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  • Charter school restriction headed to House floor for debate

    May 18, 2016 10:55 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' effort to remove an unused method for creating charter schools has passed its first hurdle in the House, after earlier winning Senate support. The House Education Committee voted 7-5 Tuesday to advance the bill to the House floor for debate, after previously rejecting... more »
  • Surrogacy legal framework bill meets strong Senate support

    May 18, 2016 10:53 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana senators have strongly supported a bid to create a state regulatory framework governing surrogacy births. The Senate voted 30-6 Tuesday to support the bill. The House must approve minor technical changes before sending it to the governor, who has said he'll sign it. Currently, contracts for... more »
  • Lawmakers back 1-year delay on new pediatric health centers

    May 12, 2016 12:24 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to block the creation of new Medicaid-financed centers aimed at helping "medically fragile" children. With an 85-0 vote Wednesday, the House gave final legislative passage to a measure placing a one-year moratorium on pediatric day health care centers, not allowing any new ones... more »
  • Veteran burial fee bill receives final legislative passage

    May 11, 2016 11:19 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A $745 fee has been set by Louisiana lawmakers for burials in state veterans' cemeteries. But the cost won't be shouldered by veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs says the federal government has been paying for veterans' burials. But the agency says a recent attorney general's opinion... more »
  • TOPS the priority as House lawmakers work on the budget

    May 6, 2016 1:40 PM

    BATON ROUGE - As House lawmakers work to craft their version of next year's budget, House leaders say the main focus is on protecting the state's TOPS free college tuition program from cuts. To help close a $600 million gap, Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed to only provide about one-third... more »
  • 'Raw milk' bill killed in House agriculture committee

    May 5, 2016 1:23 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have killed an attempt to lift the state's ban on sales of unpasteurized - or "raw" - milk for the third year in a row. The House agriculture committee narrowly voted to halt Ville Platte Sen. Eric LaFleur's proposal to allow limited sales of raw... more »
  • House backs striking jail time from underage drinking law

    May 5, 2016 12:17 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Underage Louisianans caught with alcohol can face up to six months in jail under current state law, but that will soon change if lawmakers in the state House have their way. A bill from Rep. Franklin Foil, a Baton Rouge Republican, would remove that possibility for jail... more »
  • Senators reject decision-making in food stamps work mandate

    May 4, 2016 1:07 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Senators have rejected a bid to give lawmakers authority to determine whether food stamp recipients should have to work to get federal assistance. Rep. Jay Morris, a Monroe Republican, had won House support for his proposal to require legislative approval to seek a federal waiver of the... more »
  • La. lawmakers try to cut state spending on office leases

    May 4, 2016 11:34 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers are trying to shrink state spending on office leases, sending a bill to Gov. John Bel Edwards that seeks to maximize available space in state-owned buildings. A 37-0 vote of the Senate on Tuesday gave final passage to the bill by Rep. John Schroder, a... more »
  • Students invade Capitol for 'Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day'

    April 29, 2016 7:39 PM

    BATON ROUGE – Lawmakers took the day off Friday, so students, along with their parents and teachers, took over the Louisiana State Capitol building. It was all part of a new event that Governor John Bel Edwards called, “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” And that is... more »
  • House votes to ban sex offenders as door-to-door salesmen

    April 29, 2016 11:11 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Convicted sex offenders would be barred from working as door-to-door salesmen in Louisiana under a proposal that sailed through the House. State representatives voted 86-0 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate. Rep. Lance Harris, an Alexandria Republican, says his bill would protect children left home... more »
  • GOP takes on Library of Congress on immigration terminology

    April 22, 2016 3:28 PM

    WASHINGTON - Congress may not be able to overhaul the immigration system, fix the broken tax code or even pass a budget. But it's telling the Library of Congress how to label immigrants living in the country illegally. That's how conservative Republicans are responding to a move by the library... more »
  • Budget the top worry as legislative session reaches midpoint

    April 22, 2016 2:36 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have reached the halfway mark of their regular session, with financial decisions in limbo and the budget still the session's focus. Only six bills - out of more than 1,600 filed for consideration - had received House and Senate passage and reached the governor's desk... more »
  • Plastic bag tax? Decision to remain with La. local officials

