state legislature

WRKF
5:06 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Budget Passed, Legislature Adjourns for the Session

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:59 am

In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers have passed a $25.4 billion budget compromise to finance the state for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The Senate approved the deal with a 38-1 vote. The House voted 104-0 Thursday and the deal has Gov. Bobby Jindal’s backing.

The budget includes a $69 million increase for local school districts and teachers sought by House Democrats. To address concerns of House Republicans, lawmakers cut down the use of one-time financing for recurring expenses. 

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WRKF
8:11 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Money-Generating Bills Hostage To Budget Reforms

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:53 am

The fate of next year’s budget rests in the hands of a few legislative leaders, picked by the chambers’ chairs to sort things out behind closed-doors.

This year is a little different than years past. 

First, the House changed some rules so that more voices could be at the table for the final negotiations. 

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WRKF
5:32 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Career Diploma Given Short Shrift

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 7:40 am

Louisiana’s Department of Education is hosting a series of regional meetings this month to talk about simplifying the state’s high school diploma options.

The department is looking to put more emphasis on career training, after lawmakers’, employers’, and teachers’ repeated complaints that the state is too focused on sending kids on to college, instead of preparing them for real-world jobs.


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WRKF
12:14 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Bill Seeking Reduced Marijuana Possession Sentences Advances In State Senate

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:31 pm

A bill aiming to reduce the sentences of marijuana possession in Louisiana advanced Tuesday in the Senate.

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WRKF
9:07 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Lawmakers Scurry To Keep Bills From Dropping Dead

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:02 am

Monday lawmakers and lobbyists hustled across the rotunda that connects the chambers to assemble the votes to keep their bills alive, lest they fall victim to “Drop Dead Day” at the Capitol.

Sound ominous? 

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WRKF
8:25 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Time Running Short For State Budget Passage

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:08 am

The Senate has given the House a tough decision.

Senators rewrote the representatives’ version of the budget, re-allocating arguably unstable funds that the House had painstakingly removed. But it may be hard for representatives to vote against the budget. 

That’s because it sets aside $50 million for a one-time salary bonus for public school teachers.  

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WRKF
5:32 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate Shoots Down Fiscal Hawks' Bills

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 5:52 pm

After yesterday’s committee approval, Senators will consider whether to try a new way to write the budget, which will more clearly designate what the legislature has the power to allocate.

They’ll also consider whether to try limiting the use of money that doesn’t come from taxes on expenses that occur annually.

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WRKF
5:53 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Senators Reject Delay of Teacher Evaluation, School Grading Changes

Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.

The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.

Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.

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WRKF
5:32 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Senate Committee Ditches House Plan For State Budget

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:56 am

The Senate Wednesday dashed the House’s hopes of eliminating from the state budget what some lawmakers consider to be unstable funding.

The fiscal hawks in the legislature would, for example, frown on paying utilities with proceeds from a garage sale.

So the House spent the first half of the session occupied with removing from the budget money that is only available once, like money from the sale of property and court settlements.

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WRKF
8:52 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Hospital Stabilization Fund Passes State Senate

The Senate signed off on a measure yesterday that aims to restore funding to health care.

Sounds good right?

The opposition, including twenty-plus-year member of the legislature Senator Robert Adley, was quick to point out that approving the measure may back lawmakers into a corner with the budget.

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