BATON ROUGE — Looking to fill a deficit of more than $200 million in this year's budget, the Louisiana Senate has agreed to tap into the state's "rainy day" fund. Senators voted yesterday for the proposal by Sen. Jack Donahue, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. It would allow lawmakers to take nearly $205 million from the fund.
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to shorten voting hours on most election days, and Gov. Bobby Jindal must decide whether to accept the bill. Currently, poll hours run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The measure pushed by Secretary of State Tom Schedler will push back the opening to 7 a.m. on Saturday elections. The change will start in 2013.
BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a 10-year, $37 million tax break for the New Orleans Hornets, part of the state's deal to keep the NBA team in Louisiana.
Jindal announced the signing Tuesday, in a list of bills that he agreed to enact into law.
The bill by Jefferson Parish Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, extends an existing tax break that saves the Hornets $3.7 million a year through Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program. The rebate will be extended through the 2024 NBA season.
A deal has been reached to resolve nearly all of the remaining court claims from allegations that government-issued trailers exposed Gulf Coast residents to hazardous fumes after Hurricane Katrina.
Lead plaintiffs' attorney Gerald Meunier told The Associated Press on Monday that a class-action settlement agreement has been expanded to include several companies that manufactured, installed or refurbished FEMA trailers after the 2005 storm.
The body of a pilot whose helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico has been recovered. The Coast Guard says divers from the vessel Ocean Inspector found the pilot inside the aircraft's cockpit. The helicopter, owned by PHI Inc., crashed yesterday and was used to take people to oil rigs.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics says campaign contributions for Gov. Bobby Jindal and dozens of other candidates came from "straw man entities" linked to a landfill company.
The Times-Picayune reports that Jindal received $40,000 in 2007 from companies linked to River Birch Inc. The Board of Ethics alleges in a May 18 lawsuit that the donations violate a $5,000 cap from one company if all the money came from River Birch.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing another $9.2 million to help southeast Louisiana recover from Hurricane Katrina.
St. Bernard Parish is getting back $1.4 million spent to demolish and remove thousands of houses that couldn't be repaired after the 2005 storm.
The largest grants are $3.3 million to repair flood and wind damage at Brown Hall on the Southern University at New Orleans campus, and nearly $3 million for a crane rail extension at the Port of New Orleans.