    April 21, 2016 5:53 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Decisions on whether to ban or tax disposable plastic bags will remain with Louisiana's local government leaders. A St. Tammany Parish lawmaker Thursday scrapped his effort to create roadblocks for such restrictions. Republican Rep. Paul Hollis, of Covington, initially proposed to prohibit city and parish governments from... more »
  • Medical marijuana proposal wins Senate support

    April 20, 2016 5:51 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A day after falling one vote short, backers of a proposal to expand Louisiana's medical marijuana law to cover more diseases found success in the Senate. Senators voted 21-16 Wednesday for the proposal from Republican Sen. Fred Mills. It needed 20 votes to pass. Louisiana hasn't yet... more »
  • 'Ban the box' bill passes House committee Play Video

    April 20, 2016 3:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A bipartisan push to prevent state employers from asking job applicants about criminal histories until after interviews has received House committee backing. Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, a Baton Rouge Democrat, says her "ban the box" bill joins a national movement to employ former inmates. “We need... more »
  • Planned Parenthood defunding bill heads to La. House floor

    April 20, 2016 1:14 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers seeking to strip taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, if its New Orleans clinic starts providing abortions, have won support for the effort from the House health committee. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is pushing the bill by Republican Rep. Frank Hoffmann that would ban public funding... more »
  • Medical pot activists fear epilepsy drug could undercut them

    April 17, 2016 3:47 PM

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - An experimental epilepsy drug made from cannabis plants grown in England is complicating the medical marijuana debate in hospitals and statehouses. Epidiolex is a nearly pure extract of cannabidiol, or CBD, with little of the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, that gets users high. CBD products are the current... more »
  • House seeks decision-making in work mandate for food stamps

    April 14, 2016 6:11 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House want more of a say in whether food stamp recipients should have to work to get the federal assistance. The House voted 56-28 Thursday for a proposal by Rep. Jay Morris, a Monroe Republican, that would require legislative approval to seek a... more »
  • Budget cut debate mired in uncertainty about special session

    April 14, 2016 3:33 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Budget debates always include uncertainty about how much money agencies will receive in the upcoming financial year and whether they might take cuts. But that uncertainty is worsened this legislative session, complicated by questions about whether lawmakers will consider raising taxes further and when they'd make those... more »
  • Tie vote stalls bill to protect Confederate monuments

    April 14, 2016 2:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A second effort aimed at protecting Louisiana's Confederate monuments has failed to draw enough support to advance in the state House. Rep. Thomas Carmody, a Shreveport Republican, says his proposal to preserve "public memory" would create a state board with the power to review monument removal. The... more »
  • Ag commissioner seeking 7 percent of medical marijuana sales

    April 14, 2016 2:17 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposal to give the state agriculture department a 7 percent cut of medical marijuana sales is advancing in the Louisiana Legislature. The bill by Rep. Major Thibaut, a New Roads Democrat, includes a list of fees that would be charged of the medicinal plant's state-sanctioned grower.... more »
  • House refuses REAL ID licenses, supports separate ID cards

    April 13, 2016 6:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE - House lawmakers have refused to allow Louisiana to issue driver's licenses that comply with the federal REAL ID law. But they did agree to let people pay for a special state-issued identification card compliant with the federal act. The House-approved proposal contrasts with the approach backed by... more »
  • Bills to allow permit-less conceal carry stalls in committee

    April 13, 2016 2:45 PM

    BATON ROUGE - An effort to let Louisiana gun owners carry concealed firearms without a permit has been rejected by a House committee. Rep. Barry Ivey, a Baton Rouge Republican, met unanimous disapproval Wednesday with no discussion from the House criminal justice panel, stalling his proposals. His primary proposal pushed... more »
  • Raw milk sales bill narrowly gains traction in La. Senate

    April 13, 2016 2:43 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Senate will debate whether the state should lift its ban on sales of unpasteurized - or "raw" - milk. After two years of rejecting the bill, a reorganized Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 3-2 to advance to the full Senate for consideration a proposal... more »
  • More than 40 changes to La. gun laws proposed by lawmakers

