June 6, 2013 3:18 PM
BATON ROUGE -"Fiscal hawk" lawmakers slowed passage of the state budget today to make sure their fiscal reform bills get signed, lawmakers told News 2.
Earlier today, House members in the budget conference committee for HB 1 rejected Senate amendments, sending it back to the chambers.
Rep. Brett... more »
June 5, 2013 1:14 PM
BATON ROUGE - Negotiations are heading down to the wire between the House and Senate over how to craft next year's $25 billion state operating budget. Lawmakers hope to avoid a meltdown before session must end Thursday at 6 p.m. - and keep themselves out of a special session. House... more »
May 31, 2013 10:34 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's community colleges have won their dispute with other higher education leaders over construction spending. The Senate gave final passage Friday to a measure that will let the community and technical college system sidestep the construction budget process for $250 million in projects. The bill heads to... more »
May 29, 2013 5:05 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Senate's budget-writing committee has taken its turn at next year's $25 billion spending plan, adding $350 million in state dollars to reverse many cuts sought by the House. The 2013-14 budget proposal backed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday looks quite different from the House... more »
April 30, 2013 4:00 PM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the House have refused to accept a procedural move by their leaders that would have given most of the decision-making on next year's budget to the Senate. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin sought to remove $490 million in patchwork funding from... more »
April 29, 2013 9:02 AM
NEW YORK- Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street as investors were encouraged by an increase in consumer spending last month. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 17 points at 14,730 shortly after the opening bell Monday, a gain of 0.1 percent. The Standard & Poor's... more »
April 10, 2013 10:18 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint that strives to achieve a "grand bargain" to tame runaway deficits. It would raise taxes on the wealthy and trim popular benefit programs including as Social Security and Medicare. The president's budget projects deficit reductions of $1.8... more »
April 3, 2013 5:06 PM
BATON ROUGE - House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says lawmakers need to find a way to control the costs of the state's free college tuition program known as TOPS. Kleckley says colleges need to be able to raise their tuition rates, but he says the state can't afford to continue increasing... more »
March 29, 2013 10:22 AM
WASHINGTON - Consumers earned more and spent more in February, helped by a stronger job market that has offset some of the drag from higher taxes. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in February compared with January. It was the biggest gain in five months and followed... more »
March 18, 2013 6:11 PM
WASHINGTON - The Senate has given a big boost to a bipartisan full-year funding bill despite opposition from Republicans who were denied chances to offer changes aimed at boosting military readiness and easing closures of air traffic control towers. The legislation advanced on a 63-35 procedural vote that sets up... more »
March 1, 2013 11:07 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says it may take a couple of weeks or a couple of months to reach a deal to end Washington's battle over spending cuts. The president spoke after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that go... more »
February 4, 2013 10:16 AM
HOUMA - The committee set up to manage most environmental fines going to the states affected by the BP oil spill of 2010 says it will release its plan July 6. The Courier reports that a seven-page document released last week by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council includes a... more »
January 30, 2013 10:37 AM
WASHINGTON - The White House says Superstorm Sandy is partially to blame for the unexpected contraction of the U.S. economy. Top White House economist Alan Krueger says the storm, which battered the East Coast, disrupted economic activity and destroyed $44 billion in fixed capital. Krueger also says federal defense spending... more »
January 21, 2013 6:40 AM
WASHINGTON - Democrats are looking to make new revenue part of the Senate's first budget in almost four years. That budget will be released soon after the start of President Barack Obama's second term. Obama has pushed for a "balanced approach" to solving the nation's financial woes, including more tax... more »
January 14, 2013 1:05 PM
WASHINGTON - Speaker John Boehner says the GOP-controlled House will "do its job" and pass legislation to lift the nation's borrowing cap and keep the government running, but will insist that Democrats accept new spending controls. Boehner acknowledged Monday that failing to lift the so-called debt ceiling would have bad... more »
January 14, 2013 12:50 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is demanding that Congress quickly raise the nation's $16.4 trillion debt limit, telling reporters, "we are not a deadbeat nation." At a White House news conference less than a week before he takes the oath of office for a second term, Obama warned that if... more »
January 7, 2013 3:58 PM
WASHINGTON - The government says Americans kept health care spending in check for three consecutive years. It's an unusual respite, since health care usually surges ahead of overall economic growth. Will the relief linger? That's not clear. It could fade if jobs come roaring back as the economy recovers. The... more »
January 3, 2013 4:25 PM
RESTON, Va. - A report released Thursday says holiday shoppers spent $42.3 billion online in November and December, 14 percent more than in the same months a year ago. ComScore found that shoppers started the holiday season strong in November but a dip in consumer confidence hurt early December sales.... more »
January 2, 2013 5:57 PM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers reached a deal last night in Washington, averting the fiscal cliff, which included tax hikes for the middle class.
