politics

Construction Budget
9:23 am
Thu June 7, 2012

State Construction Budget Filled With Pet Projects

BATON ROUGE — With the state strapped for cash, Louisiana lawmakers have turned to the state's construction budget for their pet projects.

In coordination with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the House and Senate piled in millions of dollars for local parks, sewage and water projects, economic development initiatives and more — $120 million more than the state can afford to spend on construction projects.

New Orleans City Council
6:00 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Former State Senator Temporarily Fills New Orleans City Council Seat

City Council President Jackie Clarkson, left, joins Mayor Mitch Landrieu, right, in welcoming former State Senator Diana Bajoie as an interim member of the New Orleans City Council.
Tyler A. Gamble Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Former State Senator Diana Bajoie is the newest member of the New Orleans City Council. Mayor Mitch Landrieu appointed the longtime legislator to represent District B for the next six months.

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College Budget Cuts
9:56 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Louisiana Colleges Hit with New Rounds of Budget Cuts

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana's colleges are bracing for the newest rounds of budget cuts, with higher education hit with a $25 million cut in the final month of this fiscal year and another $66 million in slashing for the upcoming budget year.

The reductions are lower than lawmakers considered before they wrapped up their work. But they fall on top of years of reductions that campus leaders say are chasing away administration leaders, faculty and students.

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Oil Spill Fines
9:51 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Lawmakers Dedicate Oil Spill Fines to Louisiana Coast

BATON ROUGE — Fine and penalty money the state receives because of the Gulf Coast oil spill will be earmarked to Louisiana's coastal protection fund, under a bill that received final legislative passage.

The measure by Jeanerette Rep. Simone Champagne deals with money that could be received by the state for violations of federal pollution standards, a figure that could total billions of dollars. The coastal protection fund, where the money would be placed, is used for coastal restoration projects and hurricane protection efforts.

Video Poker
4:36 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Conservative group asks for video poker bill veto

The conservative Louisiana Family Forum is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto three bills that tweak the state's video poker laws.

In a letter sent to the governor, Family Forum leader Gene Mills says the changes would deregulate video poker.

One measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Danny Martiny, would remove the mandatory license revocation requirement for a video poker operator who has three or more violations for letting someone under 21 years old play video poker.

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Louisiana Legislature
9:35 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Louisiana Legislature Ends Regular Session

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have shut down their regular legislative session, ending three months of bitter disputes over budgets, education and retirement. Gov. Bobby Jindal won a big victory for his overhaul of the state education system despite divisions between the GOP governor and some House Republicans.

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.

Louisiana Rainy Day Fund
11:25 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Rainy Day Fund Legislation Advances in La. House

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House will take up a proposal to use $205 million from the state's "rainy day" fund to offset a deficit in this year's budget. The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to tap into the Budget Stabilization Fund. The move is overwhelmingly backed by the Senate. A bloc of conservative House Republicans voted against using the money. 

State Employee Retirement
9:43 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Lawmakers Back Revamp of Pension for New Workers

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers have agreed to create a new pension plan for future rank-and-file state workers. Their decision gives Gov. Bobby Jindal his first significant win in his bid to revamp state retirement. 

Louisiana Rainy Day Fund
9:28 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Senate Agrees To Use Louisiana's Rainy Day Fund

BATON ROUGE — Looking to fill a deficit of more than $200 million in this year's budget, the Louisiana Senate has agreed to tap into the state's "rainy day" fund. Senators voted yesterday for the proposal by Sen. Jack Donahue, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. It would allow lawmakers to take nearly $205 million from the fund. 

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