    April 8, 2016 4:12 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers are looking to shape Louisiana's gun laws with more than 40 firearm-related changes proposed this session. But while proposals have come from lawmakers in both parties and within each chamber, disagreements lie in how to best curb the state's high incarceration and crime rates while respecting... more »
  • Bill to guarantee public defender funding advances in House

    April 7, 2016 3:27 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A Thursday debate on public defender funding had one lawmaker questioning the cost of Louisiana's death penalty. Winnsboro Rep. Steve Pylant, a Republican, says he's not sure it justifies the $10 million that capital defense services receive annually. He spoke during discussion about a proposal to reconfigure... more »
  • Modest changes proposed to Louisiana TOPS tuition program Play Video

    April 7, 2016 3:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers looking for ways to control the ballooning price tag of Louisiana's TOPS free college tuition program are advancing modest cost-containment proposals. They have shelved, at least for now, more sweeping proposals to change who can receive the tuition aid. The Senate Education Committee on Thursday backed... more »
  • How will lawmakers curb TOPS spending? Play Video

    April 6, 2016 5:46 PM

    BATON ROUGE – The House Education Committee met Wednesday to feel out plans to curb TOPS spending. Lawmakers tossed out some ideas but didn’t agree on any one plan. One proposal would raise the minimum grade point average requirement from 2.3 to 2.5. Another plan would require students to... more »
  • Re-entry bills part of bipartisan push for prison overhaul

    April 1, 2016 1:26 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State legislators and advocates are spearheading a bipartisan push to lower Louisiana's leading incarceration rate. Baton Rouge Reps. Patricia Smith, a Democrat, and Rick Edmonds, a Republican, say they are confident legislators across the political spectrum will support their efforts to lower recidivism. Three proposals aimed at... more »
  • Senate agrees to ban sex offenders from door-to-door sales

    March 31, 2016 5:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Convicted sex offenders in Louisiana would be unable to work in door-to-door sales, if the state House of Representatives agrees to a measure that won unanimous support from the Senate. Already in Louisiana, registered sex offenders can't drive a bus or taxi or work in an industry... more »
  • Alabama lawmaker threatens to impeach Governor after top aide resigns

    March 30, 2016 9:59 PM

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A Republican Alabama lawmaker says he plans to start the impeachment process against Governor Robert Bentley. This comes after the announcement Wednesday, that one of his top political aide's is resigning. Rebekah Caldwell Mason said in a statement Wednesday that she is resigning as Bentley's senior policy... more »
  • Senate votes to curb last-minute pay raises from governors

    March 30, 2016 6:10 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Governors would have limited ability to dole out last-minute pay raises, if the House agrees to a measure that won unanimous support from state senators. The bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Long would require the joint House and Senate budget committee to approve any salary boosts in... more »
  • Bill against peeping drones goes to full Louisiana House

    March 30, 2016 3:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A bill to keep peeping Toms from extending their range with drones has received unanimous support from a Louisiana House committee. One representative described it as helping Louisiana keep up with the times. Rep. Marcus Hunter, a Monroe Democrat, says his bill will join and, in some... more »
  • House to consider longer waiting period for abortion in La.

    March 30, 2016 11:18 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana women would have to wait 72 hours for an abortion if state lawmakers agree to a proposal that sailed through the House health committee. The bill would lengthen the current 24-hour waiting period by another two days, with an exception for women who live 150 miles... more »
  • Attention drawn to lawmakers' vote changes in the La. House

    March 27, 2016 2:43 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A Republican state lawmaker from Norco is trying to draw attention to a practice little-known to the public. House lawmakers can change their votes after bills have passed or failed, as long as the switch doesn't change the outcome. Rep. Greg Miller says he thinks people should... more »
  • 'Blaze pink' may soon be a clothing option for La. hunters Play Video

    March 23, 2016 4:33 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Hunters tired of wearing all that bright orange may soon get another option. Louisiana lawmakers are considering adding "blaze pink" as an alternative to the traditional "hunter orange" that hunters are required to wear under state law. Blaze pink is a bright fluorescent pink color. Bogalusa Rep.... more »
  • Proposed boost to Louisiana hunting license price shelved

