state legislature

  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.

The House Labor Committee heard and rejected several bills Thursday, aimed at setting a state minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

Not every bill a legislator files is to make new law. Sometimes a bill is needed to repeal an old law. Such was the case Tuesday in the House Criminal Justice committee.

“No matter what you might think about the language, it is unconstitutional,” said Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith, in reference to the state’s sodomy law, also known as “crime against nature”, and her bill to repeal it.

   “This is for personal protection,” Senator Bret Allain said of his bill to allow legislators to carry their guns in the state capitol. The Senate and Governmental Affairs committee considered the Franklin lawmakers’ bill on Tuesday.

 

   The House Appropriations Committee got a different look at the cost of six years’ worth of higher education cuts Monday, as the push is on for colleges and universities to better prepare students to fill new jobs coming to Louisiana.

  You live on a limited income, paycheck to paycheck. Now your next paycheck is in jeopardy, because your car won’t start. What to do?

There’s that payday lending store around the corner, so you go take out a loan and buy a new battery for your car. You give the lender a post-dated check for the amount of the loan, plus interest and fees. The lender cashes your check after you get paid. Done deal, right?

Not always, according to David Gray with the Louisiana Budget Project.

On Wednesday, Louisiana’s capitol building was full to the gills with people representing all sides of the debate over the Common Core state standards.
 
Associated Press Capitol Correspondent Melinda Deslatte helps explain all the hubbub.

 

 

  The House Criminal Justice committee took up the first of several bills that have been filed to change Louisiana’s marijuana laws on Thursday. New Orleans Representative Austin Badon is the author of a measure to reduce penalties for second-offense and subsequent convictions for marijuana possession. His bill would also prevent simple possession from being counted toward “three strikes” and life imprisonment.

Stuart Seeger / Flickr

The House supported a rewrite of Louisiana's career-track diploma law, to match a new policy of the state education board that will require public high school students who aren't college-bound to get job skills certifications to get a diploma.

The bill (House Bill 944) by Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, was sent to the Senate with a 94-0 vote Thursday.

The redesign, pushed by Superintendent of Education John White, emphasizes skills training for students who don't intend to go to a four-year university. Fannin said he hoped to keep more students in school with the changes.

Matthew Benoit / Shutterstock

 

A New Orleans lawmaker's proposal to soften penalties for marijuana possession has been at least temporarily derailed by opposition from Louisiana sheriffs.

Rep. Austin Badon, a Democrat, pulled his bill from consideration Thursday in the House Criminal Justice Committee after testimony by the head of the Louisiana Sheriffs Association.

Association executive director Michael Ranatza said sheriffs fear the bill could lead to decriminalization of marijuana.

Badon says he was caught off-guard by Ranatza's testimony.

Pages