state legislature

Politics
7:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Mayor Landrieu Pushing 3 Bills in State Legislature

Mayor Landrieu says firefighters pensions must be changed.

The Louisiana legislature is starting a two-month session today in Baton Rouge. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has three proposals for changes he says the city needs.

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WRKF
6:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Appropriations Committee Frowns on BESE Transparency

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:07 pm

The House Appropriations Committee is questioning the number and necessity of contracts that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains with private entities.

At a committee meeting Tuesday Chairman Jim Fannin told BESE President Chas Roemer that contracts should be reviewed more often, so that the board can ensure the funds are being spent wisely.
 
BESE cut costs last year by reducing the number of meetings from ten to seven a year, which gave them less time to review contracts.
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WRKF
9:36 am
Tue April 2, 2013

State Rep. Robideaux Covers Tax, Budget Reform

The lawmaker sponsoring Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax reform package is saying the administration has learned from his mistakes last session. 

After the blow back from the abbreviated debate on education reform in 2012, Representative Joel Robideaux said discussions on the Governor's initiatives got underway sooner this year. “Some may say that wasn’t a good way to go," Robideaux told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, "because we’ve taken two months of opposition, but from a legislative standpoint, I think it’s great because we’ve had two months of debate we wouldn’t have otherwise been afforded.”

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WRKF
5:25 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Details on Family Rebate Program, Economic Incentive Changes Released

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 6:01 pm

Under the Governor's proposed tax reforms low-income filers will be eligible for a rebate and some business incentive programs will see changes. The state House Ways and Means Committee met again Tuesday to discuss details on these elements of the proposal. 

The Governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax and the corporate income and franchise taxes. Under the proposal, the sales tax will grow to make up that revenue.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Lawmakers Question If DHH's New Budget Saves

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:02 pm

Officials from the Department of Health and Hospitals were grilled Tuesday morning by the Appropriations Committee on how they plan to save money in the next fiscal year.

Among other cost-saving measures, the department’s $8.9 billion proposed budget calls for turning over a number of existing Medicaid services to private entities, and investing more in the Bayou Health reforms. Savings also hinge on the privatization of the LSU charity hospitals, although no official agreements have been made yet.

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Politics
1:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

House Appropriations Committee Seeks State Employee Input

After hearing from department heads and state higher-ups, State Rep. John Schroder wants to hear from state employees on how to get Louisiana’s fiscal house in order.

The House Appropriations Committee has been methodically sifting through Gov. Jindal’s 2013-2014 budget since March 12th and will continue doing so in the weeks to come. As the committee continues going down the department checklist, Schroder now wants the involvement and input from actual state employees.

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Politics
3:23 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Lawmaker Wants Term Limits for Statewide Officials

An Iberia Parish lawmaker again is seeking to put term limits on all statewide elected officials, after voters overwhelmingly supported such limits for school boards.

Republican Rep. Simone Champagne has filed the proposal to limit statewide elected officials to three consecutive four-year terms. Lawmakers will consider the measure in the legislative session that begins in April.

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Politics
10:07 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Jindal Agrees to Tax Plan Due Date

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

 Governor Jindal’s administration has agreed to finish and release its proposal to overhaul the state’s tax system by the end of next week. In a reversal of the usual power-dynamic, Jindal is now yielding to pressure from legislators.

Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, who was hand-picked by the governor sent Jindal an open letter yesterday evening pressing for the release of details of his tax overhaul. He asked that the plan be released to legislators by March 15 so that committees could properly debate it before session starts.

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Politics
9:48 am
Wed March 6, 2013

State Tax Break Study Panel Releases Recommendations

Lawmakers who spent months reviewing Louisiana's lengthy list of tax breaks are recommending more regular oversight and study of the credits, exemptions and rebates.

In its final report released Tuesday, the Revenue Study Commission didn't recommend getting rid of any specific tax breaks.

Instead, the 14-member panel provided two lists for possible legislative action: one of underused or expired tax breaks and the second of tax breaks where questions were raised by a commission member about a program's value.

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Politics
5:44 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Cash Balance Plan Could Tiptoe Back to Lawmakers

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Representative Kevin Pearson, chairman of the House Retirement Committee, has prepared a bill that he hopes will improve the cash balance plan – despite that the plan is the subject of ongoing litigation. The plan was overturned in court because it didn’t get a two-thirds vote in the legislature. 

If the State Supreme Court does uphold the decision, the bill could be used as a safety-net, and the cash balance plan could be brought before the legislature a second time.


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