state legislature

Legislators Back to School Program
3:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Lawmakers start heading back to school this week

Louisiana lawmakers are heading into classrooms starting this week, as part of the national Legislators Back to School Program.

Started in 1999, the program encourages lawmakers to spend a day visiting classrooms to tell students what it's like to be an elected official. The program is an initiative of the National Conference of State Legislators.

The Times-Picayune reports that lawmakers will begin stopping by classrooms this week and continue to participate in the program throughout the year.

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Politics
3:20 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Louisiana has $130M left over from last year

The Legislature's chief economist says Louisiana closed the last fiscal year with a surplus of $180 million.

Greg Albrecht gave the news to the state income forecasting panel, the Revenue Estimating Conference, on Thursday.

Albrecht says the better-than-expected financial performance for the budget year that ended June 30 was largely tied to corporate tax collections, which were significantly higher than forecast.

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Louisiana Legislature
3:06 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Interim legislative fiscal officer chosen

Lawmakers have chosen a one-time legislative staffer to be the Louisiana Legislature's top budget adviser.

John Carpenter was named Wednesday to be interim legislative fiscal officer by a joint House and Senate budget committee, while legislative leaders seek applications from contenders to fill the position permanently.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

House fiscal conservatives set up PAC for efforts

A group of fiscal conservatives in the Louisiana House has set up a political action committee as part of continuing efforts to revamp the state's budget.

More than two dozen House members are involved with the group, calling itself the Budget Reform Campaign.

The effort, led by Lake Charles Rep. Brett Geymann, is designed to push for changes in the way Louisiana spends its money. Lawmakers in the group object to the use of patchwork, one-time funding to pay for ongoing programs and services and have criticized Gov. Bobby Jindal for the budgeting tactic.

Healthcare Cuts
8:58 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Lawmakers criticize few details in state health cuts

Louisiana lawmakers are bristling about getting few details and no ability to decide the $523 million in budget cuts Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has made to health care programs.

Several complained the governor's staff wasn't explaining the gravity of the slashing and the implications on the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics that care for the poor and uninsured.

The cuts are tied to a drop in Louisiana's federal Medicaid funding that was passed in congressional legislation after the state's 2012-13 budget was already crafted.

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DWI Tracking
4:00 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Idea of creating DWI tracking system revived

The idea of creating a statewide DWI tracking system is gaining steam again.

The Advocate reports that the 2004 death of an ambitious Louisiana project called the Integrated Criminal Justice Information System dashed hopes for a statewide DWI tracking system that was to be tied to it.

But interest in reviving that program may be growing.

The state Legislature recently requested that the mothballed Integrated Criminal Justice Information System policy board reconvene and report its progress to state lawmakers during the 2013 regular session.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

State study panel looking at cost, benefit of tax breaks

Repeated rounds of budget shortfalls have prompted lawmakers to take an in-depth look at the long list of tax breaks that siphon billions of dollars from Louisiana's treasury each year.

A 14-member study panel of legislative leaders Monday launches a six-month review of the $4.4 billion in tax exemptions, rebates and credits on the books.

For years, when state coffers were flush, tax break bills sailed through the Louisiana Legislature. But with the economy struggling, Republicans and Democratic state lawmakers are questioning if they've been too generous.

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Budget Cuts
4:51 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

State lawmakers hold hearing on health care cuts

Lawmakers want more details about $523 million in health care cuts made by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration. The reductions fall largely on the LSU-run public hospital system.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley called a Thursday meeting of the House budget and health care committees for presentations from LSU officials and from Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, who made the decisions on funding cuts.

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Legislative Fiscal Officer Retires
2:14 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Legislature's top budget adviser retiring in Aug.

The Louisiana Legislature's top financial adviser is retiring.

Legislative Fiscal Officer Gordon Monk has worked in state government for 33 years. His last day will be Aug. 8. Monk told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/NztEFS) a contentious legislative session convinced him it was time to go.

The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget plans to name a temporary replacement on Monday. Lawmakers will pick a permanent fiscal officer when they are next in session, likely not until 2013.

Politics
12:24 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Veto session canceled by Louisiana Senate

A July legislative session to consider overturning Gov. Bobby Jindal's vetoes has been canceled.

Louisiana state senators overwhelmingly decided against holding the July 14 veto session, with 31 of the 39 senators turning in paperwork to scrap the session.

The veto session was automatically set when Jindal rejected 21 bills from the regular legislative session and used his line-item veto on the budget. It takes a majority written vote of either the House or Senate to cancel the session.

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