State

Senate bill removes budget mandates

The bill before the Senate Finance Committee removing the statutory mandate that state funds go to itemized state and local programs was held to allow the author additional time to build her case.
Senate Bill 226, by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Chalmette, would give lawmakers more latitude when it comes to funding levels, especially during economically tough times, which potentially could permit broader, more equitable reductions.

GOP presents its budget

Louisiana Republicans advanced their vision for the state’s spending plan Monday, cutting more than $236 million from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposed budget by targeting areas like health care, social services and a host of other agencies.
Hailed as a quasi “stand still” budget, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee endorsed after six hours of testimony and debate House Bill 1, which amounts to spending 97.5 percent of the money the state has, on a 17 to 5 vote.

Join the budget game at solvethebudget.com

The solution for Louisiana’s budget woes rests with Louisiana residents. Call it Fantasy Budgetry.
SolvetheBudget.com is a simulation scenario meant to challenge Louisianans into making the the tough decisions necessary to balance the state’s spending and revenue budget for the next fiscal year, including a predicted $440 million budget shortfall, just like the real-life lawmakers in Baton Rouge.

Medical marijuana may prove lucrative for LSU, Southern

The lucrative nature of marijuana sales was at the center Thursday of a House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development discussion of a law that puts the state into the marijuana distribution business.
Representatives of Louisiana State University and Southern University, the two schools that plan to grow marijuana at separate facilities for use as medical treatments authorized under legislation approved last spring that legalizes and regulates such distribution.

Gov. John Bel Edwards talks about the demise of his proposed tax bill on businesses. (Photo by Catie Burkes/Manship News Service)

Business tax withdrawn

Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, voluntarily pulled his controversial corporate activities tax bill from consideration Tuesday following a day and a half of testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means in which various business interests and most of the Republican committee members expressed staunch opposition.
Because Jones voluntarily deferred his House Bill 628, it can be brought before the committee again. It is Gov. John Bel Edwards revenue-raising centerpiece to balance the budget.

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