    March 23, 2016 4:29 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The cost of a basic Louisiana hunting license won't be going up. Rep. Major Thibaut, a New Roads Democrat, had proposed to boost the license costs from $15 to $17 and use the money to combat problems with feral hogs. He shelved the measure Wednesday amid objections... more »
  • Louisiana House supports alcohol tax increase for budget

    March 6, 2016 8:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House has agreed to raise alcohol taxes to help bail out the state budget. The alcohol tax hike fell short last week of the 70 votes needed. But after two days of negotiations, several lawmakers changed their minds Sunday and the bill was advanced to... more »
  • Amended alcohol tax fails in the House

    March 4, 2016 5:36 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Republican lawmakers in the House who have shown resistance to raising taxes also have been slow to come up with places they'd recommend slashing government to rebalance Louisiana's budget. Senate leaders, both Republican and Democrat, have repeatedly pointed out the House members causing some of the special... more »
  • Disabled children could lose state funded day care

    February 17, 2016 12:55 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Hundreds of disabled children in Louisiana could lose state funded daycare March 1st. The bad news came Tuesday during testimony by state health care officials. The Department of Health and Hospitals is short millions of dollars forcing it to cut the program. 612 children will be affected. Shannon... more »
  • Only 19 La. legislative seats remain to be decided in runoff

    October 27, 2015 4:26 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Most seats in the Louisiana Legislature are decided ahead of the Nov. 21 runoff election. Majorities in both the House and Senate were settled even before last Saturday's election, when many incumbents didn't draw competition or their challengers dropped out. Four of 39 Senate seats and 15... more »
  • Lawmakers want budget transparency from Jindal Play Video

    September 24, 2015 7:32 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers want to know why the governor will not tell them how much money the state overspent last fiscal year. They want transparency from Governor Jindal's administration. "Well it puts us in a bind trying to make the proper adjustments," said Sen. Dan Claitor(R-Baton Rouge). A... more »
  • Nearly half of La. lawmakers to return without opposition

    September 11, 2015 2:50 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Nearly half of Louisiana's state lawmakers won re-election without having to go to the voters, when no one signed up to challenge them. Twenty of 39 senators and 49 of 105 House members drew no opponents in this week's candidate registration period. One representative who won without... more »
  • Activists say La. immigration task force too narrow-minded Play Video

    September 3, 2015 7:36 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Members of a new immigration task force met Thursday to begin discussing how illegal immigration has impacted Louisiana's economy, but some activists are concerned that they're taking too negative a view on the situation. The task force met Thursday to discuss crunching the numbers and seeing how... more »
  • Next year's state budget shortfall projected at $713M

    August 14, 2015 11:37 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Only two months from a difficult budget-balancing session, state lawmakers have gotten their first official glimpse of the shortfall they already face for next year: $713 million. News Friday of a horizon filled with future budget gaps wasn't unexpected for the Legislature's joint budget committee. This year's... more »
  • Constable calls meeting about misdemanor jail "a waste of time"

    July 22, 2015 6:42 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Tonight, Constable Reginald Brown is sounding off after a meeting about opening the city's misdemeanor jail ended with no results. The meeting was held on June 11 with top law enforcement brass and Baton Rouge City Leaders. Days after that meeting, Clerk of Court Lon Norris sent... more »
  • Lawmakers curtail generous solar tax break

    June 23, 2015 4:12 PM

    BATON ROUGE- A solar power tax break that has cost the state millions will be sharply curtailed under the budget deal struck by lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal. Solar industry supporters say solar power was targeted while tax breaks for other energy industries were protected. But lawmakers trying to close... more »
  • SC House agrees to take up flag removal

    June 23, 2015 2:09 PM

    CHARLESTON, S. C. - A South Carolina senator has proposed a bill that would move the Confederate flag from the Statehouse to a relic room in a museum. Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen introduced the bill Tuesday. It would move the flag from a 30-foot pole in front of the Statehouse... more »
  • Tax committee chairman: Lawmakers handled budget responsibly

