Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:34 pm
The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill establishing the WISE (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy) Fund on Monday. The proposal, authored by House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and now headed to the House floor, sets up a system to pay bonuses to colleges that turn out graduates prepared to fill the high-demand jobs soon coming to Louisiana. Colleges will also have to come up with a 20 percent match from private firms in order to be eligible for a portion of the $40 million fund.
Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 3:38 pm
Louisiana is known as a foodie paradise, but wine ice cream--one of the latest gourmet trends--can’t be sold here without a change in the current alcohol laws. Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter’s bill to allow sales of the new product was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Friday, and members were quick with the quips.
While state lawmakers will be considering moves toward decriminalizing marijuana later in this session, they’re heading the other direction when it comes to heroin. Law enforcement officials say that drug has become a lethal epidemic.
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.
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.