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  • State won't enforce new abortion restrictions, for now

    July 22, 2016 6:16 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana officials have agreed not to enforce several new restrictions on abortion pending a judge's decision on whether to block the laws. The restrictions include a requirement for a 72-hour waiting period for many women, and a ban on a common second-trimester procedure called dilation and evacuation.... more »
  • Louisiana may need short-term loan for temporary cash flow

    July 21, 2016 3:01 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana is laying the groundwork for possibly taking out a short-term loan to pay the state's bills. The Bond Commission on Thursday agreed without objection to start the process, with a final decision in August. Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration, Treasurer John Kennedy's office and legislative leaders... more »
  • Obama urges Congress to pass Zika prevention bill

    July 1, 2016 11:38 AM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says a vaccine for the Zika virus could be developed in "fairly short order" if Congress acts quickly to pass a bill to prevent the spread of the disease. Obama says researchers are beginning to develop and test a vaccine for the mosquito-borne virus. He... more »
  • Washington flummoxed over federal Confederate flag displays

    July 1, 2016 11:30 AM

    WASHINGTON - A year after South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds, official Washington is struggling with further restrictions on the flag's display on federal property, including the U.S. Capitol complex. The National Park Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army have longstanding guidelines for... more »
  • Ryan: House to vote on barring guns for suspected terrorists

    June 30, 2016 3:08 PM

    WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan has told Republican lawmakers that the House will vote next week on legislation aimed at keeping suspected terrorists from getting guns. The Wisconsin Republican says the prohibition would be part of anti-terrorism legislation. Ryan discussed his decision during a conference call with GOP lawmakers.... more »
  • Senate passes Puerto Rico rescue bill, sends to president

    June 29, 2016 11:13 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has passed a financial rescue package for debt-stricken Puerto Rico, sending the measure to President Barack Obama. The vote was 68-30 on Wednesday. It comes two days before the island owes a $2 billion debt payment to creditors. Obama is expected to sign the measure. The... more »
  • Clock ticking, but tweaks in play for N. Carolina LGBT law

    June 29, 2016 11:10 AM

    RALEIGH, N.C. - The window is small and the strategy tricky, but GOP legislative leaders in North Carolina say there's a chance to change the state law that sparked a clash over transgender rights nationally. The law limits anti-discrimination rules that protect LGBT people. It also directs transgender people to... more »
  • Who will pay? A look at tax bills approved by lawmakers

    June 22, 2016 2:57 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers were nearing the Thursday end of a special session aimed at raising more money for next year's budget through tax changes. Here's a look at bills that passed and those that failed to win support (revenue figures are estimates): SENT TO THE GOVERNOR: -Lessen the... more »
  • Senate spending plan protects colleges, cuts K-12 education

    June 22, 2016 2:54 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Louisiana's senators have unveiled their approach for spending $258 million raised in a tax special session that is in its final days. The plan, backed Wednesday by the Senate Finance Committee, would protect college campuses, but it leaves K-12 public schools on the chopping block. The safety-net hospitals... more »
  • House rejects Edwards bill to lessen income tax deductions Play Video

    June 19, 2016 8:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have spurned a proposal sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards to scale back a tax break for people who itemize deductions on their state income tax forms. The bill would have raised $88 million to lessen budget cuts next year. With no... more »
  • Edwards vetoes 3 bills from regular legislative session

    June 19, 2016 8:07 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed three bills governing construction financing, state worker pay raises and corrections facilities. The governor's office released the vetoes Sunday, involving legislation from the regular session that ended earlier this month. Edwards scrapped a bill to provide financing for the state construction... more »
  • Fate of remaining tax proposals rests with House lawmakers

    June 18, 2016 3:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE - As Louisiana's special session on taxes enters its final week, only three tax bills remain in play for lawmakers considering ways to boost state revenue and lessen budget cuts next year. All three await decisions in the House, where Republicans have shown a willingness to bottle up... more »
  • Ryan: Republicans should follow 'conscience' on Trump

    June 17, 2016 3:12 PM

    WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan says Republican lawmakers should follow their conscience in deciding whether to support Donald Trump, the GOP's presumptive nominee for president. Ryan told NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience.... more »
  • Edwards says lawmakers should feel 'urgency' Play Video

    June 17, 2016 2:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards said he believes there's time in the dwindling days of the special session to persuade House lawmakers to back more tax bills to lessen budget cuts. Bills that will raise around $220 million in the budget year that begins July 1 have received... more »
  • Surrogacy regulations bill signed into law by Gov. Edwards

    June 15, 2016 3:14 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards has reversed course from his predecessor and agreed to create regulations governing surrogacy births in Louisiana. Surrogacy isn't illegal in Louisiana, but contracts between a couple and its surrogate haven't been enforceable in court. The woman who gives birth is presumed to be... more »
  • Edwards signs cursive writing mandate for schools into law

    June 15, 2016 12:14 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards has agreed to a mandate that cursive writing must be taught in Louisiana's public school classrooms. The governor's office announced Tuesday that Edwards had signed the requirement bill by Republican Sen. Beth Mizell, of Franklinton, into law. The measure requires public schools, including... more »
  • Critical tax vote planned Wednesday in House committee

    June 15, 2016 11:38 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Pressure is being put on members of the House tax committee, who are deciding whether to scale back a tax deduction for upper-income earners. The Ways and Means Committee meets Wednesday afternoon to consider the legislation by Bogalusa Rep. Malinda White, to raise more than $100 million... more »
  • Obama urges Senate to pass Puerto Rico aid bill quickly

