Officials from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development say the only action they could take against two companies that received about $935,000 in ineligible state motion picture tax credits is to file a civil action lawsuit.
Legislative auditors say members of the state economic development agency improperly issued thousands of tax credits for expenditures made by two companies involved in making a documentary about the Mardi Gras season called "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth."
The state education department has received more than 10,000 applications for Louisiana's statewide voucher program set to start in August that will use taxpayer money to send students to private and parochial schools.
Superintendent of Education John White announced the applicant numbers Wednesday.
As many as 2,000 of the applicants are in an existing New Orleans voucher program. The others will be vying for slots available to new students under the statewide program pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
In what is becoming an annual ritual, Gov. Bobby Jindal has again issued a partial hiring freeze on executive branch agencies in state government.
The hiring freeze covers the 2012-13 fiscal year that began July 1.
For most agencies, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater will set a number of vacant positions that the offices can't fill. If they want to add new workers who will shrink the number of vacancies below that benchmark, the agencies will need Rainwater's permission.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision against expanding the state's Medicaid program under the federal health law, combined with a provision that shrinks uninsured care dollars, could leave Louisiana hospitals with far less money to care for those not on private insurance.
Hospital leaders say the situation could leave some LSU-run public hospitals and small rural hospitals teetering on the edge of closure and give them little way to recoup money they spend to care for uninsured patients.
Two former New Orleans police officers have asked a federal appeals court to throw out their convictions on charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a man whose burned body turned up in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also on Wednesday heard the Justice Department's appeal of a judge's decision to order a new trial for a third officer, Travis McCabe.
McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on Henry Glover's 2005 shooting.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas is defending a department policy that has led to more than 70,000 people having their names and personal information fed into an electronic database following traffic and pedestrian stops even if they weren't arrested.
Serpas tells The Times-Picayune that officers are "utilizing judgment in accordance with law and professional practice" in filling out "field interview cards" after stopping and questioning people.
But the newspaper reports that it's unclear how many names may have been improperly entered into the database.