Lawmakers have tough budget decisions to make

By Quint Forgey and Justin DiCharia

Three days after severe weather warnings and a nasty spate of tornados tore through southeast Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards offered words outside his fourth floor Capitol office on Friday which applied as much to upcoming forecasts as they did to this year’s nearly $1 billion fiscal shortfall. “We should take advantage of the warnings we’re given and not risk the roulette wheel,” he said.

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Chapel tucked away in State Capitol corridor

A skylight seems to pour celestial light into the State Capitol chapel, or meditation room, during the legislative session. No one seems to remember when it came into existence. Photo by Jourdan Moschitta.

By Jourdan Moschitta

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana State Capitol is filled with tales, tall and otherwise, that not only keep the state’s sense of history alive but also provide space for imaginations to run wild.

One of the mysteries within the walls of the Statehouse is on the ground floor, in a corridor separating the House and Senate committee rooms, in a small box-like room marked with a large cross on the wall, an altar and a kneeler.

Read the story in Courier


Senate committee approves one-cent sales take for five years

By Noah Bryant Ballard

BATON ROUGE – The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee Sunday approved and sent to the full chamber for consideration a House-approved one-cent increase in the Louisiana’s sales tax, but not before replacing an 18-month sunset clause with a five-year window more in line with what Gov. John Bel Edwards was seeking.

Read the story in Courier

Bill fishes for revenue by extending seaward bounds

By Tierra Smith

BATON ROUGE — A resolution asking the federal government to extend the state’s sea boundary nine nautical miles, six miles further that currently the case, has been introduced into the Louisiana Senate.

Republican Sen. Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge, sponsor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, argues the expansion could provide between $500 million and a $1 billion in taxes to the state.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times

Bill would identify records’ custodian

By Justin DiCharia

BATON ROUGE — State Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, was a force behind a 2013 public records resolution that directed state and local agencies to provide contact information for the person(s) within their organizations who is the custodian of public records being sought.

Because it was a resolution, Broadwater now believes, a number of government lawyers thought providing the information such information was optional. This year, he is attempting to upgrade the directive into an act of law.

Read the story in The Daily Iberian