The deal did not include an extension of the payroll tax cut. Beginning January 1st, one tax went up for everyone. It's a two percent increase... more »
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 »
December 28, 2012 9:03 AM
BATON ROUGE - Retail spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rebounded in October after two lackluster months, rising 6 percent compared with the same month the year before.
The latest sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish show businesses and consumers spent $647.7 million, up from $611.1 million... more »
December 26, 2012 6:43 AM
HONOLULU - President Barack Obama is cutting short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday evening as he and lawmakers consider how to prevent the economy from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. Obama was expected to arrive in Washington early Thursday, the White... more »
December 26, 2012 6:15 AM
WASHINGTON - U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.
Sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent compared... more »
December 24, 2012 8:11 AM
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers say it'll be time to get back to work when they and President Barack Obama return to Washington on Thursday following the Christmas holiday.
Time is running out to avert the fiscal cliff of tax increases and domestic program cuts in January, and some members of... more »
December 17, 2012 6:37 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has proposed a deficit-reduction package to House Speaker John Boehner that would increase the top tax rates on taxpayers earning more than $400,000, cut more spending from health care programs and add $200 billion more in spending cuts over 10 years to his earlier offer.... more »
December 17, 2012 4:47 PM
WASHINGTON - Democrats are trying to push a $60.4 billion emergency spending package for Superstorm Sandy victims through Congress by Christmas. Republicans are responding: Not so fast. The Senate opened debate on the aid measure Monday, seven weeks after the storm swept up the East Coast, causing extensive damage in... more »
December 13, 2012 10:45 AM
WASHINGTON - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says a deal must be reached "in the next couple of days or the very beginning of next week" to avoid the fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. The California Democrat criticized Republican House leaders for sending lawmakers home on... more »
December 12, 2012 1:34 PM
WASHINGTON - Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman in his final Senate floor speech is urging Congress to put partisan rancor aside and reach across party lines to break Washington's gridlock. The Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut said Wednesday that strong bipartisan leadership is needed to solve the nation's most pressing problems such as... more »
December 11, 2012 2:18 PM
WASHINGTON - The Senate's top Democrat says "it's going to be extremely difficult" to pass legislation to address the so-called fiscal cliff before Christmas, but adds there's still a chance it can be done. Majority Leader Harry Reid commented Tuesday amid a souring mood in Washington over negotiations to forestall... more »
December 11, 2012 10:23 AM
WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican leader is calling on President Barack Obama and Democrats to spell out where they would cut government spending as part of any deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Sen. Mitch McConnell complained on Tuesday that Obama has spent his time talking about raising tax... more »
December 10, 2012 3:26 PM
REDFORD, Mich. - President Barack Obama says he "won't compromise" on his demands that the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes. However, Obama held back from directly criticizing Republicans for opposing his tax plans, perhaps signaling that private negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" are showing progress. Obama and Boehner met... more »
December 10, 2012 12:35 PM
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A potential plunge over the federal "fiscal cliff" is causing anxiety for many state officials - not only because of prospective federal funding cuts, but because of the confusion surrounding the ongoing stalemate in Washington. The longer the White House and Congress remain at odds, the... more »
December 5, 2012 4:37 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner discussed the fiscal cliff Wednesday in a telephone call. It followed several days of political sparring over steps to prevent a year-end series of tax increases and spending cuts. The call raises the possibility that negotiations will soon resume between... more »
December 5, 2012 4:06 PM
WASHINGTON - The White House budget office has asked federal agencies to calculate more than $100 billion in spending cuts that would go into effect in January if Congress and the Obama administration fail to reach agreement to avert the looming fiscal cliff. White House press secretary Jay Carney said... more »
December 4, 2012 11:52 AM
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of governors says they sought assurances from President Barack Obama that any cuts in spending to address the looming "fiscal cliff" would not shift the financial burden onto states. They say they want flexibility from the federal government on mandated programs to allow them to... more »
