Govt + Politics

House Democrats and 3 Republicans pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

BY: and - June 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a sweeping police reform package Thursday night in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality. The package cleared the chamber largely along partisan lines, with 236 lawmakers (mostly Democrats) voting for it and 181 lawmakers (180 Republicans and one Independent) voting against it. Three Republicans sided with Democrats […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Local public defenders budget reduced in Louisiana Senate proposal

BY: - June 26, 2020

Update: The Louisiana Senate reversed its initial reduction to local public defender offices when it approved the budget Friday afternoon. It moved back to the original public defender funding breakdown drawn up by the Louisiana House. The Legislature is expect to approve the final version of the total state operating budget by Tuesday. The new […]

State board gives 5 companies $140 million off next year’s property taxes

BY: - June 26, 2020

The Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday approved tax breaks for multiple Louisiana companies worth more than $148 million next year alone under a program critics call “corporate welfare.” Wednesday’s meeting was the first time the board had met for a full agenda since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the state, and the members […]

Ted James

Louisiana Lawmakers support police study – as long as it doesn’t talk about George Floyd

BY: - June 25, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly supports the study of policing tactics. Lawmakers appear likely to set up a new task force to examine law enforcement practices over the next year — with the goal of recommending legislation to change state policing laws in 2021. But White Republican lawmakers in the House haven’t wanted to link that […]

Cedric Richmond

Rep. Richmond slams Senate GOP’s ‘watered-down’ police reform bill

BY: and - June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond — a leading voice on Capitol Hill for a major legislative overhaul that would address police brutality against people of color — backed his party’s efforts Wednesday to shut down debate on a GOP police reform bill. The bill — which Senate Democrats blocked in a procedural vote on […]

Emissions data from LSU serves reality check to Climate Task Force

Louisiana plants claim COVID-19 makes it impossible to monitor pollution

BY: - June 24, 2020

Across Louisiana, people who live in the communities surrounding industrial facilities have often complained that pollution from those plants is responsible for their elevated rates of cancer and respiratory illnesses.  And people with weakened immune systems and trouble breathing are particularly vulnerable during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  However, oil refineries and other industrial facilities are […]

Washington unites for the Great American Outdoors Act, Louisiana against

BY: - June 24, 2020

The U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act June 17, a significant piece of legislation that permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the backlog of maintenance projects at national parks and other federally-owned land. Although there are very few bills that bring Republicans and Democrats together, with 73 senators for […]

Board of Commerce and Industry considers millions in property tax exemptions Wednesday

BY: - June 23, 2020

Louisiana’s Board of Commerce and Industry meets Wednesday, June 24, for the third of six regular meetings it has scheduled for 2020. The 24-member board will be considering tax exemption requests worth millions of dollars annually from various industries across the state. Some of the industries appearing before the commerce board will be seeking exemptions […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Coronavirus complicates Louisiana’s use of prison labor

BY: - June 23, 2020

As COVID-19 spread across Louisiana, the state’s prison system shut down educational programs, stopped in-person visits from family, eliminated face-to-face religious services and suspended meetings between inmates and attorneys. But thousands of inmates have continued to be sent to work even as those restrictions on the other parts of their lives were imposed. Louisiana uses […]

Worrisome spike in Louisiana COVID-19 cases means two more weeks in Phase 2

BY: - June 23, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday afternoon that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing across Louisiana and that because of that worrisome data he is postponing the state’s scheduled transition to Phase 3 of his re-opening plan. Edwards said he will likely sign the order Thursday and that when he does, Louisiana will remain in […]

Gov. Edwards supports looser gun laws, unlike the places that supported him most

BY: - June 23, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ decision to sign three bills lifting gun restrictions should have come as no surprise to his supporters or local leaders in the Democratic Party, two political analysts say. House Bills 140 and 334 and 781, all which  take effect Aug. 1, overturn city and parish ordinances that ban firearms in public parks […]

Louisiana lawmakers focus coronavirus recovery efforts on business community

BY: - June 23, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature has focused most of the state’s coronavirus relief strategy on businesses, rather than government programs and individual aid. Republicans leading the body are pushing over a dozen tax breaks and state incentive programs in the Legislature’s special session as a way to help restaurants, retail outlets and mom-and-pop shops survive the coronavirus slowdown. […]