Leniency for disasters

BATON ROUGE — House Bill 20, a constitutional amendment by Rep. Ed Price, D-Gonzales, that would give schools adversely affected by a natural disaster some potential leeway with state requirements unanimously passed the House Wednesday and moved to the Senate.

The bill provides leniency — beginning this school year — to any public school unable to complete the instructional time and days of attendance mandated by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) because of a natural disaster.

Read the story in The Donaldsonville Chief

House passes scaled-back $29B budget

By William Taylor Potter


State Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, presents the budget bill during the House’s meeting Monday. Photo by Sarah Gamard.

By William Taylor Potter

BATON ROUGE – The GOP budget – that called for full TOPS funding and a $235 million cut from the Department of Health’s funding – passed the House relatively unscathed following five hours of debate Thursday, the only action at the Statehouse.

Following the addition of a few amendments, House Bill 1 passed, 63-40, more than half a billion dollars million less than Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, had requested in his $30 billion budget.

Read the story in the Minden Press-Herald

Confederate monuments: Supporters rally outside Capitol


Pro-Confederate monument demonstrator Amanda Jennings of West Monroe, forefront, was part of a demonstration Thursday (May 4, 2017) at the State Capitol in support of bills that would preserve monuments to Confederate leaders. Photo by Sarah Gamard.

By Sarah Gamard

Demonstrators waved Confederate flags outside the Louisiana State Capitol on Thursday (May 4) in protest of New Orleans’ contentious decision to remove four monuments in the city representing the Confederacy and in support of three bills before the Legislature that aim to protect them.

Read the story in NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune

House bill calls for constitutional convention

By Carrie Grace Henderson

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana will be on its way to its next constitutional convention to adjust the Louisiana Constitution where it deals with fiscal matters if a bill approved in the House Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday makes it through the House and Senate.

“We can all agree on one thing: The current system is broken. Regardless of what the fix is, we all agree that we need to fix it,” Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, said. “This provides a mechanism to do it.”

Read the story in the Minden Press-Herald

Louisiana House votes in favor of amendment to add same-sex couples to domestic abuse protections


State Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, presents his bill which qualifies partnerships, including same-sex couples, for legal protection and assistance in cases of domestic abuse. The measure was approved 54-42. Photo by Sarah Gamard.

By Sarah Gamard

The Louisiana House voted 54-42 Tuesday and sent to the Senate an amendment to state law that would qualify same-sex couples for legal protection and assistance in cases of domestic abuse.

House Bill 27 by Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, applies to partners who are in a sexual or intimate relationship, thus encompassing both opposite-sex married couples and other partnerships.

Read the story in bestofneworleans.com/Gambit


Bill calling for public vote before monument removal heads to House

By Rose Velazquez

BATON ROUGE, La. – Preceded by roughly two hours of emotional testimony, the House Municipal and Cultural Affairs Committee voted 10-8 Wednesday to send to the full House a bill that would prevent the state and local governments from destroying or removing public military memorials.

It was a not-so-veiled attempt to stop the city of New Orleans from removing prominently placed statues of Confederate generals and officials, and to stop such action from happening anywhere else in the state.

Read the story at WWLTV.com

Barksdale commander expresses gratitude to lawmakers


Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City, presents Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Barksdale AFB near Shreveport, to the Senate Tuesday. Photo by Sarah Gamard.

By Christian Boutwell

BATON ROUGE – Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command based at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, expressed gratitude to lawmakers as he addressed those in the Senate chamber Tuesday.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times