December 3, 2012 4:47 PM
WASHINGTON - The White House is rejecting a Republican counteroffer aimed at averting the "fiscal cliff," saying it does not meet what the White House calls "the test of balance." White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer says the GOP proposal would lower tax rates for the wealthy and stick the... more »
December 3, 2012 2:16 PM
WASHINGTON - House Republicans negotiating with President Barack Obama on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff are proposing to increase the eligibility age for Medicare and to lower cost-of-living hikes in Social Security benefits. The proposal is a response to Obama's offer last week to hike taxes by $1.6 trillion over... more »
November 29, 2012 3:46 PM
WASHINGTON - The Congressional Budget Office says extending the current level of long-term unemployment benefits for another year would add 300,000 jobs to the economy. A report from the nonpartisan office estimates that preserving jobless benefits would cost the government $30 billion. But it would also lead to more spending... more »
November 28, 2012 1:06 PM
WASHINGTON - A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth in October and early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy. The Fed says growth improved... more »
November 26, 2012 10:33 AM
OMAHA, Neb. - Billionaire Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on the "ultra-rich" and he's urging Congress to compromise on spending cuts and tax increases. Buffett expressed his views on fiscal policy in an opinion article Monday in The New York Times. In the article, Buffett mocked the... more »
November 19, 2012 10:19 AM
PLAQUEMINE - Despite declining tax revenues, Iberville Parish's $41.6 million budget for 2013 reflects a 1.5 percent increase in spending compared to 2012. The Advocate reports nearly 30 percent of the $611,882 projected spending increase is attributed to more than $11 million in capital outlay projects reflected in the proposed... more »
November 14, 2012 3:28 PM
OMAHA, Neb. - Investor Warren Buffett says there won't be a recession if Congress can't resolve the so-called fiscal cliff before the automatic tax increases and spending cuts take effect in January. Buffett told CNN on Wednesday that the U.S. economy is very resilient, and it won't collapse if lawmakers... more »
November 14, 2012 7:49 AM
WASHINGTON - US retail sales fell in October after Americans spent less on a broad range of goods. Superstorm Sandy may have also slowed business at the end of the month.
The Commerce Department says sales dropped 0.3 percent after three months of gains. Auto sales fell 1.5 percent,... more »
November 13, 2012 3:28 PM
WASHINGTON - Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says it's up to President Barack Obama to present a deficit reduction plan rather than a campaign slogan to Congress. The Kentucky Republican said that like House Speaker John Boehner, he is ready to support new revenue as part of a deal that... more »
November 12, 2012 2:36 PM
WASHINGTON - Congress returns Tuesday to a crowded agenda of unfinished business overshadowed by the urgent need for President Barack Obama and lawmakers to avert the economic double hit of tax increases and automatic spending cuts. One week after the elections, Republicans and Democrats face a daunting task in a... more »
November 7, 2012 10:54 AM
WASHINGTON - Fitch Ratings says President Barack Obama must pivot off his re-election victory and quickly forge an agreement with Congress to prevent a series of tax increases and spending cuts that kick in next year. The credit rating agency issued a news release Wednesday - hours after Obama won... more »
October 25, 2012 1:55 PM
WASHINGTON - CEOs from more than 80 major U.S. companies are pressing Congress to reduce the federal deficit by raising taxes and cutting spending. With a sea of red ink confronting the nation, the deficit and how to tame it has become a looming theme in the presidential campaign. The... more »
October 16, 2012 10:31 AM
WASHINGTON - Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month. But outside energy, there was little sign of inflation.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in September, matching the August increase. In the past... more »
September 27, 2012 3:17 PM
SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Mitt Romney is calling the across-the-board defense spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January "a gun-to-your-head kind of approach." He says the deal President Barack Obama made with Congress "was a strange proposal in the first place," and he says "it's even stranger that we're seeing... more »
September 24, 2012 4:21 PM
LIMA, Ohio - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says President Barack Obama's attempt to cut military spending is putting Americans at risk overseas. Ryan on Monday kicked off three days of campaigning in battleground Ohio by the GOP presidential ticket. Ryan campaigned in the town of Lima (LY'-muh) that's... more »
September 14, 2012 8:11 AM
WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales rose in August from July because consumers paid higher gas prices and bought more cars and trucks. They were more cautious elsewhere, suggesting the weak economy has made many selective about spending.
