politics

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. 

Voting Hours
9:25 am
Wed May 30, 2012

La. Voting Hours To Get Shorter on Election Days

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to shorten voting hours on most election days, and Gov. Bobby Jindal must decide whether to accept the bill. Currently, poll hours run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The measure pushed by Secretary of State Tom Schedler will push back the opening to 7 a.m. on Saturday elections. The change will start in 2013. 

Hornets Tax Break
9:20 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Gov. Jindal Signs 10 Year Tax Break for Hornets

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a 10-year, $37 million tax break for the New Orleans Hornets, part of the state's deal to keep the NBA team in Louisiana.

Jindal announced the signing Tuesday, in a list of bills that he agreed to enact into law.

The bill by Jefferson Parish Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, extends an existing tax break that saves the Hornets $3.7 million a year through Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program. The rebate will be extended through the 2024 NBA season.

Louisiana Budget
9:32 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Senators Reverse Most of La. House Budget Cuts

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Senate's budget-writing committee refused to agree to deep cuts pushed by House Republicans for next year's $25 billion state operating budget.

Senators on the Finance Committee restored an estimated $350 million to next year's 2012-13 spending plans. 

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