Committee votes on increase of minimum wage

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Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks in the Senate Labor Committee Thursday over a bill to raise the minimum wage in Louisiana. Photo by D.B. Narveson.

By Jack Richards

BATON ROUGE —The John J. Hainkel Senate committee room was awash in red clothing Thursday where the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee approved on split votes bills that increase the state’s minimum wage and expand the equal pay for equal work law and strengthen enforcement mechanisms.

Read the story in The Town Talk

 

Expert: Taxes need to be on the table for fiscal reform

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LSU Economics professor James Richardson advises the legislature on tax policy and is currently serving on a task force dedicated to structural changes in the tax code. Photo by Samuel Carter Karlin.

By Samuel Carter Karlin

BATON ROUGE — The head of the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference, who is serving on a task force dedicated to systemic changes in the state’s tax code, warns that income taxes may have be on the table in 2017 if the Legislature is serious about fiscal reform.

Read the story in The Advertiser

Committee sends abortion waiting period bill to House

By Quint Forgey

BATON ROUGE — The House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill Wednesday increasing the mandatory waiting period before receiving an abortion from one day to three days.

House Bill 386 requires women seeking an abortion to undergo required pre-abortion procedures — including an ultrasound and the receipt of various informational materials — 72 hours prior to the operation.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times

Tuition-raising power may go to universities

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Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, wants to take the handcuffs off higher education’s ability to raise tuition without legislative approval. Photo by Samuel Carter Karlin

Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, wants to take the handcuffs off higher education’s ability to raise tuition without legislative approval.

By Samuel Carter Karlin

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana students and families could pay more for colleges and universities in the future if the ability to raise tuition transfers from the Legislature to school governing boards as proposed in two bills before the Legislature.

These proposed measures would take the schools off their traditional legislative leash.

Read the story in The News Star

Bill would place new restrictions on day cares without licenses

By Noah Bryant Ballard

BATON ROUGE — A Winnsboro lawmaker is teaming with the Louisiana Department of Education to place new restrictions on child care providers operating without a license.

Rep. Steve Pylant, R-Winnsboro, brought House Bill 197 before the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Wednesday that would to provide criminal penalties for unlawful operation of day care centers, specifically those caring for six or more children.

Read the story in The Daily World

Bill to create debt-reducing fund advances

By D.B. Narveson

BATON ROUGE — A bill creating a fund to help pay down state retirement and bond debts and refill the rainy day fund was passed through the House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Beryl Amedee, R-Houma, who has already created a GoFundMe crowd-sourcing campaign to help pay for Louisiana’s deficit, said her bill would create a fund into which Louisianans, and anyone else who feels charitable, could donate money into pay down about $20 million in those two areas.

Read the story in The Advertiser

Legislators want to make Louisiana’s transportation greener

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Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality Chuck Brown gives the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality his goal to put compressed natural gas stations across Louisiana. Photo by D.B. Narveson.

By D.B. Narveson

BATON ROUGE — Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality Chuck Brown wants to make the use of compressed natural gas the go-to fuel for fleets of trucks and buses across the state.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times