The Commerce Department says retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent.... more »
September 10, 2012 1:12 PM
WASHINGTON - Thirteen defense executives are complaining that the threat of automatic, across-the-board cuts to military spending is creating uncertainty that's already affected their industry. Seven senators released copies of the executives' letters on Monday. The six Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman are trying to ratchet up the political pressure... more »
July 31, 2012 1:53 PM
WASHINGTON - The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends on Sept. 30. The announcements by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP House Speaker John Boehner are aimed... more »
July 17, 2012 4:54 PM
WASHINGTON - A new survey shows most Americans know they have a constitutional right to freedom of speech, and for a clear majority, that does not translate into allowing unlimited spending by corporations or labor unions on political campaigns. According to a poll from the First Amendment Center, Americans oppose... more »
June 29, 2012 3:53 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Congress has voted to set aside 80 percent of water pollution fines BP PLC is expected to pay for its 2010 oil spill and spend that money on ecosystem and economic restoration in five Gulf states. The House and Senate included the provision in a transportation bill... more »
May 1, 2012 9:45 AM
U. S. builders barely increased their spending on construction projects in March after two straight months of declines.
The Commerce Department said construction spending ticked up 0.1 percent following declines of 1.4 percent in February and 0.7 percent in January.
The small March gain left construction spending at... more »
April 17, 2012 7:11 AM
BATON ROUGE - Retail spending by businesses and consumers in East Baton Rouge Parish rose 8 percent in February, the strongest February in four years. That's according to figures from the city-parish Finance Department. Based on sales tax collection figures, February had $626.8 million in total spending compared to $579.2... more »
December 14, 2011 5:04 PM
BATON ROUGE - A recent consumer report says two out of three shoppers will end up in debt because of holiday spending. But experts say making a plan and sticking to it can keep you out of that statistic.
Certified financial planner, Chad Olivier, says shoppers need to set... more »
November 9, 2011 5:53 PM
BATON ROUGE - Metro Council members voted to investigate spending by the Mayor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in connection with an ongoing dispute over federal grant money in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Council members held a special meeting this afternoon to go through documents detailing how... more »
September 26, 2011 5:44 PM
WASHINGTON - The Senate is on track to pass a stopgap spending measure to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week.
The measure appears on track to pass the Senate Monday evening. The House would pass the measure later this week.
The measure drops a... more »
August 1, 2011 6:35 PM
WASHINGTON - The House has passed legislation designed to keep the government from defaulting on its debts. The measure also sets a course for reducing the federal deficit in the future.
The Senate, where support is stronger, is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday, the deadline for... more »
July 29, 2011 5:39 PM
WASHINGTON - Republicans have muscled legislation to extend the government's borrowing authority and cutting spending through the House over solid Democratic opposition.
The 218-210 vote sets up a confrontation with the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama, who say the GOP-written measure will die in the Senate. They say... more »
July 27, 2011 10:56 AM
WASHINGTON - House Republicans seem to be rallying behind Speaker John Boehner's plan for lifting the U.S. borrowing cap.
Several Republicans said they were warming to Boehner's plan for linking about $1 trillion in budget cuts as the price for raising the debt limit - even though they would... more »
July 16, 2011 3:00 PM
NEW ORLEANS- State spending on a replacement for Charity Hospital has topped $100 million, although construction has yet to begin.
The Times-Picayune reports that $46.3 million has been spent for land, $43 million for architectural-engineering consultants and $7 million for other consultants. The Office of Facility Planning and control... more »
June 13, 2011 2:22 AM
WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama will announce new steps to reduce government waste, arguing that inefficiency, fraud and abuse are especially troubling during tough economic times. Obama will sign an executive order Monday creating the Campaign to Cut Government Waste. The order calls for the formation of an oversight board that... more »
May 31, 2011 5:29 PM
BATON ROUGE- Some members of the Senate Finance Committee say it does not make sense to pull funding from an upgrade to the state's computer systems.
Nearly $100 million has been spent on upgrades to help state agencies operate more efficiently and work together. Now state information office technicians... more »
May 9, 2011 4:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has ordered a partial freeze on state spending for travel, supplies, contracts and other operating services in most state government agencies for the remaining two months of the fiscal year.
Jindal's executive order was issued Monday, to help free up some money in... more »
April 25, 2011 1:19 PM
BATON ROUGE - A state audit raises questions about more than $60,000 in expenses by a former director of the public school run by Southern University in Baton Rouge.
The Legislative audit says Derek Morgan made disbursements from a Southern University Laboratory School account totaling more than $60,000 that... more »
March 15, 2011 3:02 PM
WASHINGTON - The House has passed a measure blending $6 billion in budget cuts with enough money to keep the government running for an additional three weeks.
