News For Wednesday 051414
By Dave Graichen
State tax returns and extension requests must be filed by tomorrow, May 15. The Louisiana Department of Revenue reminds everyone that electronic filing is the fastest way to submit returns
and get refunds processed.
Concealed weapons permit holders could carry their guns into restaurants that serve alcohol under a bill that’s headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. The Louisiana Senate voted 37-2 for the House-passed measure, giving it final legislative passage.
A Southern Media and Opinion Research poll on the 2015 governor's race shows Senator David Vitter as the Republican choice and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as the democratic favorite. Vitter and Landrieu each received 29-percent in a survey featuring 4 other potential candidates. Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Vitter is in good position. Landrieu, who just began a second term as mayor, has not indicated whether he plans to run for governor next year. Pinsonat says his poll shows Vitter would beat Landrieu in a run-off. He says it's also unclear who Vitter's biggest challenger will be if Landrieu doesn't run.
A bill to require sex education in public schools was debated, then delayed in the House Education Committee. House Education Committee Chairman Steve Carter said discussion on the measure will resume today. The proposal, House Bill 369, would apply to students in grades four through twelve.
Under current law, sex education in public schools is legal but not required.
A bill to allow public school students to be surveyed anonymously on sexual issues passes a House committee. Supporters of the bill say there is currently no way to evaluate the problem in order to form a solution. Tulane researcher Dr. Patty Kissinger says the situation among students is serious.
Students would be randomly selected to take part in the survey and would have the option to refuse to take it. The House Education Committee narrowly passed the bill on a seven to six vote.
A Louisiana Senate panel endorsed a revamp Tuesday of the system used to provide benefit increases for about 100,000 state pension system retirees. House Bill 1225 will reduce the debts of Louisiana’s four statewide pension systems. It ties future cost-of-living increases to the systems’ financial health. The committee action leaves the measure one step away from final legislative passage by the full Senate. Passage of HB1225 guarantees a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment to retired state employees, teachers, school employees and State Police.
Legislation that would bar employers and schools from demanding access to social media, personal email and other online accounts received final legislative approval Tuesday. In an 88-0 vote, the Louisiana House shipped House Bill 340 to the governor’s desk, following minor changes from the Senate.
Legislation that seeks to have a person who's arrested on felony domestic abuse sit in jail without bail to "cool off" advances out of committee Tuesday. The bill now heard to the senate floor.
A bill which would take firearms out of the hands of domestic violence offenders received final legislative approval. HB 753 prohibits an abuser under a protective order from possessing a
gun and those convicted of domestic violence charges from possessing a firearm for a decade. The bill now heads to the governor.
Legislation that would set up a legal framework for surrogate births in Louisiana advanced to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk Tuesday. The state Senate voted 22-11 in favor of House Bill 187. The vote gave the bill final legislative passage, sending it to Jindal who can sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature. Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have authorized courts to approve gestational surrogacy contracts when a husband and wife encounter medical problems in producing a child. The governor cited the range of opposition to the legislation. The loudest from the Louisiana family forum.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne has dropped his federal lawsuit over the use of the state's trademarked slogan "Pick Your Passion" on a political organization's billboard on I-10 near Baton Rouge. Last
month, a federal judge refused to order MoveOn dot org to take the billboard down while the the lawsuit was pending. The lawsuit was dismissed this week.
Beer sales inside Tiger Stadium could be on the way soon, according to LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva. Several schools already do. including ULM and U-L Lafayette. Alleva recognizes some people may be concerned beer sales could lead to poor fan behavior. The SEC prohibits beer sales to fans in the general seating area.
The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense lawyers have announced opposition of Metairie Senator Joe Lopinto's bill that would keep the identification of manufacturers of lethal drugs for capital punishment confidential. It has already cleared the House Crimnal Justice committee, and Lopinto says not passing it would just muddy up the water. The debate is far from over, and it will carry over to the house floor.
The Senate agreed that a truck stop owner should be able to keep his tiger as a roadside attraction. The 20-18 vote allows Michael Sandlin to house his Bengal-Siberian mix tiger named Tony in a
sixteen hundred square foot facility in Grosse Tete.