    June 15, 2015 3:54 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The chairman of the state House tax committee says lawmakers shouldn't have trouble defending tax votes they took in the just-ended legislative session. Rep. Joel Robideaux, a Lafayette Republican, said Monday the decisions made by lawmakers helped protect public health care services and higher education. Lawmakers raised taxes... more »
  • Lawmakers vote to let state agents enforce sea turtle law

    June 9, 2015 4:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State wildlife officials should soon be able to enforce federal laws that require shrimp nets to include escape hatches for sea turtles. With a 99-0 vote Tuesday, the House gave final passage to a bill that will remove Louisiana's enforcement ban. Supporters of the bill say some... more »
  • Lawmakers agree to loosen rules on school textbook selection

    June 9, 2015 12:53 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Local public school districts will have more freedom to choose their textbooks, if Gov. Bobby Jindal agrees to a bill backed by lawmakers. The measure by Rep. Gene Reynolds, a Minden Democrat, will let local districts decide which books and materials should be used in their classrooms.... more »
  • La. Senate approves $24.5B budget proposal for next year Play Video

    June 8, 2015 12:31 PM

    BATON ROUGE - With the legislative session in its final days, lawmakers are trying to cobble together a deal on budget and taxes that would protect colleges and public health services. The Senate on Monday approved its version of next year's $24.5 billion budget, which contains at least $200 million... more »
  • La. Senate agrees to let state agents enforce sea turtle law

    June 4, 2015 7:03 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House and Senate have both agreed to lift a ban that keeps state wildlife officials from enforcing federal laws that require shrimp nets to include escape hatches for sea turtles. A 36-0 vote Thursday from the Senate moved the proposal - sponsored by Rep. Dorothy... more »
  • Senate votes down bid to give lawmakers special gun rights

    June 3, 2015 6:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's Senate shot down a last-minute bid to grant expanded conceal-carry privileges to retired state lawmakers. Sen. Bret Allain, a Republican from Franklin, tried to add the language into a House bill. He said the proposal was justified because retired lawmakers made decisions that may provoke voters'... more »
  • Lawmakers clash over major tax credit

    June 2, 2015 9:21 AM

    BATON ROUGE- State lawmakers stalled over a major tax credit. They disagree over a bill that would create a higher education tax credit so the governor could say he still hasn't raised taxes. Governor Jindal has said he will veto any budget that increased taxes without a tax credit... more »
  • Senate and House health committees reject Medicaid expansion Play Video

    April 29, 2015 2:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers have refused to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program so the working poor could get government-funded health insurance. The Senate health care committee voted 5-3 Wednesday against a coverage expansion bill proposed by Bogalusa Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat. A few hours later, the House health care... more »
  • Public gets its turn to outline budget concerns to lawmakers

    April 14, 2015 11:52 AM

    BATON ROUGE - People who rely on the state for health care services are urging lawmakers to reverse cuts that Gov. Bobby Jindal proposes to balance next year's budget. Parents of disabled children on waiting lists for at-home care, leaders of community clinics that rely on state financing and hospitals... more »
  • La. lawmakers to push bill that could help search for missing persons

    April 11, 2015 12:58 PM

    LAFAYETTE - Lawmakers in Louisiana will soon be considering a bill that will incorporate cell phone technology in missing persons and kidnapping cases. House Bill 456, proposed by state Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, focuses on cell phone pings and speeding up the process that allows investigators to track those... more »
  • Lawmakers consider changes to La. film tax break program

    March 4, 2015 4:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Two New Orleans-area lawmakers have opened conversations on scaling back Louisiana's generous film tax credit program. Ideas presented Wednesday to an entertainment industry advisory commission would cap the program's costs, reduce covered expenses and tweak rules to combat fraud. Tax credits for film and television productions helped... more »
  • U.S. looks to aid Syrian refugees amid security concerns

    February 26, 2015 2:18 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Obama administration's commitment to taking in thousands of Syrian refugees is raising national security concerns among some law enforcement officials and Republican lawmakers. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard says those who come to the U.S. will be subject to intensive screening before entering the country.... more »
  • Lawmakers say TOPS cuts not on the table

