politics

Flood Insurance
10:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Vitter Pushes to Extend Flood Insurance Program

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Sen. David Vitter is pushing for a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Louisiana Republican wants to stop extending the program with short-term extensions. The insurance program, which provides help for people who are flooded, hasn't been fully reauthorized since 2004. The program is slated to expire at the end of May unless it is extended.

A bill sponsored by Vitter to extend the flood insurance program through 2016 is awaiting a vote before the full Senate.

Louisiana Budget
10:49 am
Fri April 27, 2012

'Rainy Day' Fund Use Considered by Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers are weighing whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to fill a $211 million gap in this year's budget.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Thursday that the state could get $215 million from the fund, if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree. He says he's willing to look at using the money because he's worried that higher education and health care would face deep cuts otherwise that could damage services.

The state's forecasting panel downgraded income projections this week.

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Smoker Discrimination
10:29 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Senators Reject Bill Removing Smoker Protection

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to repeal a law that bans employers from discriminating against smokers has failed to win traction in the Legislature.

The repeal, sought by hospitals and health care leaders, was narrowly rejected in a 3-2 vote by the Senate labor committee amid concerns it could lead to widespread firings by employers.

More than 20 years ago, legislators passed a law protecting smokers from workplace discrimination.

Gay Adoption
9:19 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Lawmakers Reject Proposal to Allow Gay Adoption

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A proposal that would allow gay couples and other unmarried couples to adopt children together in Louisiana has been defeated by a House committee. The bill would have allowed adoptions by people who aren't related to a child by blood but live in the same home and establish a relationship with the child. 

Louisiana Legislature
10:42 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Regular Legislative Session Reaches Halfway Point

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Halfway through the regular legislative session, lawmakers are still having to deal with next year's $25 billion budget that faces a list of trouble. Those include falling income estimates, ties to uncertain retirement changes and disputes over how much one-time money should be plugged into the spending plan. The state's revenue forecasting panel on Tuesday is planning to tweak income estimates.

New Orleans City Council Election
6:00 am
Tue April 24, 2012

State Officials Reviewing New Orleans Council Race

The Secretary of State’s Office is checking results of the race for one of two at-large seats on the New Orleans City Council. Experts don’t expect the review will the change the result.

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The Listening Room
11:16 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Intelligence Squared Debate Series

Does the internet poison politics? It's been argued that the rise of 'personalization,' the use of algorithms to filter what you see online, and easy access to the like-minded, have served to reinforce our pre-conceptions.

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Small Business
9:33 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Sen. Landrieu, Wendy Vitter to Co-Chair Conference

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Louisiana's Democratic U.S. senator, Mary Landrieu, will be an honorary co-chair of an upcoming small business conference in Baton Rouge, along with Wendy Vitter, wife of Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The two-day event, set for May 3-4, in Baton Rouge will be the Louisiana Women's Leaders Conference on Small Business Entrepreneurship. It's sponsored by the Louisiana Center for Women and Government, headquartered at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

Sentencing
10:44 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Former Rep. Jefferson to Serve Sentence in 2 Weeks

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former Louisiana congressman will have to begin serving a 13-year prison sentence for taking bribes and other crimes within two weeks.

Democrat William Jefferson was convicted in 2009 but has been free on bond while appealing his case. The case drew headlines when FBI agents found $90,000 cash hidden in Jefferson's freezer.

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Hurricane Recovery Spending
10:09 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Recovery Money Redirected to Superdome Upgrades

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Jindal administration has gotten permission to redirect federal hurricane recovery money from housing aid programs to Superdome upgrades. Federal approval was discussed Thursday in the Senate Finance Committee. 

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