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Content Tagged As spending

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  • Louisiana House passes $28 billion-plus budget

    June 14, 2017 6:17 PM

    BATON ROUGE - With the narrowest vote, lawmakers in the Louisiana House spurned their GOP leaders and backed a $28 billion-plus operating budget that would use every dollar forecast to be available for spending. The vote was a blow to House Republican leaders who wanted to withhold $100... more »
  • Louisiana senators hear grim predictions of budget impact

    May 29, 2017 11:44 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has presented to senators a grim picture of the fallout from the House-proposed version of next year's budget. The governor is threatening a veto if anything resembling the spending plan reaches his desk. Agency leaders say they'd have to release prisoners early,... more »
  • Trump's budget proposal includes huge cuts to food stamps

    May 22, 2017 7:49 AM

    WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump's budget would drive millions of people off of food stamps, part of a new wave of spending cut proposals that already are getting panned by lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill. Trump's blueprint for the 2018 budget year comes out Tuesday. It includes a... more »
  • Contractor admits spending elderly customer's money, arrested

    May 6, 2017 12:34 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A Mississippi contractor was arrested after he admitted spending over $2,000 an elderly person gave him to complete repairs. According to arrest records, on April 20, a deputy with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office was informed of the case. The victim, who is over... more »
  • House lawmakers reverse plans to raise legislative spending

    May 1, 2017 8:33 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers are scaling back plans to boost their budget by nearly $11 million next year. Though Louisiana continues to face budget shortfalls, state legislative leaders initially weren't proposing to cut their own agencies. The budget bill they introduced would have increased legislative agency spending in the financial... more »
  • Lawmakers agree on $1T plan government-wide funding bill

    May 1, 2017 9:10 AM

    WASHINGTON - Congressional Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September, but denies President Donald Trump money for a southern border wall and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs. Aides to lawmakers involved in the... more »
  • White House: Trump budget will hike defense spending by $54B

    February 27, 2017 10:53 AM

    WASHINGTON - The White House says President Donald Trump's upcoming budget will propose a whopping $54 billion increase in defense spending and impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid. White House budget officials outlined the information during a telephone call with reporters given on condition of anonymity. The... more »
  • State Police changes policies, investigates road trip

    February 20, 2017 6:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE – State Police announced sweeping new policies, procedures and staff reassignments following a report by New Orleans' WWL TV and T he Advocate newspaper . The Advocate has a print edition in the Crescent City where it's also partnered with WWL; WWL and WBRZ have a news... more »
  • Military services detail plans for $30 billion budget boost

    February 7, 2017 7:38 AM

    WASHINGTON - The military services have delivered to Congress blueprints for increasing the defense budget by more than $30 billion to pay for new jet fighters, armored vehicles, improved training and more. The informal plans represent the first attempt by the Trump Pentagon to halt an erosion of the military's... more »
  • Another high-ranking state official taking overseas trip

    January 31, 2017 3:21 PM

    BATON ROUGE – State officials are once again taking to the sky for an overseas trip; this time, it's the Lt. Governor who traveled to France this week. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser's office released details of the trip Tuesday – two days into travel. Nungesser is traveling with tourism... more »
  • State clerical error spawns Twitter rant over Governor's Italian trip Play Video

    January 13, 2017 4:32 PM

    BATON ROUGE – Members of the governor's public relations team took to Twitter to voice frustration over a WBRZ.com report highlighting the cost of a surprise trip to Italy Friday. The trip, first reported on WBRZ.com Thursday night, was announced just before 6:30 Thursday evening. The governor, state legislators... more »
  • US construction spending hits highest level in 10 years

    January 3, 2017 12:41 PM

    WASHINGTON - U.S. builders boosted spending on construction projects for a second straight month in November, pushing activity to the highest level in more than a decade. The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.9 percent in November after a 0.6 percent increase in October. The increase reflected solid gains... more »
  • Entergy to more than double energy efficiency spending

    December 11, 2016 2:48 PM

    JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's largest private utility plans to more than double spending on energy efficiency next year. The Public Service Commission Tuesday voted 2-1 for Entergy Mississippi to increase spending to $8.75 million in 2017 from $3.75 million this year. Southern District Commissioner Sam Britton, a Republican, voted against... more »
  • Congress Oks more than $1.25B for Louisiana flood recovery

    December 10, 2016 7:23 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - Congress has approved more than $1.25 billion for Louisiana's flood recovery. The additional allocation approved Friday means Congress has dedicated between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion, including an initial $438 million in disaster relief funds, for Louisiana's long-term rebuilding. Still, that's short of the at least $2.6... more »
  • Congress averts shutdown, backs spending bill

