state legislature

Ludovic Bertron

An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity has been shelved for the legislative session.

Rep. Karen St. Germain, a Democrat from Pierre Part, told the House civil law committee today that she wouldn't push the bill because she doesn't have the votes for passage.

Before pulling the bill, the committee heard from supporters of the proposal who argued it would make people want to stay in Louisiana and with their employers. They say people shouldn't be fired for being gay.

The sponsor of a bill to make the Holy Bible the official book of Louisiana has withdrawn the measure ahead of a full vote in the state House of Representatives, saying the proposal has become a distraction.

As we reported last week, a mix of Republicans and Democrats had moved the largely symbolic bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Carmody of Shreveport, out of committee on an 8-5 vote.

  When legislators return from their four-day Easter recess this afternoon, the full House will take up a rather controversial bill—naming “the Holy Bible” as the official state book of Louisiana.

“The food is not very tasty, at all.”

“The food’s so disgusting.”

“The cafeteria food is nasty.”

These students from Ruston and Central high schools aren’t just bellyaching about their school lunches, they’re testifying before Louisiana’s Senate Agriculture Committee. They’re hoping to advance a resolution they initiated.

At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.

Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, has been following the developments.

 


  A bill that would take students attending “C” rated public schools out of eligibility for the voucher program failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.

“Either ‘C’ schools are failing schools, or they’re not,” stated Amite Representative John Bel Edwards, explaining the proposed program change as simple logic. “This program was premised upon giving choices to parents whose kids were trapped in failing schools. A ‘C’ school is not a failing school. It’s just that simple.”

The "Good Book" could become the official book of Louisiana if a bill sent to the state's Legislature passes in a vote that could come as early as this week.

  State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.

Kurykh / Wikimedia Commons

Louisiana driver's licenses could move in line with a federal identification law, under a proposal that won the backing of the House Transportation Committee.

The bill is designed to keep state residents from running into domestic flying difficulties by 2016, if licenses aren't deemed compliant with the REAL ID law.

Lawmakers enacted a prohibition against compliance with the federal law in 2008, because of concerns about privacy.

  As the sixth week of the twelve week session begins, the budget takes center stage on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our public comment days are April the 14th and April the 15th,” explains House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin. And he says they will work into the evening both days, to ensure everyone can be heard.

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