By Caitie Burkes and Sarah Gamard
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.
Read the story in NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
By Carrie Grace Henderson and Katie Gagliano
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.
Read the story in lsunow.com/The Daily Reveille
Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, confers with Rep. Tony Bacala, R-Prairieville, on the House floor. Photo by Sarah Gamard.
By Katie Gagliano
BATON ROUGE – Two pieces of House legislation have raised concerns in the agricultural community and creating doubt about the security of agricultural funding dollars.
Read the story in The Shreveport Times
Louisiana state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, watching Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, move a resolution through the Finance Committee on Feb. 14, 2017, complained that broad-brush approaches to cutting spending do not shrink government or make it more efficient. Photo by Sarah Gamard.
By Sarah Gamard
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.
Read the story at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
By Sam Karlin
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.
Read the story in houmatoday.com/The Courier
Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler speaks with aides following the House and Government Affairs Committee meeting Monday. Photo by William Taylor Potter.
By William Taylor Porter
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.
And he is in a position to do something about it.
Read the story in The Advertiser
By Carrie Grace Henderson and Tryfon Boukouvidis
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.
Read the story in eunicetoday.com/The Eunice News