presidential search more difficult. University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley released a letter from the search firm hired to recruit candidates that says the threat of deep budget cuts has stymied efforts to find a new Grambling leader.... more »
February 3, 2015 9:43 AM
BATON ROUGE - All eyes are on the state budget shortfall as the Jindal Administration discusses making difficult cuts that will likely include major slashing to higher education.
While the governor won't announce the budget until later this month, they want to address concerns about the TOPS Program.
... more »
February 3, 2015 2:14 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Some of the proposals in President Barack Obama's new budget address major concerns of the Republican-controlled Congress. Obama and Republicans could find common ground on proposals to increase defense spending, upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure and fix the corporate tax system. Full agreement on any one of... more »
February 2, 2015 12:02 PM
BATON ROUGE - State Treasurer John Kennedy said Moody's Investors Service notified them that Louisiana's continuing budget problems could lead them to downgrade the state's credit rating from stable to negative.
Kennedy said such a rating would make investors less willing to loan the state money and raise interest... more »
February 2, 2015 10:36 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is proposing a new government agency dedicated to keeping the nation's food safe. It would consolidate parts of the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration. The proposal in the president's budget released Monday comes after outbreaks of illness linked to chicken, eggs, peanuts... more »
February 2, 2015 10:35 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is warning congressional Republicans he won't accept a spending plan that boosts national security at the expense of domestic programs for the middle class. Obama is discussing his $4 trillion budget proposal during a visit to the Homeland Security Department. Obama says he will not... more »
February 2, 2015 2:20 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $4 trillion budget that seeks to raise taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations and use the extra income to lift the fortunes of families who have felt squeezed during tough economic times. The budget being proposed Monday would also ease... more »
January 29, 2015 12:44 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has pushed back to mid-February the release of its proposal to close a $103 million budget deficit. Jindal administration spokeswoman Meghan Parrish said Thursday that the proposal to rebalance this year's $25 billion budget will be presented to lawmakers at a Feb. 20... more »
January 27, 2015 6:47 PM
LAFAYETTE- Big cuts are on the way for higher education, but Governor Bobby Jindal isn't saying much about what those cuts will look like.
"It's too early to speculate," said Jindal, "certainly the agencies are looking for every opportunity to be more efficient. Everything's on the table."
Tuesday... more »
January 16, 2015 6:38 PM
BATON ROUGE- State lawmakers are bracing for a hard hitting budget proposal from Governor Jindal's office next month. With an estimated $1.5 billion dollar hole in next years budget, legislators are left with some tough decisions.
The governor already put higher-education on the chopping-block, proposing up to $300 million... more »
January 16, 2015 6:23 PM
BAKER - City officials met to discuss possible ways to help Baker's budget Friday.
The two biggest options looked at were an increase in property taxes and an increase in sales taxes.
Right now the current sales tax is 9.5 percent. The maximum the city can charge in... more »
January 16, 2015 11:31 AM
BATON ROUGE - Facing a deep budget deficit due to plunging oil prices, lawmakers on the state's joint budget committee approved a 20 percent raise for Louisiana State Police Friday.
The vote was 37-8 in favor of the raise, which will affect almost 1,000 troopers starting Monday. It's short... more »
January 16, 2015 3:38 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. - Lawmakers are questioning plans for a nearly $15 million pay raise for state police as Louisiana grapples with deep financial problems. The raise is up for consideration Friday by the joint House and Senate budget committee. Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, says... more »
January 15, 2015 11:05 AM
BATON ROUGE - U.S. Sen. David Vitter says if he's elected governor this fall, he'd immediately call a special legislative session to address Louisiana's ongoing budget problems. The session, according to Thursday's announcement, would focus on: removing budget protections that leave public colleges and health services more vulnerable to cuts,... more »
January 14, 2015 4:26 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Secretary of State's office said Wednesday that a proposed $3.8 million mid-year budget cut from the Jindal administration could force them to furlough employees starting as early as next week.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he's been given until Friday to figure out... more »
January 13, 2015 10:19 PM
BAKER - For the third time Tuesday night, the Baker City Council voted down a proposal to raise water and sewer rates to off-set a budget deficit.