    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 »
  • Lawmakers approve partial raise for LSP Play Video

    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 »
  • Task force wants to talk to Congress about slow-moving Comite project

    January 13, 2015 10:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE- A task force set up to monitor the slow-moving Comite River Diversion Project met for the final time Tuesday. The group, set up by an act of the legislature last year, has been discussing ways to get the program to move faster. The canal project is years... more »
  • Lawmakers wait for answers on budget surplus question Play Video

    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 »
  • Lawmakers angry over failed progress at Comite Diversion Canal Play Video

    September 29, 2014 9:43 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A tense meeting unfolded at the State Capitol Monday as lawmakers argued over the stalled-out Comite River Diversion Project. The meeting got heated as the group met with project leaders about the lack of progress recently. If the project is ever finished, it should ease flooding... more »
  • Lawmaker outraged rape victims pay for emergency services Play Video

    September 25, 2014 9:50 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A politician believes it is time to change laws so sexual assault victims will stop getting billed for medical costs associated with attacks "That is an absurd thing for a victim to have to pay for," Sexual Trauma and Awareness Response executive director Rachael Herbert said.... more »
  • Lawmakers: Islamic State groups wants to hit US

    September 1, 2014 7:49 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lawmakers are warning that the United States and Western Europe are likely to be future targets of Islamic State militants. They say President Barack Obama needs to take action. Without offering specifics on threats or suggestions on how to confront them, the leaders of intelligence committees in... more »
  • Louisiana lawmakers refuse to hold veto session

    July 8, 2014 11:28 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers won't try to override Gov. Bobby Jindal's vetoes from the recently-ended legislative session. Both the House and Senate have voted to cancel the veto override session set to start this week. A vote tally released Tuesday by the Senate president and House speaker shows that... more »
  • Plan to shutter Sorrento PD on governor's desk Play Video

    June 2, 2014 9:53 PM

    SORRENTO - Lawmakers passed legislation that would allow voters to decide if the town's police department stays or goes. The Sorrento Police Department has been in the middle of controversy after losing its insurance coverage last year. It's currently without a full force because of the insurance snafu, and... more »
  • Jindal savings recommendations to be delivered soon

    May 28, 2014 1:06 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser said she hopes to give lawmakers a copy of the final money-savings recommendations from consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal by Friday. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols provided an update to the House and Governmental Committee on Wednesday about the work done... more »
  • House agrees to exempt lawmakers from gun limits

    May 27, 2014 5:05 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A measure that would allow legislators to carry concealed weapons in public buildings, except the Louisiana Capitol, is nearing final passage after getting approval from the House. The House voted 79-12 Tuesday to back the bill by Franklin Sen. Bret Allain, a Republican. Under the bill, lawmakers... more »
  • Senate rejects handheld phone ban in school zones

    May 14, 2014 3:18 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposal to ban drivers from using handheld cell phones in school zones has stalled in the state Senate. Senators deadlocked in a 16-16 vote on the House-approved bill by Republican Rep. Jeff Thompson, of Bossier City. It needed 20 votes to pass. Supporters say the measure... more »
  • Not enough support to regulate red light, speed cameras

    May 6, 2014 10:24 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers put the brakes on proposed laws that would give voters regulation over red light cameras that snap pictures of drivers breaking traffic laws and mail them a ticket. One proposal would have also regulated speed enforcement camera systems, too. But, none got approval from the House... more »
  • Bill to allow concealed carry without permit shot down Play Video

    May 6, 2014 1:50 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A Louisiana House committee defeated a measure to remove the need for concealed carry permits in Louisiana. The House criminal justice committee voted down House Bill 494 by Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Central, which would have amended the state constitution to allow anyone to carry a concealed... more »
  • La. legislative session reaches its midway point

    April 19, 2014 11:15 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's three-month legislative session has reached its halfway point with few issues settled. Lawmakers have taken a long Easter break before getting into the most intense work of the session that must end June 2. Efforts to raise Louisiana's minimum wage and let school teachers carry guns... more »
  • La. public school funding short $55M this year