    June 11, 2016 3:43 PM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to swiftly send him a bill to help Puerto Rico manage its staggering debt crisis. In his weekly Saturday address, Obama says a pending bipartisan bill is not a perfect solution. But he says it's the only option to keep the... more »
  • 'Raise the Age' passes, but years remain to phase-in changes

    June 10, 2016 2:26 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Juvenile justice advocates have hailed Louisiana's lawmakers for agreeing to raise the state's adult prosecution age. But the switchover won't happen as soon as Gov. John Bel Edwards signs the bill into law. Instead, 17-year-old offenders will be phased into the juvenile justice system over several years,... more »
  • House backs tax bills, but far short of Edwards' request

    June 9, 2016 5:58 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have agreed to a package of tax bills that would raise more than $220 million for next year's budget. That reaches slightly more than one-third of the $600 million sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards to stop what he describes as deep... more »
  • Bills to increase cellphone fees await governor approval

    June 9, 2016 11:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana cellphone users could face millions of dollars in increased 911 service charges, under two measures sent to the governor's desk. The Legislature has given final passage to measures from two Republican lawmakers that would raise as much as $20 million a year for local emergency call... more »
  • Louisiana joins more than 20 states in 'banning the box'

    June 8, 2016 1:31 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State employers will soon evaluate job applicants based on skills and interview conversations, not a checkmark. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the "ban the box" legislation into law Monday to block state employers from asking about job applicants' criminal histories before interviews. The law will apply to... more »
  • Lawmakers agree to relinquish tuition control

    June 5, 2016 5:54 PM

    BATON ROUGE - As they wind down their work in the regular session, lawmakers have agreed to give public college management boards the ability to raise their own tuition and fees without needing legislative approval. Voters would need to back the idea in the November election before legislative authority would... more »
  • Bills to criminalize peeping drones sent to governor

    June 3, 2016 3:08 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers want to bar trespassers and peeping Toms from using drones to gain access to Louisiana homes and schools under two measures sent to the governor's desk. With a 96-0 vote for each bill, the House unanimously voted Friday to give final passage to proposals from... more »
  • Pet store record-keeping measure sent to governor's desk

    June 3, 2016 2:53 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana pet owners could have a better idea where their dogs and cats were bred, under a bill headed to the governor's desk. With a 30-1 vote Friday, the Senate gave final passage to the House-backed proposal to regulate pet store sales from Sen. Danny Martiny, a... more »
  • Lawmakers agree to allow college student ID cards for voting

    June 2, 2016 11:19 AM

    BATON ROUGE - In a few years, Louisiana college students would be able to use their university ID cards to vote in state elections, if the governor agrees to a proposal passed by lawmakers. The bill by Rep. Randal Gaines, a LaPlace Democrat, calls for the higher education system governing... more »
  • Senate to debate $26B operating budget proposal Wednesday

    June 1, 2016 11:29 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's state senators are readying to debate a nearly $26 billion state operating budget for next year that looks strikingly different from the House version. The Senate proposal up for debate Wednesday places a greater priority on health services for the elderly and disabled than the TOPS... more »
  • Bill would limit last-minute raises from outgoing governors

    June 1, 2016 11:22 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's lawmakers want more say over a governor's ability to dole out last-minute pay raises. A bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Long requires the joint House and Senate budget committee to approve executive branch salary increases during the last 90 days of a governor's term. The measure... more »
  • Bill would end possible jail time for underage drinkers

    May 27, 2016 1:04 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers don't think underage drinkers should face jail time. A bill sent to the governor's desk this week would remove the possibility that someone under the age of 21 could be jailed up to six months if caught in possession of an alcoholic beverage. The violation would... more »
  • Governor asking senators to strip all House budget changes

    May 26, 2016 5:27 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is asking state senators to scrap all the changes made to next year's nearly $26 billion budget by their colleagues in the House. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday he'd like the panel to strip the... more »
  • Lawmakers back call for US constitutional convention

    May 26, 2016 12:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana is joining a call for the first U.S. constitutional convention since the nation's founding, under legislation backed by state lawmakers. The House voted 62-36 Wednesday to support the call, giving it final passage. Less than 10 states have signed onto the effort, which requires 34 states... more »
  • Lawmakers vote to increase fines for not wearing seatbelts

    May 26, 2016 11:34 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to boost the fines against people caught not wearing seatbelts in a vehicle. The bill by Rep. Walt Leger, a New Orleans Democrat, would increase the fine for a first offense from $25 to $50. Violators would pay $75 each additional time. Supporters... more »
  • Senate gives final OK to patient caregiver bill

    May 25, 2016 4:40 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposal to give people more information about how to properly care for patients who are discharged from the hospital has received final legislative passage. The Senate sent the measure to the governor's desk with a 37-0 vote Wednesday. Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the bill and... more »
  • New Orleans mayor to travel to Cuba for mayors' conference

    May 25, 2016 1:01 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is traveling to Cuba as part of a delegation of mayors from around the country. The trip was announced Wednesday in a news release from the mayor's office. It will take place May 25 through May 29. The trip is the... more »
  • Bill aimed at identifying sex offenders online gets final OK

    May 25, 2016 12:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposal described as helping parents keep their children away from sex offenders when they play video games or participate in other online activities has received final passage. The bill by Republican Rep. Cameron Henry, of Metairie, would let the public have access to email addresses and... more »
  • 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 »

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