Baton Rouge

Business & Technology
5:59 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Tech center setting up shop in Baton Rouge

Ameritas Technologies says it will open an information technology center in Baton Rouge creating 300 jobs.

The startup company's CEO, Brian Keene, said Tuesday that Ameritas will receive a state economic development grant of $125,000 per year over a 10-year period to offset leasing costs at the Chase Tower in the downtown area.

Gov. Bobby Jindal says Ameritas will start hiring in September and open by October. He says the company expects to reach the 300 mark on staffing by 2016.

Libraries
11:07 am
Sun July 15, 2012

$46M budget proposed for Baton Rouge library

The proposed $46 million 2013 budget for the East Baton Rouge Parish library system includes money for 12 new employees, a tracking system for books and a new building.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/NlnMjX) the proposal was given to the Library Board of Control earlier this week.

The expenditures are about $12 million more than what is budgeted in 2012. Several are one-time expenses to upgrade facilities and technology, library officials said.

Education
12:04 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Southern has new strategy to bring in students

BATON ROUGE — Southern University will compete for a share of Baton Rouge's community college market this fall as part of a strategy to boost sagging enrollment.

The student numbers have dipped during the past several years with the introduction of tougher state admissions standards.

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Southern University Cutbacks
9:54 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Leaner Southern University After Financial Emergency

BATON ROUGE — Southern University administrators tell The Advocate the university is now in better shape to concentrate resources on successful programs such as engineering and nursing, and better equipped to guide students toward graduation. The university is emerging from an eight-month financial emergency period with fewer students, degree choices and faculty. 

Former Revenue Secretary
10:08 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Jindal's Former Revenue Secretary Headed to California

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal's former revenue secretary, who resigned after a dispute over a tax break interpretation, has a new job in California. Cynthia Bridges has been named executive director of the California State Board of Equalization, an elected body that administers sales and use taxes in that state. 

Vehicle Tax Break
10:21 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Vehicle Tax Break Expansion Could Cost State $1M

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will pay as much as $1 million to cover the costs of a tax credit expansion that has been rescinded by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The revenue department issued a little-noticed rule in April governing the state's alternative fuel tax credit, which expanded the list of qualifying vehicles.

Indigent Defense
10:18 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Lawmakers Increase Funding for Indigent Defense

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An increasingly dire financial situation for public defense around Louisiana has prompted state lawmakers to funnel more cash toward indigent defense. The most proactive bill will increase criminal court fees by $10 in most district courts to help shoulder the costs of indigent defense.

DWI Laws
10:41 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Louisiana Lawmakers Crack Down on Drunken Drivers

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers seeking to curtail drunken driving backed a string of proposals that toughen penalties, give law enforcement officers more methods to test for driver impairment and crack down on repeat offenders.

Six bills addressing intoxicated drivers have been signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Drunken car accidents are especially predominant in Louisiana. According to data from Louisiana State University, almost 300 people died in alcohol-related crashes last year.

Video Poker
9:43 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Gov. Jindal Vetoes Bills to Change Video Poker Law

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed a package of bills that would have tweaked the state's video poker laws. The conservative Louisiana Family Forum asked him to scrap the bills, which were designed to deregulate gambling operations in the state. 

Louisiana Legislature
10:07 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Louisiana Lawmakers Wrap Up Work on $25.6B Budget

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House has agreed to a $25.6 billion budget for next year that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in spending above the figure sought by a group of conservative Republicans.

Lawmakers voted 62-40 Sunday for the Senate version of the spending plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The vote gave final passage to the measure, sending it to GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal. He supports the larger budget, rather than the deeper cuts sought by the conservative bloc.

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