News

Bill allows auditor access to taxpayer info for Medicaid

A House committee voted on Monday to approve a bill that would give Louisiana’s legislative auditor access to taxpayer data to verify Medicaid eligibility.
The bill, part of a Republican effort to tighten management of the program, advanced 11-3 to the full House.
Rep. Tony Bacala, R-Prairieville, sponsored the bill. A similar proposal died in committee last year.
This year’s bill would give the state auditor access to income tax data to help detect fraud in Medicaid enrollment. Similar legislation exists in 35 states.

Teri Wyble, lead actress in “Lost Bayou,” earned a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from the University in 2008. She is from Arnaudville. The movie recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

UL Lafayette influence contributes to ‘Lost Bayou’ success at Tribeca

From acting roles and screenwriting to script consultation and internships, University of Louisiana at Lafayette alumni, faculty and students helped make “Lost Bayou” a hit at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The feature film premiered at the independent festival in New York, which ended Sunday. Tribeca is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Gary Jones, president of BESE, listens to supporters of its plan for teacher pay raises and aid to schools. (Photo by Madeline Meyer/LSU Manship School News Service)

Teacher pay raise faces showdown

A state education board defied House leaders Tuesday and refused to back down from its proposal for $39 million in state aid to schools even though that could put a teacher pay raise in jeopardy.
The move sets up the biggest showdown of the legislative session. Gov. John Bel Edwards is backing the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education against House leaders who also support a teacher pay hike but do not want to give local school districts more money.

Rep. Randal Gaines spoke on the Capitol steps Monday at a rally for his bill to limit the state’s repeat-offender sentencing law to violent crimes. (Photo by Christopher Drew/LSU Manship School News Service)

House panel votes to limit repeat sentences

A House committee approved a bill on Tuesday that would limit Louisiana’s sentencing law for repeat offenders only to violent crimes.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Randal Gaines, D-LaPlace, is part of an effort to expand the overhaul of Louisiana’s criminal justice system that began in 2017. It also would sharply reduce the number of people serving lengthy incarcerations.
The bill passed without objection in the House Committee of Administration of Criminal Justice.

Public safety tax passes with 78% of vote

Eunice voters passed a 0.25 percent sales tax to raise police and fire department pay in Saturday’s election.
The turnout was 11.9 percent of the 6,308 registered voters, but of those 78 percent — 588 votes — approved the tax.
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot said, “I’m very happy for the men and women that protect our city. They definitely deserve it.”
The tax is expected to raise the starting police pay $3 from the current $9.75 and starting firefighter $2 from the present $8.50.
The tax also will fund increases for police and fire employees at all levels.

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