politics

Louisiana keeps pounding its fists against what Thomas Jefferson called the “wall of separation of church and state”. For example, Louisiana is not complying with the marriage decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Marriage, as an institution between a man and a woman, was established by God. It cannot be altered by an earthly court,” Governor Bobby Jindal told the press, during a campaign stop in Iowa Friday.

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This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

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Both the House and Senate worked over the weekend. Yet even Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield – the governor’s point man on tax increases and tax offsets -- notes the two chambers do not appear to be working together.

“There’s a lot of people posturing and a lot of politics right now,” Barfield observes, “So I don’t know what will happen in the end.”

The rift centers on the SAVE plan, creating a college fee that students won’t pay, offset by tax credits paid to higher education. After House Ways and Means killed the bill last week, its author, Senate Finance chair Jack Donahue, resurrected it. He did so by amending the language from his SB 284 onto three other tax bills, each authored by House Ways and Means chairman Joel Robideaux.

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24 years after the legislature authorized the prescribing of medical marijuana, the House has approved the Senate’s bill to set up a system for filling those prescriptions.

“So that it can finally be dispensed in a safe, secure, and responsible manner,” explained New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno, who was handling SB 143 on the House floor for Sen. Fred Mills.

As one might expect, there were objections and counter-arguments. Bossier City Rep. Mike Johnson worried about the state’s image, if the bill passed.

As many as twenty-two states have budget shortfalls for the next fiscal year. Louisiana is dealing with one of the biggest $1.6 billion.

As lawmakers wrestle with the problem, they essentially have two choices: cut spending or raise taxes.

But, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ambitions for higher office are complicating the debate.

 


The bill that was supposed to save the budget from Governor Bobby Jindal’s veto pen sank in House committee Wednesday.

Jack Donahue’s SB 284, known as the SAVE bill, would have created a fee on college students. Students wouldn’t actually pay it; instead, just by registering for classes, they would assign the tax credit for that “fee” over to higher education’s Board of Regents.

“This, to me, just seems like it’s a gimmick,” Gonzales Rep. Eddie Lambert said of the scheme. “Why are we doing this?”

In what’s become a sad tradition, the folks in yellow shirts came to the capitol again Saturday. It was their last chance this session to beg for more funding for the help they need caring for disabled family members at home.

The litany of their waiting and hoping for help was heartbreaking.

“Kiera has already been on the waiting list for waiver services for 6 years now.”

“Marcus has been on the waiting list since 2001.”

“If we have to continue to wait for waiver services, Riley may not be here to receive them.”

“Our children are disabled. Waiver slots need to be filled and the wait list needs to stop.”

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