Gov. John Bel Edwards addresses the convening the 2017 Legislature Monday. (Photo by Sarah Gamard/Manship School News Service)

Gov. Edwards: Challenges Republicans to come up with solutions

Gov. John Bel Edwards had a message for Republicans opposing his plans for tax reform: Chart a new path.
The call to action came during his State of the State address – the second of Edwards’ tenure – that opened the 60-day Louisiana State Legislature’s 2017 regular session. Much of the speech centered on the governor’s proposals for tax reform, which includes eliminating one penny of the five-penny sales tax and implementing a commercial activity tax (CAT) for businesses.

State ranks 2nd in nation for male-female wage gap

Louisiana ranks second in the nation for greatest wage gap between men and women, 32 cents less per dollar of wages than men. Wyoming women make 36 cents less.
The gap increases even further for women of color.
Of Louisiana women who hold full-time, year-round jobs, black women earn 52 cents less, Latinas 49 cents less and Asian women 42 cents under every dollar earned by white males, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported this week.
Yet, this is an improvement over last year when Louisiana women earned 35 cents less per dollar.

Opiod abuse reaches epidemic level in La.

Opiod abuse reaches epidemic level in La.
By Caitie Burkes/Manship News Service
BATON ROUGE — Shedding light on an issue Capital Area Human Services Executive Director Jan Kasofsky labels a “terrible epidemic,” attendees at a town hall meeting on opioid abuse and prevention Thursday night were faced with, among others, these startling facts:
Louisiana is one of eight states that issues more opioid prescriptions than it has residents. That was followed by a recovering opioid user stating doctors still will prescribe these pain-killers if he requests them.

Power plant contractor sues LEPA for $18M

A contractor that built a power plant in Morgan City is suing the Louisiana Energy and Power Authority in federal court for nearly $18 million in damages, alleging that the authority breached its contract.
The Robins & Morton Group filed a lawsuit March 10 against the Louisiana Energy and Power Authority in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Lafayette. The Daily Review received the text of the lawsuit from the U.S. Attorney’s Office upon request.

Medicaid expansion touted as stimulus, saving lives

Louisiana sits below the national average for state spending increases on Medicaid, a House Fiscal Division’s told Wednesday’s House Appropriations subcommittee on Health and Human Services, which also heard the Medicaid dollars needed for the next fiscal year it will be the most expensive in history.
The state’s general fund spending on Medicaid has grown by an average of 6.7 percent per year from 1991 to 2016. The national average for that same per-year period is 7 percent.


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