politics

Budget Cuts
12:43 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Jindal hoping for more revenue to fill budget gap

Even with $523 million in announced health care cuts, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has slashed only two-thirds of the spending needed to close the entire gap in Louisiana's Medicaid budget.

The administration is banking on better-than-expected revenue projections to close the remaining budget hole.

If that doesn't pan out in the next few months, more reductions are on the horizon. And even if the funding does show up, there could be legal hurdles to accessing the cash to fill the Medicaid budget.

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School Vouchers
12:26 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Voucher lawsuit set for Oct. 15 hearing date

An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program.

Judge Tim Kelley chose the hearing date Tuesday in a meeting with lawyers for both sides in the case.

Attorneys for two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.

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School Vouchers
12:21 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

PAR: Hold legislative hearing on voucher standards

A nonpartisan government watchdog group is asking Superintendent of Education John White to seek legislative guidance as he designs the accountability standards required of schools participating in Louisiana's new voucher program.

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana sent a letter Tuesday to White, urging him to present his draft accountability policies to the House and Senate education committees for the program that will use tax dollars to send students to private schools.

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Office of Motor Vehicles
12:19 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Motor vehicles commissioner resigning in August

Louisiana's motor vehicles commissioner, Nick Gautreaux, is leaving the job in August.

Gautreaux told The Advocate that he is planning a career in corporate development and governmental work, a move that will keep him closer to home and his five children in Youngsville.

A former state senator, Gautreaux took the position as commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles in December 2010. His last day will be Aug. 5, according to a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, which oversees the office.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Jindal budget office refuses to provide records

Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget office won't provide most of its records tied to the state's alternative fuel vehicle tax credit program and a controversial ruling about qualifying vehicles that was rescinded by the governor.

A lawyer for the Division of Administration said records requested by The Associated Press are shielded by a public records exemption. Only one e-mail was provided. Other records were kept hidden, citing an exemption given to the governor for items involving his "deliberative process."

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Election 2012
10:42 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Candidate Wants To Green Up The White House

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein delivers remarks during a press conference on July 11 in Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:51 am

President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are dominating the airwaves, but they aren't the only people running for president. Dr. Jill Stein is running as the Green Party nominee. She started her career as a medical doctor and is now campaigning on issues like the economy, education and health care. Host Michel Martin speaks with Stein about her "Green New Deal" and why she says choosing a third party is anything but a wasted vote.

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It's All Politics
10:23 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Romney's 'Crony Capitalism' Charge May Ring True For Leaders Of Both Parties

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 1:25 pm

Crony capitalism is a term very much in vogue because of Mitt Romney's accusations that President Obama has engaged in the practice, allegedly rewarding the business interests of political supporters with federal taxpayer dollars.

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Election 2012
11:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Study: Many Could Face Obstacles In Voter ID Laws

A voter casts a ballot during the Republican primary election April 24 in Philadelphia.
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:57 am

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that more than 10 million potential voters in states that require photo ID at the polls live more than 10 miles from offices that issue such ID. Nearly 500,000 of these voters don't have access to a car or other vehicle.

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Louisiana Credit Rating
2:56 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Moody's takes note of Louisiana Medicaid cut

Moody's Investors Service says Louisiana's loss of as much as $859 million in Medicaid financing is a "credit negative" for the state.

The notation from the bond-rating agency does not yet affect the state government bond rating — currently high investment grade and stable — but denotes for investors a significant change in the state's balance sheet.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/Q4abRS) the cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney Repeats No-New-Tax-Releases Stance, Defends Offshore Accounts

Mitt Romney leaves a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued Tuesday to push back on calls to release more years of tax returns and defended keeping investments in offshore accounts — both issues that have been dogging his run for the White House.

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