politics

Latest News
5:13 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Federal Water Projects Bill Funds Levees And Flood Gates

The Morganza flood control structure, part of the "Morganza to the Gulf" project funded by the Water Resources Development Act.
Tobin Wikimedia

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to levees and flood control gates in Louisiana.

Obama singled out two of the bill's main negotiators for praise — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The new law will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years. Its price tag is half the amount of the last water projects bill seven years ago.

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Latest News
4:18 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Hefty Fines Could Hit Drivers Without Insurance

Louisiana drivers who don't maintain insurance face a steep increase in fees.
Jaycarlcooper Wikimedia

In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers passed a $53 million fee hike on drivers who don't maintain car insurance as required by law.

Most of the money is slated largely to go to state police to boost trooper salaries. Other beneficiaries include local sheriffs and district attorneys.

The measure by Rep. Barry Ivey raises fees for the reinstatement of driving privileges if a driver has been caught without insurance.

Latest News
7:53 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Legal Scholars Warn Levee Lawsuit Could Affect BP Spill Claims

Soiled coastline after the BP oil spill.
Credit Jason Saul / WWNO

Opponents of a bill that would derail a levee board's lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies say experts are finding the legislation threatens claims against BP.

Seventy legal scholars say the bill threatens state and local litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill.

The levee board’s lawsuit says oil drilling and production has damaged the wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes. It demands the companies repair that damage.

Governor Bobby Jindal opposes the lawsuit, and wants to sign a bill that would make it invalid.

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WRKF
5:53 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Insight: Inside the Cost-Saving Report

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:56 pm

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, just a few hours before the final gavel came down on the legislative session, the Jindal administration unleashed a 400-plus page report from their consultants who had been asked to find recommendations for saving the state money.

Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, has been combing through the report.


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Latest News
7:46 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Common Core Debate Heads to Governor Jindal

Credit frwl / Wikimedia

With lawmakers refusing to scrap the Common Core, the fight over Louisiana's use of the education standards is shifting to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Opponents of the standards are pressuring Jindal to take some sort of executive action to remove the state from the Common Core and its standardized testing.

The Republican governor, a one-time supporter of the standards now turned critic, has said he's studying his legal options, but whether he can or will do anything remains unclear.

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Latest News
4:57 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Senate Committee May Green-Light Two Louisiana VA Medical Clinics

A bill making its way through the US Senate could green-light two VA medical clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles, LA.
Billy Hathorn Wikimedia

Louisiana will get another crack at green-lighting two long-delayed Veterans Affairs medical clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles, the Advocate is reporting.

A bill by Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders will get a hearing in the US Senate on Thursday. The bill would authorize the VA to lease space for 27 clinics nationwide, including the two in Louisiana.

WRKF
10:21 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Game Over: 2014 Louisiana Legislative Session Adjourns

Bill signing on final day of 2014 session. From left to right: House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, Senator Robert Adley, Rep. Neil Abramson, Governor Bobby Jindal

“We have told the Governor we give up. We’re ready to go home,” Senator Robert Adley announced, prompting laughter from his fellow lawmakers, as Senate President John Alario responded, “Very good.”

2014 can be viewed as a session of hits and misses. Governor Jindal told the press he believes he scored a hit with his budget, which includes pay raises for state workers, as well as a bit more money for higher education.

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Latest News
7:19 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Jindal Delays Signing Bill Blocking Big Oil Lawsuit

Governor Bobby Jindal.
Credit Anne Power / Shutterstock.com

Governor Bobby Jindal has not yet signed legislation he supports that blocks a lawsuit filed against the oil and gas industry.

He’s waiting for a review by the state Attorney General, who wanted some time to review the bill.

At issue is whether it could affect lawsuits filed over the BP oil spill four years ago.

The bill blocks a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The board wanted to force the industry to repair wetlands damaged by production.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Conference Committees: Resolving the Last Differences

Lawmakers aren't chatting about their post-session plans here. They're working out compromises on bills.

Conference committees are where all the action is now, at the end of the session. But just what is a “conference committee”?

“There are bills that, you know, the House and Senate will disagree on and in many cases you can’t get it worked out,” Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson explains, “So a conference committee is selected to try and resolve that.”

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Le Show
12:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Le Show For June 1, 2014

Harry Shearer

This week on Le Show, Harry Shearer Reads the Trades for you, has an exclusive tape of Blair and Bush, brings News of the Atom, News of the Warm, News from Outside the Bubble, the Apologies of the Week, and more!

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