    December 10, 2016 11:35 AM

    WASHINGTON - Congress has averted a government shutdown - with less than hour to spare. The vote in the Senate late Friday night was 63-36 for a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government operating through April 28. The bill provides disaster relief to Louisiana after summer flooding and... more »
  • Flood-related spending drives Sept. sales up double digits

    November 22, 2016 9:53 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 12.9 percent in September as people affected by the devastating August floods bought building materials and replaced water-damaged cars. Nearly $813.7 million was spent in the parish during September. That's according to figures released Monday by... more »
  • Senate passes spending bill with $500 million flood assistance

    September 28, 2016 3:34 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has passed a bill to keep the government running through Dec. 9, providing $1.1 billion in funding to battle the Zika virus and and $500 million to Louisiana flood aid. The 72-26 vote came after top congressional leaders broke through a stalemate over aid to Flint,... more »
  • Senate blocks stopgap bill to fund government

    September 27, 2016 8:28 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has blocked a spending bill needed to keep the government open beyond Friday's midnight deadline. Most Democrats and at least 10 Republicans voted to block the bill, which also funds the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats are demanding money to help Flint, Michigan, address its... more »
  • New peak for US health care spending: $10,345 per person

    July 13, 2016 4:42 PM

    WASHINGTON - A new government report says the nation's health care tab is expected to surpass $10,000 per person this year for the first time. The new peak means the Obama administration hasn't solved the problem of high health care costs and will pass it on to its successor. Number... more »
  • US consumer sentiment jumps in May to highest in year

    May 27, 2016 10:30 AM

    WASHINGTON - Americans turned more optimistic about the economy in May than the previous month, buoyed by low interest rates on home and car purchases. The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 94.7 in May, the highest in nearly a year. That's up from... more »
  • Poll: Americans more upbeat about own finances than economy

    May 18, 2016 8:33 AM

    WASHINGTON - A new poll finds that Americans feel a whole lot better about their own situations than the economy as a whole in this election year. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds just 42 percent of adults consider the U.S. economy to be good while... more »
  • Request to spend more on pump stations not unusual, officials say

    April 27, 2016 4:17 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Despite asking city leaders to approve a four-percent increase in cost and nearly a year of additional work, engineers of the city's $1.2 billion sewer upgrade say the project is on budget and on time. Wednesday, the SSO asked the Metro Council to approve spending $859,659... more »
  • Bill aims to cut meeting costs that reach thousands annually

    April 26, 2016 3:07 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State senators are trying to trim the costs of a legislative agency that spends thousands of dollars each year on meetings at a swanky New Orleans hotel. The Louisiana State Law Institute, which studies legal issues for the Legislature, regularly holds meetings of its decision-making council... more »
  • Senators shut down House leader's talk of deficit spending

    February 29, 2016 5:41 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The leader of the House budget committee provoked harsh reactions from senators by suggesting Louisiana may need to deficit spend to make it through the budget year. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, a Republican, told the Senate Finance Committee the state may "be rolling" some of the... more »
  • PAR wants cuts before taxes Play Video

    February 2, 2016 6:56 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A "good government" group wants Louisiana's leaders to get control of spending before they raise taxes. The Public Affairs Research (PAR) Council released a report where it lists specific cuts. A few of the proposed measures include: - Control increased spending for state workers' health... more »
  • $50M spent on Louisiana governor race, campaign records show

    January 7, 2016 12:59 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's most recent governor's race appears to be the most expensive in state history as unfettered spending from outside political groups boosted total campaign spending to $50 million. The latest campaign finance reports were filed with the state ethics administration office this week. The reports document dollars... more »
  • Holiday spending up 8 percent, online sales surge

    December 28, 2015 11:06 AM

    NEW YORK - Americans have been doing more of their shopping by sitting at home -- and they've been buying more items to sit on. And overall, spending during the holidays is up by nearly eight percent from a year ago. According to a report released today, Americans spent... more »
  • Congress Oks short-term spending bill hours before deadline

    December 11, 2015 12:40 PM

    WASHINGTON - The House has passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through next Wednesday. The measure was approved by voice vote hours on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The White House has said he will... more »
  • Council approves 2016 city budget; funds city's largest police force

    December 8, 2015 11:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Metro council members approved the mayor's spending plan for next year Tuesday evening. No one voted against the $880 million spending plan that includes significant growth for public safety . The entire budget is about 6% more than the spending plan for 2015. The budget... more »
  • Local business owners optimistic about holiday spending

    November 24, 2015 4:22 AM

    BATON ROUGE- South Louisiana retailers say they are optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping season, which will start in earnest at many stores and shopping malls on Thanksgiving night. Baton Rouge's Mall of Louisiana General Manager Tony Stephens says that his mall has more tenants than ever before and expects... more »
  • $4.1M spent on TV ads in Louisiana runoff election so far

