State

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Business tax withdrawn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.

House rejects shorter waiting period for divorce

The Louisiana House of Representatives Tuesday defeated 44-52 a bill to shorten waiting periods for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. Opponents warned it would undercut reconciliation efforts.
Married couples in Louisiana seeking a divorce would have been able to shorten their “cooling off period” to six months from a full year, provided they seek pre-divorce counseling, but a majority of the chamber, citing the effect divorces have on children, weren’t persuaded.

Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, saw his bill eliminating the death penalty in Louisiana move Tuesday to the full Senate for debate. (Photo by Katie Gagliano/Manship School News Service)

Senate bill challenges death penalty; victims protest

A bill to eliminate the death penalty moved to the Senate floor Tuesday after hours-long testimony from victims, faith leaders and law enforcement representatives.
Sen. Dan Claitor’s Senate Bill 142 was sent favorably after a 6-1 vote, with Sen. Bodi White, R-Baton Rouge, the lone opposing vote. It wasn’t his job to forgive murderers, said White, saying that power belongs to the victims’ families and God.
It was a day of Old Testament readings and emotional personal stories.

Lt. Gov. William Nungesser testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday as he pleaded not to have his budget for the Department of Tourism reduced. (Photo by Sarah Gamard/Manship School News Service )

Nungesser argues against tourism budget cuts

Despite record-breaking year for tourism, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism warned will not be able to sustain that volume with any more cuts in funding.
The Office of Lieutenant Governor told House Appropriations subcommittee it, too, is a hardship case.

Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge (left) and Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, listening to testimony Tuesday in Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. (Photo by Sarah Gamard/ Manship School News Service)

Senators debate bills for cheaper medicine, lowering obesity, tighten opioid regulations

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee reported to the full chamber for debate Tuesday bills to create cheaper medicine, to lower obesity rates and to provide more stringent opioid regulations.
Senate Bill 14 by Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, expand the legal definition of “auto-injector” to include more than EpiPens, which treat allergy emergencies.

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