Here’s a sobering statistic: 85 percent of Louisiana’s population, in 56 out of 64 parishes, is in recovery of some sort from natural disasters since March. That was part of the data poured out Thursday (Feb. 23) to the state Senate Select Committee on Women and Children.
Representatives from the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office of Women’s Policy and the Office of the Attorney General testified. All presenters, many who work directly with mental health, domestic abuse and housing issues for families affected by these disasters, stressed the need for money to provide emotional support in Louisiana’s affected communities.
Less than day after the Louisiana Legislature closed the $304 million mid-year budget deficit, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget Thursday heard Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan to address the $440 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, 2017-18.
Budget reductions large and small hit a number of state agencies during the Louisiana Legislature’s nine-day special session that ended Wednesday (Feb. 22). Lawmakers erased the $304 million midyear deficit, in a $27 billion annual operating budget, by having some offices “contribute” millions of dollars to the cause.
Most of the cuts were accompanied by the grinding of clenched teeth. Then there was the $293 cut to the Department of Transportation and Development’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Fund.
BATON ROUGE — State lawmakers find themselves caught between addressing long-term prison reform and preventing the state’s fiscal crisis from worsening an already overburdened Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
BATON ROUGE — After witnessing a “charged public” fail to trigger a recall election in St. Tammany Parish, Paul Hollis wants to make it easier for recall petitions to succeed in Louisiana’s more populated voting districts.
A bill backed by House Republicans to close the $304 million midyear budget deficit made it out of the Senate Finance committee Saturday unchanged. However, amendments are a certainty when it is debated on the Senate floor Sunday.