    April 8, 2014 3:24 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers have learned that they face education financing gaps totaling $105 million over two years. Superintendent of Education John White told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that his department is $55 million short of what is needed to cover the costs of this year's public... more »
  • Cap on payday loan interest rate defeated

    April 7, 2014 8:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Organizations seeking to toughen regulations on payday loans pointed to a report by the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions that shows state residents shelled out $146 million in fees and interest on the loans last year. Supporters of a bill by Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James argued... more »
  • Louisana lawmakers revisiting REAL ID compliance

    March 28, 2014 2:46 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The leader of the House Transportation Committee is trying to broker a compromise that could put Louisiana driver's licenses in line with a federal identification law. Without it, Louisiana residents could face difficulties trying to board planes in two years. State lawmakers enacted a prohibition against the federal... more »
  • Lawmakers cool to allowing wine ice cream sales

    March 27, 2014 1:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Efforts to add wine-infused ice cream to supermarket shelves got a frosty reception from lawmakers who worried that minors could get drunk off the tasty treat. The state's alcohol control office says lawmakers need to authorize the sale of alcohol-laced ice cream before it can hit grocers'... more »
  • Lawmakers reject tweaks to TOPS tuition program

    March 26, 2014 2:27 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The House Education Committee shot down a bill that would change eligibility for Louisiana's TOPS program and required repayment of the free college tuition if students lose their awards. Napoleonville Rep. Joe Harrison, a Republican, was pushing the TOPS changes as a way to cut costs of a... more »
  • $6M increase proposed for legislative budget

    March 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    BATON ROUGE - With Louisiana's economic picture brightening, legislative leaders are proposing to boost their budget next year. The budget to finance the House, Senate and other legislative agencies would grow to more than $98 million next year, under recommendations approved without objection Wednesday by a panel of legislative leaders.... more »
  • Lawmakers slam Jindal budget plan for La. prisons

    March 24, 2014 4:23 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers are criticizing the way Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to pay for Louisiana's state prisons next year. Members of the House Appropriations Committee said Monday they don't like Jindal's plan to use $6 million in hurricane recovery money from FEMA to pay for retirement benefits. Jindal administration... more »
  • Lawmakers to discuss speed traps Monday

    March 23, 2014 4:57 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers will consider two bills aimed at speed traps Monday. One of the bills would require local governing authorities to be labeled as speed traps if it makes more than 50 percent of its income or revenue from traffic tickets. The other bill, HB 962,... more »
  • La. lawmakers revive debate over surrogacy births

    March 21, 2014 3:03 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers aren't giving up on efforts to create a regulatory framework for surrogacy births in Louisiana, even though Gov. Bobby Jindal rejected the bill last year. Surrogacy is the arrangement when a woman carries a child to birth for another person. Louisiana law currently has few regulations governing... more »
  • Lawmakers say job growth not reflected in treasury

    March 18, 2014 12:30 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers who keep hearing job creation stories from Gov. Bobby Jindal have asked the governor's economic development chief to explain why state tax revenue remains stagnant. The questions came Tuesday as members of the House Appropriations Committee were reviewing the Department of Economic Development's budget. Jindal repeats... more »
  • House panel backs ban on tanning beds for minors

    March 12, 2014 10:54 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Anyone under the age of 18 would be banned from using tanning beds, if lawmakers agree to a proposal backed by the House health care committee. New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno, a Democrat, says her bill would help prevent skin cancer associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation... more »
  • Lawmakers gearing up for legislative session

    March 9, 2014 5:42 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers are getting ready as legislative session is set to begin Monday at noon. With more than 1,500 bills one the table, legislators expect a busy session this year. A little more than 1,000 of the bills come from the house this year with an... more »
  • Lawmakers to consider raising La. minimum wage

    February 25, 2014 3:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A collaboration of groups that advocate for low-income families are asking lawmakers to boost Louisiana's minimum wage, saying too many workers are struggling with poverty in the state. Baton Rouge Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, a Democrat, has filed a proposal for the upcoming legislative session that would set... more »

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