    November 12, 2015 11:26 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Spending on TV political ads in Louisiana's runoff campaign has topped $4 million, with more than a week remaining before the Nov. 21 election. An analysis of ad spending released Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity shows nearly all the TV campaign advertising dollars, about $3.7... more »
  • Movies bring $178 million to Baton Rouge in 2015

    November 9, 2015 1:12 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Despite lawmakers trimming Louisiana's film tax incentives, officials in Baton Rouge said the city-parish saw about the same amount of movie money as it did last year. Mayor-President Kip Holden's office said movie productions spent more than $178 million in the Baton Rouge region for 35... more »
  • House passes highway bill that keeps a lid on spending

    November 5, 2015 11:09 AM

    WASHINGTON - The House has voted to continue transportation programs for six years with no significant increase in spending. That's despite warnings that the nation's roads, bridges and transit systems are falling apart. The bill passed on a 363-64 vote with wide bipartisan support. It authorizes $325 billion in spending... more »
  • Obama vetoes $612 billion defense bill in rebuke to GOP

    October 22, 2015 4:11 PM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has vetoed a sweeping $612 billion defense policy bill in a rebuke to congressional Republicans. Obama says the bill does a number of good things, but falls woefully short in other areas. He says it "resorts to gimmicks." The White House invited reporters and photographers... more »
  • Louisiana tops states this year on TV campaign ad spending

    October 22, 2015 7:59 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Louisiana leads the nation in spending on TV political ads this year, as candidates and outside political groups devote millions mainly to the competition for governor. An analysis of ad spending by the Center for Public Integrity shows Louisiana's TV campaign advertising has reached $15.8 million. That edged... more »
  • Auto sales and consumer spending boost US growth

    October 14, 2015 8:58 PM

    WASHINGTON- The Federal Reserve says the economy has run into some headwind from overseas and lost some momentum but steady consumer spending, car sales and the improving housing market spurred modest economic growth. Its the latest look at the economy and the Fed's nine out of its 12 regional banks... more »
  • Spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rebounds in June

    August 21, 2015 7:46 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 5.6 percent in June, breaking a string of two months where economic activity was lower than the year before. According to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department, businesses and consumers spent nearly $728.5 million in June.... more »
  • Website offers window into Baton Rouge government spending

    July 23, 2015 8:05 AM

    BATON ROUGE- East Baton Rouge Parish residents now have a way to know where their tax dollars are going. Mayor-President Kip Holden says the parish launched "Open Budget BR" Wednesday, a website that breaks down city-parish spending and allows people to drill down into department, program, construction and service spending... more »
  • Retail spending in Baton Rouge drops slightly in April

    June 25, 2015 7:44 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish dropped by less than 1 percent in April. Sales tax collection figures released Wednesday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent almost $671.0 million in April. That compares with $676.3 million in spending in April 2014.... more »
  • Jindal agrees to legislative review of consulting contracts

    June 23, 2015 5:25 AM

    BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers will have approval authority over consulting contracts signed across state agencies, in response to complaints about wasteful spending. A year after vetoing the proposal, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill by Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, an independent from Thibodaux. Most consulting and professional services contracts with a... more »
  • OIG finds USS Kidd's former director spent thousands of dollars improperly

    June 5, 2015 1:50 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The state Inspector General's Office released their findings from a review of spending by the former director of the USS Kidd, who the OIG said spent thousands of dollars improperly. The OIG's review said between 2011 and 2013 Maury Drummond spent $13,552 paying for things like... more »
  • OIG report says deaf commission wasteful, used copied signatures

    June 2, 2015 2:21 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Office of the Inspector General released a report Tuesday which said a two-year investigation found nearly one million dollars in questionable spending from the state Commission for the Deaf and its director, as well as evidence people used photocopied signatures to authorize payments. The OIG... more »
  • Dedicated funds remain off-limits in Louisiana budget debate

    May 20, 2015 5:29 PM

    BATON ROUGE - As lawmakers sift through ideas to solve financial gaps, one idea has been off-limits: scaling back budget protections that leave higher education and health care most vulnerable to slashing. Lawmakers have repeatedly lamented that too much of the state's budget is "dedicated," locked up by either... more »
  • Legislative hearings open on Jindal's budget proposal

    March 17, 2015 3:51 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The House budget committee is starting its hearings on Gov. Bobby Jindal's $24.6 billion spending plan recommended for next year. Lawmakers are looking for ways to close a $1.6 billion budget gap in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and avoid deep cuts to colleges and... more »
  • Lawmaker facing spending probe benefited from donor projects

    March 13, 2015 2:51 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Associated Press review finds that Illinois congressman Aaron Schock has built his personal wealth off extensive business dealings with campaign contributors. The Republican has been under scrutiny for lavishly redecorating his Capitol Hill office and flying aboard private planes owned by donors. Campaign contributors built, financed... more »
  • Rural hospitals get billions in extra Medicare funds