Nearly a dozen residents spoke on the issue; some said they were concerned about how the money would be spent if the... more »
January 7, 2015 1:24 PM
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policy-makers discussed various risks to the U.S. economy at their December meeting but concluded that the big drop in oil prices was likely to end up boosting growth. Minutes of the Fed's Dec. 16-17 meeting show that Fed officials believed weakness in the global economy posed... more »
January 6, 2015 4:15 PM
BATON ROUGE - A state lawmaker from the Houma area wants his colleagues to convene a special legislative session to tackle Louisiana's continuing budget problems. Republican Rep. Joe Harrison sent a petition Tuesday to House and Senate members, asking for support to call a 14-day special session starting March 30.... more »
December 19, 2014 1:25 PM
BATON ROUGE - A budget analysis for the proposed city of St. George commissioned by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Chamber says recent annexations have taken a $30 million chunk out of the proposed city's plans.
The analysis from accounting firm Faulk and Winkler said they were asked... more »
December 18, 2014 10:56 PM
BATON ROUGE- A price war between competing stations helped the price for a gallon of regular gasoline drop to $1.77 Thursday. This made it the second-lowest in the country.
The only other city where a store was selling cheaper gas Thursday was in Oklahoma City for $1.68.
Costco... more »
December 16, 2014 5:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - For consumers and business owners falling gas prices mean more money in the bank, but the state's budget could take a hit.
Local businesses like Billy Heroman's Flowers are benefiting from cheap gas prices. The florists deliver around 200 bouquets each day around Christmas using 35... more »
December 16, 2014 1:05 PM
BATON ROUGE - A school funding task force is suggesting a $75 million boost in state aid for public schools next year, if dollars can be found to pay for it. It goes next for consideration to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which must forward a 2015-16... more »
December 15, 2014 2:36 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Legislature's chief economist says state officials need to look at Louisiana's long list of tax breaks as spending programs that siphon dollars away from the budget. Louisiana has $7 billion in various tax credits, rebates and deductions. Greg Albrecht said Monday that the programs take money... more »
December 12, 2014 12:57 PM
WASHINGTON - The incoming Republican chairman of the House Budget committee says he's going to draft a fiscal blueprint to balance the budget in 10 years and call for transforming Medicare into a system that places future retirees in private health insurance plans - much like outgoing chairman Paul Ryan... more »
December 12, 2014 3:03 AM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to sell 709 state vehicles at auction early next year as a cost-cutting move. Ruth Johnson, deputy commissioner of administration, said Thursday the vehicles aren't being used enough to justify the continued maintenance costs. In a statement, the governor's Division of Administration... more »
December 9, 2014 9:32 PM
BATON ROUGE- City leaders approved the mayor's $830 million spending plan for 2015 which will include two police academies to train as many as sixty new police officers.
The budget was approved Tuesday evening. The Metro Council made no changes to the plan but did voice some concern about... more »
December 8, 2014 11:17 AM
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal's Division of Administration told lawmakers Monday the state was on track to save $75 million out of the General Fund for the 2015 fiscal year.
State legislators learned nine departments got recommendations from an outside consultant group known as Alvarez and Marsal. The... more »
November 26, 2014 10:09 AM
BATON ROUGE - By lessening the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration gave itself and school boards a new budget headache. The administration's latest plan for the Office of Group Benefits is scheduled to take effect March 1. It reduced... more »
November 21, 2014 3:06 AM
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal's administration plans to use a combination of hiring freezes, open position cuts and extra funds such as TOPS money to fill a $180 million gap in the state's budget.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said the plan reduces costs across state agencies while... more »
November 20, 2014 2:53 PM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's latest amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers is expected to bring in $169 million. That's more than lawmakers included in this year's budget, but not enough to close a midyear deficit that has emerged since then. The Department of Revenue announced the tax amnesty program's projected haul... more »
November 18, 2014 2:58 PM
BATON ROUGE- Gov. Bobby Jindal will unveil his proposal Friday to rebalance this year's budget, which contains a $171 million hole. The Jindal administration announced Tuesday that it will present its deficit-closing plan to lawmakers within three days, rather than take the full month available to devise its strategy. Despite... more »
November 17, 2014 5:41 PM
BATON ROUGE- A new class of officers graduated on Monday while the Baton Rouge police department battle a potential personnel shortage.
The Baton Rouge Police department 80th Basic Training Academy held a commencement ceremony for 34 new police trainees at the Independence Park Theatre.
"I like to stand... more »
November 14, 2014 6:21 PM
BATON ROUGE - After the state's Revenue Estimating Committee decided to trim back cash flow forecasts for the fiscal year, Treasurer John Kennedy warned Governor Jindal could take an axe to higher education to make up the difference.
