Baton Rouge

Louisiana Budget
9:24 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Colleges, Health Care Face Cuts in House Budget

 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the $25 billion budget proposal passed by the House could force steep cuts in public colleges and health care, damaging services.

Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater outlined his concerns Monday to the Senate Finance Committee.

GOP lawmakers in the House forced reductions of $268 million more than the Republican Jindal administration and Democrats want, saying they didn't want to use one-time dollars to pay for ongoing expenses.

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Hornets-Tax Break
9:15 am
Tue May 15, 2012

$37M, 10-Year Tax Break for Hornets Approved

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Hornets will continue receiving a tax break that saves the NBA team $37 million over 10 years.

The Senate sent the tax break bill to the governor's desk Monday with a 28-7 vote. The measure is part of the state's deal to the keep the Hornets in Louisiana.

The tax break ran into sharp criticism in the House, where lawmakers bristled at the idea of giving a multimillion dollar tax break while also weighing budget cuts to colleges and health services.

Louisiana Budget
11:57 am
Fri May 11, 2012

House Returns Friday To Try Again On $25B Budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House is set to try again on Friday to reach a compromise over next year's budget, a day after deadlocking on the $25 billion in spending plans. Conservative Republicans and the Jindal administration are at odds over whether to use $270 million in one-time cash — or to make deeper cuts to state agencies. 

Welfare-Drug Testing
9:30 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Advances to La. House

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A House health care committee has moved ahead with a proposal that would mandate drug testing of welfare recipients, despite objections from Catholic leaders who said the bill raises moral issues by vilifying poor mothers. Supporters say they want to make sure welfare checks pay for family needs, not drugs. 

Debit Card Refunds
9:24 am
Wed May 9, 2012

House: Debit Card Tax Refunds Should Be Optional

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — House lawmakers have decided Louisiana taxpayers shouldn't be required to get their tax refunds on debit cards if they don't use direct deposit.

The House unanimously agreed Tuesday to a proposal by Jonesboro Rep. Jim Fannin that would allow people to continue to get a paper check if they don't want the debit card.

Louisiana's revenue department has replaced refund checks with pre-paid Chase Visa cards for taxpayers who don't get their refunds through direct deposit, as a way to save money.

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Retirement
9:44 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Jindal Retirement Bill Hits Trouble in the House

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has upended Gov. Bobby Jindal's push to create a new retirement plan for rank-and-file workers. Lawmakers narrowly backed a requirement that any new employees put into the revamped retirement plan also be enrolled into the federal Social Security program. 

Louisiana Budget
9:36 am
Wed May 2, 2012

House Committee Crafts $25B Budget for Next Year

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The House budget-writing committee has patched together a $25 billion budget for next year that would cut public colleges and health care services, force state worker layoffs and continue privatization efforts in state agencies. Conservative lawmakers say the cuts included in the 2012-13 spending plans don't go far enough. 

Jindal-Corps Request
9:33 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Jindal Asks Corps to Increase Flow Into Basin

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is asking the Army Corps of Engineers to increase the flow of water through the Old River Control Structure into the Atchafalaya Basin. Jindal says abnormally low water levels in the basin have spawned complaints about their effects on water quality and the wild crawfish harvest. 

Louisiana Budget
9:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

House Committee to Unveil Plan for $211M Deficit

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The House budget-writing committee is unveiling its plans Tuesday for filling a $211 million deficit this year, after working behind the scenes with the governor's office on ideas for plugging the gap.

The Appropriations Committee also is expected to rework next year's $25 billion budget proposal to account for a more than $300 million drop in projected state revenue in the new year that begins July 1.

Hornets-Tax Break
9:49 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Tax Break for the Hornets Fails in La. House

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has narrowly refused to extend an existing tax break given to the New Orleans Hornets that saves the team $3.7 million a year.

The extension proposed by Metairie Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, fell four votes short of passage in a 49-46 vote Wednesday.

The NBA team gets a tax break through the state Quality Jobs Program. Henry proposed continuing that for the length of the Hornets' new lease with the state, which is set to go through 2024.

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