    March 9, 2015 2:00 AM

    Federal investigators say a law allowing rural hospitals to bill rehabilitation services for seniors at higher rates than nursing homes and other facilities has led to billions of dollars in extra Medicare spending. The report out Monday from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services... more »
  • Pressure on House GOP for Homeland Security bill

    February 25, 2015 2:30 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The pressure is on House Republicans days ahead of a looming partial Homeland Security Department shutdown. Senate GOP leaders have agreed to Democratic demands and announced legislation to fund the Homeland Security Department without contentious immigration provisions opposed by Democrats and President Barack Obama. Now all eyes... more »
  • Lawmaker with lavish decor billed private planes, concerts

    February 23, 2015 4:11 PM

    WASHINGTON - Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock spent taxpayer and campaign funds on private planes to fly around the country on aircraft owned by some of his donors. An Associated Press review of his expense records found the flights. There also were other travel and entertainment charges, including for a massage... more »
  • Jindal spends $1.5M from campaign, though no La. race to run

    February 19, 2015 2:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has been spending handily from his state campaign account, though he isn't up for re-election and doesn't plan to run for any other office in Louisiana. In his latest campaign finance report, the Republican governor documents nearly $1.5 million in spending over 2014. More... more »
  • Jindal administration releases mid-year cuts Play Video

    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 »
  • Obama sending $4 trillion spending plan to Congress

    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 »
  • Did you spend what everyone else did on gifts today?

    December 24, 2014 11:09 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Shoppers took to area stores Wednesday to make last minute buys for Christmas. As last as 9 p.m., people were still on the streets. Many people had to visit drug or convenience stores because they waited until all other establishments were closed. Shoppers had procrastinated... more »
  • Government is funded while Senate considers spending bill

    December 12, 2014 11:26 AM

    WASHINGTON - As the Senate prepares to act on a $1.1 trillion spending bill, there's no threat of a shutdown in federal services. That's because lawmakers quickly passed a measure providing a 48-hour extension in existing funding, to give the Senate time to act. President Barack Obama quickly signed it.... more »
  • Senate to take up $1.1T bill to keep govt running

    December 12, 2014 2:19 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's now up to the Senate to pass a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running, but not before a battle between old school veterans and new breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, a liberal with a national following.... more »
  • Lawmakers seal deal on $1.1T spending bill

    December 9, 2014 5:34 PM

    WASHINGTON - Congressional aides say a final agreement has been sealed on a massive $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown and fund most of the government through next September. The hard-fought agreement would delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until... more »
  • Landrieu getting little help before Senate runoff

    December 4, 2014 11:37 AM

    WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is heading toward her Saturday runoff against Republican congressman Bill Cassidy with almost no financial help from outside allies. How disparate is their support? In all, 97 cents of every political dollar spent outside the two campaigns since Nov. 5 has been... more »
  • Growth rate of US health tab may have hit bottom

    December 3, 2014 3:05 PM

    WASHINGTON - The government says U.S. health care spending grew by the slowest rate in more than a half-century last year. But a speed-up is coming, as the economy gets traction and the new health care law covers more people. The nation's health care tab grew by just 3.6 percent... more »
  • Job cuts, fund sweep used to close budget gap Play Video

    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 »
  • Landrieu raising and spending more in Senate race

    October 15, 2014 2:29 PM

    LAFAYETTE - Sen Mary Landrieu continues to draw in more campaign cash than her GOP competitors, but she's also spending at a faster clip. That gives her chief opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, more money in the bank as the Nov. 4 election draws near and erases any fundraising advantage for... more »
  • Study commission looking at La. death penalty

    September 24, 2014 5:56 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A New Orleans state senator is trying to determine how much Louisiana's agencies spend on the death penalty. Sen. J.P. Morrell, a Democrat, is leading a new study commission looking at capital punishment. Its first meeting was Wednesday. Morrell says he's looking for ways to streamline the... more »
  • Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

    August 26, 2014 10:29 AM

    WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer confidence this month reached its highest point in nearly seven years, boosted by strong job gains. The Conference Board says its confidence index rose for a fourth straight month to 92.4 from 90.3 in July. The August reading is the highest since October 2007, two months... more »
  • US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring

    July 30, 2014 10:29 AM

    WASHINGTON - After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending. The Commerce Department says the second-quarter rebound followed a sharp 2.1 percent annualized drop in economic... more »
  • Congress approves deal to avoid 'fiscal cliff'

    January 1, 2013 10:45 PM

    WASHINGTON - Past its own New Year's deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national "fiscal cliff" of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America's divided government to the limit. The bill's... more »

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