"Let me be blunt, they're gonna gut LSU and Southern and... more »
November 14, 2014 1:46 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal will need to slash state spending to keep this year's $25 billion budget balanced, as plummeting oil prices helped hammer Louisiana's revenue picture. The state's income forecasting panel, known as the Revenue Estimating Conference, on Friday dropped projections of revenue for this year by... more »
November 10, 2014 10:19 PM
GONZALES - Although the council passed the city's capital outlay budget Monday night, the tension remains over a series of other issues.
There are two different attorneys representing the city of Gonzales and some of the councilmen and they're racking up a hefty bill. Fees for attorney Robert Barnett,... more »
November 10, 2014 8:09 AM
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council members have been flipping through the mayor's proposed budget that they will vote on next month. But some say the key missing element is an across-the-board pay raise for city workers. Mayor-President Kip Holden officially unveiled his proposed 2015 budget last... more »
November 6, 2014 3:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - Balancing Louisiana's budget could be trickier for state lawmakers and the governor. Voters agreed in this week's election to two constitutional amendments that will make it more difficult to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid funding from hospitals and nursing homes. A minimum payment level... more »
October 27, 2014 10:48 PM
GONZALES- A long-standing fight over funding for new crime-fighting tools continues here.
Monday night, the traditional three-member voting bloc disagreed with providing money for crime cameras and motorcycles for the police department. However, the group suggested providing money to pay for new police cars. Still, it was not enough... more »
October 24, 2014 4:22 PM
BATON ROUGE - A dispute over whether Louisiana ended last year with a budget surplus threatens to delay borrowing needed to keep state construction work on track. Treasurer John Kennedy said Friday he won't sign financial documents needed for the $200 million in borrowing until he believes they accurately depict... more »
October 17, 2014 6:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers have decided to put the budget numbers in the hands of the auditors after taking no action at the joint budget committee meeting Friday.
Whether the state ended its year with a budget surplus or deficit depends is unresolved, so the committee decided to... more »
October 16, 2014 11:21 AM
BATON ROUGE - Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit? Seems like an easy-to-answer question, a comparison of state expenses against revenues. But the Jindal administration's claims of a $179 million surplus have run into skepticism. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says the administration... more »
October 13, 2014 10:32 PM
GONZALES - A bizarre turn of events may lead Police Chief Sherman Jackson to more money than he asked for.
After months of back and forth and three vetoes over budget issues, some people had a hard time understanding what happened at a city council meeting Monday night.
... more »
October 13, 2014 3:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - Treasurer John Kennedy says updates with the state's credit rating agencies were delayed because of questions about whether Louisiana ended its last budget year with a surplus or a deficit. Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says the state closed its books with a $179... more »
October 11, 2014 11:04 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration reported a $178.5 million budget surplus for the state fiscal year that ended June 30. However, legislative financial advisers are questioning the new method used to produce the surplus figure. And state Treasurer John Kennedy said Friday that if the traditional methodology... more »
September 29, 2014 3:31 AM
FORT POLK - Once more, Fort Polk has drawn more support than any other base facing potential cuts. Fort Polk Progress, a nonprofit created to advocate for the base, says Army Environmental Command got more than 111,200 comments from 30 communities nationwide - and 34,619 were against cuts at Fort... more »
September 22, 2014 8:35 PM
GONZALES- The city council will attempt to pass a budget the mayor will approve since the group did not override his veto of the most recent capital outlay spending plan .
In two weeks, the council will likely draft another version. It will be the fourth try at getting... more »
September 9, 2014 6:17 PM
GONZALES - A day after the council decided to amend the budget for a third time, cutting out funding to the police department, Chief of Police Sherman Jackson defended his request for more than $400,000.
"I think they're out of touch, one of them asked me if I think... more »
September 8, 2014 8:44 PM
GONZALES- Mayor Barney Arceneaux said he will likely use all ten days of his decision-making time frame to decide if he will veto the latest budget passed by the Gonzales City Council Monday evening.
Similar to the last budget , which he vetoed, the one approved in a three... more »
September 8, 2014 2:39 PM
BATON ROUGE - Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, seeking to move into Louisiana's highest office, says the state needs to re-examine tax breaks as a way to raise money for the budget and to seriously consider whether to expand Medicaid. Those positions outlined by Dardenne, running for governor in the... more »
August 26, 2014 12:10 PM
BATON ROUGE - The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but with a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work. To fill gaps in the budget that ended June 30, the treasury had to dip into dollars slated to pay for state agency... more »
August 25, 2014 9:53 PM
GONZALES - The political drama in Gonzales is as hot as ever and it seemed to boil Monday night.
People in the audience chanted "recall, recall, recall," ahead of their exit from the council chambers. Two councilmen, Gary Lacombe and Timothy Vessel, were the focus of their outcry.
... more »