Tax bracket adjustments: A step forward or backward?

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Rep. Stephen Dwight, R-Lake Charles, said Republicans oppose changing the tax brackets to increase taxes on middle- and upper-income taxpayers.(Photo: Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service)

By Tryfon Boukouvidis and Drew White

A proposal supported by the Legislative Black Caucus to adjust individual income tax brackets to raise $443 million in revenue is at the center of the latest dispute that has stalled talks on how to deal with a projected $1 billion budget shortfall.

Read the story in The Daily Advertiser.

House panels edge toward budget breakthrough

Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, looks on as the House Ways and Means Committee debates his income tax bill, a critical component to the compromise that advanced negotiations on revenue-raising measures Sunday. (Photo by Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service)

By Matt Houston and Drew White

As the second week of the 17-day special legislative session begins, House committees on Sunday broke a stalemate, at least temporarily, and approved bills that could help the state avoid major budget cuts when $1 billion of temporary taxes expire this summer.

Several Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee voted with Democrats to move some of the bills to the floor, where they are likely to face another contentious debate.

Read the story in Eunice Today.

Legislators determined to find middle ground

Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, voted Sunday on the revenue bills as they passed the House Ways and Means Committee. Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service 

By Sarah Gamard and Tryfon Boukouvidis

After a weekend filled with anxiety, several legislators said Sunday night that they had been determined to find middle ground to keep efforts to avoid a $1 billion fiscal cliff from collapsing.

Read the story in The Natchitoches Times.

 

Task force outlines Greek Life recommendations; hazing victim’s family says they’re not enough

LSU President F. King Alexander, left, speaks with task force members during the final Greek Life Task Force meeting on Wednesday.( Photo: Aurianna Cordero/LSU Daily Reveille)

By Abbie Shull, LSU Daily Reveille

After more than four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses.

LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies.

Read the story in The Daily Advertiser.

Like the rest of the special session, Medicaid reform bills get nowhere

House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, center, talks with other members of the committee. (Photo: Kaylee Poche)

By Kaylee Poche and Ryan Noonan

Haley Saucier has a rare autoimmune deficiency that requires her to have medication infusions once a week. Medicaid covers her $10,000-a-month medication.

Saucier graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans a few months ago and has not been able to find a job. She testified Thursday that it is hard to find an employer who understands her condition, which may require her to take several days off from work at a time due to pain.

Read the story in The Daily Advertiser.

Senator: Consolidating college management boards could save state money

Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, told a Board of Regents committee that she favors consolidating the state’s four college management boards. (Photo: Joby Richard/Manship School News Service)

 

By Joby Richard

Sen. Sharon Hewitt said Wednesday that she is considering proposing legislation to consolidate the state’s four college management boards into a single board.

Hewitt, R-Slidell, appeared before the Louisiana Board of Regents’ Planning, Research, and Performance Committee on Wednesday.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times.