The measure buys additional time for talks between Capitol Hill Republicans and the Obama administration on a bill to fund the day-to-day... more »
March 14, 2011 2:32 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget would be costly to Louisiana's college students.
Tucked in the pages of the $24.9 billion spending plan are provisions for spending more than $98 million that Jindal hopes the state's colleges will get through tuition hikes on students. Separate legislation would need... more »
February 8, 2011 10:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - Citizens were put in charge of cutting waste in Baton Rouge a month ago and today there are more than a hundred leads in one councilman's office to do just that.
Chandler Loupe says he's had a great response, even from some people within city-parish government.... more »
February 2, 2011 11:34 AM
BATON ROUGE – Blockbuster movies based on vampires and a board game made up most of the money spent by film companies in Baton Rouge last year, according to Mayor-President Kip Holden’s office. An economic impact report released to the Baton Rouge Film Commission said film companies spent about $196... more »
January 25, 2011 5:37 PM
WASHINGTON - Declaring a new era of shared responsibility, President Barack Obama is imploring Republican and Democratic lawmakers to work with him to revitalize the economy, saying in his State of the Union address the enormity of the challenge is "bigger than party, and bigger than politics." In brief excerpts... more »
January 18, 2011 2:46 PM
WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is promising a vote next week backing up the GOP's promise to cut spending for most Cabinet agencies back to the levels in place before President Barack Obama took office. Such a vote would put all House members on record behind cutting $100... more »
December 1, 2010 1:10 PM
WASHINGTON- The U.S. economy seems to be improving. In many parts of the country, factories produced more and shoppers spent more money. The Federal Reserve reports 10 of the 12 "economic regions" showed growth- either slight or modest. Others reported a "somewhat stronger" pace. Only two regions - Philadelphia and... more »
November 27, 2010 1:44 PM
BATON ROUGE - Many Americans are determined not to let higher gas be the Grinch that spoils their holiday spending plans. Gas prices on average have risen about 17 cents since Labor Day to $2.86 per gallon because of rising oil prices. By one analyst's estimate, that means Americans are... more »
November 16, 2010 10:31 PM
Dozens of people from across Baton Rouge spent hours Tuesday evening weighing in on the city's proposed budget for libraries.
At the heart of the debate, a $19 million project to tear down and rebuild the downtown library.
TEA Party members, library-users and families from across the parish... more »
September 6, 2010 11:32 AM
Even if he can get the plan through Congress, at a time when lawmakers and voters are worried about federal deficits, the transportation spending plan envisioned by President Barack Obama wouldn't create jobs right away. Senior administration officials say the initial projects would lead to new jobs over the course... more »
June 21, 2010 8:39 AM
Coastal parishes are in line for $24.9 million to help them with oil spill response efforts. The spending plans were included in a budget bill that received final passage Sunday night and heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal. The dollars will come from the state's Oil Spill Contingency Fund. Lawmakers kept... more »
June 21, 2010 5:34 AM
BP says it has spent $2 billion responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and that sum will continue to rise. Last week, BP agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the disaster on the U.S. southern coast. BP says it has... more »
June 16, 2010 7:24 AM
Faced with a losing showdown vote Wednesday, Senate Democrats trying to extend unemployment benefits and help for doctors facing Medicare payment cuts are scaling back a catchall tax and spending bill. Anxiety over record budget deficits is fueling the moves, which include rolling back last year's $25 a week increase... more »
May 7, 2010 1:59 PM
Louisiana's legislative auditor, David Purpera, is going over accounting procedures with local government leaders in coastal parishes to make sure they're keeping track of their oil spill response spending.
This is being done so the bill can be sent to BP.
House Speaker Jim Tucker says he's confident... more »
February 1, 2010 8:45 AM
Personal income was up more than expected and consumer spending was higher for the third straight month, helping the economy slowly recover from the worst recession in decades.
The Commerce Department said Monday incomes rose by 0.4 percent in December, the sixth increase in a row.
That's slight... more »
December 23, 2009 9:23 AM
Personal income rose in November at the fastest pace in six months, while spending posted a second straight increase.
But economists caution that the gains remain too weak to sustain a strong economic recovery.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that personal income rose 0.4 percent in November, helped... more »
September 22, 2009 2:28 PM
The Louisiana Recovery Authority has backed plans to spend $112 million in recovery aid from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
The money will be used for first responder radios, business loans, fisheries equipment and local infrastructure. It comes from over $1 billion in federal grants to the state.
The... more »