state legislature

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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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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Latest News
4:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

More Movie Theaters May Soon Be Allowed To Serve Alcohol

Movie theaters may soon be allowed to obtain liquor licenses.
queenkv Flickr

Legislation legalizing the sale of alcohol at more movie theaters won final passage Friday in the Louisiana legislature, the Times-Picayune reports.

Senate Bill 654 narrowly passed the House. It would allow movie theaters to obtain liquor licenses as long as the alcohol sales are separate from other concessions being sold.

It now heads to Governor Jindal for a signature to become law.

Five Louisiana movie theaters received their liquor permits prior to 1994, and already sell alcohol.

Latest News
4:15 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Bill To Void Levee Board Lawsuit Heads To Jindal

The lawsuit filed by a New Orleans levee board alleges the oil and gas companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.
pluralzed Flickr

The oil and gas industry won a significant victory in the Louisiana Legislature Friday with Senate passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.

The lawsuit alleges the companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.

Senators voted 25-11 for the measure that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit. The vote sent the bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is likely to sign it.

WRKF
1:38 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Insight: When Dust Settles on Legislative Session, Will Jindal's Legacy Be Intact?

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 3:24 pm

State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion. 


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WRKF
3:02 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Tax Amnesty Grab: Unicorns and Fairy Dust

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 1:36 am

Senators saw a pile of unallocated potential money as part of a House bill to extend the tax amnesty program, and they jumped at it.

“Let’s do something we can go home and say, ‘Yes! We did something for economic development’,” Delhi Senator Francis Thompson urged.

“My amendment will give 25-million dollars to the Board of Regents, to higher education,” New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson offered.

“Let’s put it where we got a 12-billion dollar backlog. Put everything we got into those roads,” Benton Senator Robert Adley pushed for infrastructure funding.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Taking a Closer Look at State Contracts

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Louisiana has billions of taxpayer dollars tied up in thousands of contracts—for goods and services, consulting, privatization and more. Lawmakers, frustrated by the continuing battles to balance the state budget, are pushing to take a closer look at those contracts.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Drivers’ Licenses: Costing More, but Lasting Longer

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:20 pm

It looks like the cost of a driver’s license is going up—but so is the length of time between renewals.

“The fee will be more, but it’s a six year fee, so over time it’ll be the same,” explains Franklin Foil.

The Baton Rouge representative authored the measure increasing both the cost and expiration dates for all Louisiana drivers’ licenses. A basic license, which now costs $21.50 and is good for four years, will be going up to $32.50, and will be valid for six years.

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WRKF
5:40 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Insight: Ideas to Balance State Budget in Short Supply

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:22 am

With just 10 days left in the legislative session, we’re down to the nitty gritty: lawmakers are trying to figure out how to sew up the state budget. And earlier this week, the Revenue Estimating Committee rebuffed the Jindal administration’s wish to include $54 million in revenue that could come with changes to how the state Dept. of Revenue does its tax collecting, according to a group of consultants on the hunt for savings in the state budget.


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WRKF
3:02 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Communism and Crawfishing on Common Core

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 9:17 am

“I’m not a communist.”

But Senator Conrad Appel isn’t a happy camper, either. He took to the floor of the Senate Thursday to deliver a tirade directed toward Governor Bobby Jindal.

“You can call me a communist. You can call me a socialist fascist—that’s a good one,” Appel declared forcefully. “Anything you want to call me? Do it!”

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