Repeated rounds of budget shortfalls have prompted lawmakers to take an in-depth look at the long list of tax breaks that siphon billions of dollars from Louisiana's treasury each year.
A 14-member study panel of legislative leaders Monday launches a six-month review of the $4.4 billion in tax exemptions, rebates and credits on the books.
For years, when state coffers were flush, tax break bills sailed through the Louisiana Legislature. But with the economy struggling, Republicans and Democratic state lawmakers are questioning if they've been too generous.
Lawmakers want more details about $523 million in health care cuts made by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration. The reductions fall largely on the LSU-run public hospital system.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley called a Thursday meeting of the House budget and health care committees for presentations from LSU officials and from Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, who made the decisions on funding cuts.
The Louisiana Legislature's top financial adviser is retiring.
Legislative Fiscal Officer Gordon Monk has worked in state government for 33 years. His last day will be Aug. 8. Monk told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/NztEFS) a contentious legislative session convinced him it was time to go.
The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget plans to name a temporary replacement on Monday. Lawmakers will pick a permanent fiscal officer when they are next in session, likely not until 2013.
A July legislative session to consider overturning Gov. Bobby Jindal's vetoes has been canceled.
Louisiana state senators overwhelmingly decided against holding the July 14 veto session, with 31 of the 39 senators turning in paperwork to scrap the session.
The veto session was automatically set when Jindal rejected 21 bills from the regular legislative session and used his line-item veto on the budget. It takes a majority written vote of either the House or Senate to cancel the session.
BATON ROUGE — Notification letters are being sent to Louisiana's lawmakers, advising them about the planned July 14 veto session and how to scrap the meeting if they don't want to hold it.
The veto session was automatically set when Gov. Bobby Jindal rejected bills from the regular legislative session that ended this month. A veto session would allow lawmakers to decide if they want to override some of the governor's decisions.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers seeking to curtail drunken driving backed a string of proposals that toughen penalties, give law enforcement officers more methods to test for driver impairment and crack down on repeat offenders.
Six bills addressing intoxicated drivers have been signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Drunken car accidents are especially predominant in Louisiana. According to data from Louisiana State University, almost 300 people died in alcohol-related crashes last year.
BATON ROUGE — A leader of conservative state House Republicans calls it "shameful" that the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a $25.6 billion budget that contained piecemeal, one-time funding. Rep. Brett Geymann is one of three dozen lawmakers so-called "fiscal hawks" who pushed for reduced spending.
BATON ROUGE — Voters will face a list of questions in the fall election, constitutional changes proposed by lawmakers for them to consider, including provisions about gun rights and pension revocation.
Nine proposals to amend the Louisiana Constitution will be on the Nov. 6 ballot after the action of the legislative session.
In the most attention-grabbing item, voters will decide whether to toughen the state's constitutional protections for weapon owners and whether to remove a provision that gives the Legislature explicit authority to limit concealed handguns.
BATON ROUGE — A sexual abuse scandal that rocked Pennsylvania State University has resulted in new laws in Louisiana to penalize those who fail to report allegations of child sex abuse and to protect those who do.
Lawmakers say the measures were inspired by the Penn State scandal that rocked the university's administration and its athletics department.
Three of the bills have been signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Republican governor said he intends to sign the fourth.
BATON ROUGE — With the state strapped for cash, Louisiana lawmakers have turned to the state's construction budget for their pet projects.
In coordination with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the House and Senate piled in millions of dollars for local parks, sewage and water projects, economic development initiatives and more — $120 million more than the state can afford to spend on construction projects.