state legislature

WRKF
3:02 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Rally for Payday Lending Reform

Sen. Ben Nevers speaks at payday loan reform rally

Penny Fisher says she got caught in the payday loan trap.

“I borrowed $300 back in ’95, and ended up paying $4,983.30 back.”

Thelma Fleming had two jobs, and lost one. She went to a payday lender to borrow money to pay her bills.

“And I borrowed $300. That really changed my life because I lost my car. My checking account was closed.”

State Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa says enough is enough.

Read more
WRKF
3:02 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Tourism Giveth, Yet the Budget Taketh Away

The Senate Finance Committee got an outline of the proposed state budget Monday, and Houma Senator Norby Chaubert was curious about something.

“I notice that the majority of the statewide offices saw an increase in funding,” Chaubert said. “But I did not see the Lieutenant Governor’s budget getting any bump.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s office, which oversees the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, is indeed struggling to make ends meet.

Read more
Latest News
5:47 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

No Ban On Cellphones For Louisiana Drivers

A proposal to prevent drivers from using handheld cellphones stalled in the House.
Ed Brown

Louisiana drivers will not face new restrictions on using handheld cellphones while driving. An effort to require drivers to use hands-free devices stalled Monday in the House Transportation Committee.

Republican Rep. Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge voluntarily shelved his proposal after criticism that the cellphone ban was too broad.

Louisiana has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Reducing the risk of accidents by limiting cellphone use while driving could help to lower those costs.

WRKF
3:03 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Student Data: Private Property or Shared Resource?

Louisiana parents gave the House and Senate education committees an earful last week.

“There seems to be no effective safeguard in law to protect our children’s information from the whim and will of BESE and LDE,” said Sara Wood of Mandeville.

She was talking about data privacy. Seven bills have been filed this session, each trying to prohibit how much individual information about Louisiana students is shared—and with whom.

Read more
Latest News
3:35 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Orleans Property Tax Increase Passes House Committee

Homeowners in New Orleans may soon face an increase in property taxes to shore up police and fire services.
Bart Eversen Flickr

Police and fire protection in New Orleans may soon get a boost from a proposed property tax increase.

A constitutional amendment to raise ad valorem taxes in Orleans Parish passed through a state House committee without objection today. For the city, the increase would bring in an additional revenue of nearly $6 million in 2015 to beef up police and fire services.

For homeowners, the increases would amount to an extra $30 per year in taxes on a $200,000 house.

WRKF
3:03 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Abortion Restrictions Advance in the House

Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), center, and Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills, right.

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:38 pm

A bill that would impose tighter restrictions on abortion providers is headed to the House floor. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson is the author of the measure, HB 388, which requires any doctor who performs more than five abortions annually to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of his or her practice. That rule is not just for those who perform surgical abortions, either. It’s required for doctors prescribing the so-called “abortion pill”, also known as RU-486.

Read more
WRKF
3:02 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Repealing Unconstitutional Law

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:45 pm

It might seem obvious…when the U.S. Supreme Court rules a state law “unconstitutional”, then the state repeals that law. Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor has been trying to get one of those old laws off the books for several years now, but prior attempts never made it past the first hurdle—the Senate Education Committee. This time his repeal bill, SB 70, has made it to the Senate floor, and it’s eligible for debate there as early as today.

Read more
Politics
10:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Notes From The State Legislature's Regular Session

Lawmakers are considering whether the state should start paying Emergency Medical Service workers the same monthly supplement that local law enforcement officers and firefighters receive.

A Senate judiciary panel agreed without objection Tuesday to a constitutional amendment that would add full-time EMS workers to the list to receive a $500 monthly paycheck from the state on top of their local salaries.

The proposal would cost at least $3.7 million a year and likely more, depending on how many EMS workers qualified, according to legislative fiscal analysts.

Read more
WRKF
3:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Getting That Settlement Paid Could Take an Act of the Legislature

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:44 am

Each session, lawmakers file appropriations bills, trying to get the state to pay what courts have ruled is owed to plaintiffs.

This session, one of the 26 “Appropriations/Judgment” bills is authored by Crowley Representative Jack Montoucet, on behalf of the Louisiana Probation and Parole Officers Association. The amount due that group is $3,722,315.00.

Read more
WRKF
3:03 am
Wed March 12, 2014

There Will Be a Test

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:49 am

On the first real business day of the new session Tuesday, the House Appropriations jumped right in with heavy lifting, as they began combing through the governor’s 329-page budget proposal. Lawmakers didn’t hesitate to ask for detailed explanations about the line items.

Read more

Pages