News for Friday 050616
By Dave Graichen
There is a month left in the legislative session and lawmakers still have a lot to. Jeremy Alford with LaPolitics.com says the budget is the biggest concern for legislators. He says lawmakers are working to pass a balanced budget with a 600 million dollar shortfall before the session ends on June 6th and funding TOPS is a major priority. The House Appropriations committee is expected to make changes to the proposed budget for next fiscal year on Monday and send the spending plan to the House floor. Alford also says one of the governor’s main bills for the session, a measure that raises the minimum wage, faces an uphill climb.
Governor John Bel Edwards still intends to hold a second special session in June. House Budget committee chairman Cameron Henry and the leader of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry believe its too soon to have another session, after lawmakers raised taxes in the first session. But Edwards says if they don’t hold a second special session in June, than large cuts will occur to education and health care.
A measure to prohibit sanctuary cities from receiving funding for construction projects is moving through the legislature. The bill could hurt Lafayette and New Orleans because New Orleans police do not assist with federal immigration enforcement, and the Lafayette Sheriff’s Office says it won’t hold immigration offenders without a court order. The bill is heading to the Senate after a lengthy debate on the House floor.
A bill to legalize the sale of raw milk died in a House committee Thursday. Wendy Adams with the Libertarian party says she supported the legislation because the bill was about freedom and choice. She says no one is in any danger of walking into a supermarket and accidentally buying raw milk rather than pasteurized milk, since only farmers would have been allowed to sell it.
And the House has unanimously approved a bill that yesterday that says those under the age of 21 caught with alcohol cannot be sent to jail. The measure heads to the Senate.
Governor John Bel Edwards says he supports Parks Senator Fred Mills’ bill to expand the list of diseases medical marijuana can be used to treat. But Edwards says this is not a step towards legalization of pot. Edwards says he knows of many people, especially children who need medical cannabis to cope with a disorder. He says the state shouldn’t stand between doctors and the parents when it comes to what’s best for those children. Mills’ bill has already passed out of the Senate and is awaiting approval by the full House.
Strippers in Louisiana could soon be required to be at least 21 years old, as a bill to raise the minimum age for strippers is heading to the House for final legislative approval.
The State Fire Marshal has put out a warning about electronic cigarettes, after two people were recently burned in Louisiana when their cigarettes exploded. Deputy Chief Brant Thompson says in both cases the batteries overheated…
Shreveport police say two men are dead and six others are wounded after several masked gunmen burst into a card game at a tire shop early yesterday morning. Authorities say the two men killed were 37 year old males. Detectives are still looking for the gunmen. Witnesses say three to four masked men barged into the room and started shooting with semi-automatic rifles.
A resolution was approved by House yesterday that would make the town of Welsh, in southwest Louisiana as the “Home of the Cajun Dictionary.” A priest in Welsh for 44 years published a “Dictionary of the Cajun Language’ and it’s currently housed at the Welsh Museum.
The man believed to be the oldest World War Two Veteran has passed away and funeral services are scheduled for next week in his hometown of Cotton Valley, which is in Webster Parish. Frank Levingston lived to be 110 years old and enlisted in the army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Louisiana’s five uncommitted Marco Rubio delegates have announced that they will back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Kirk Williamson is one of those and says the most important thing right now is party unity. He thinks one way to achieve that would be for Trump to choose Rubio as his running mate.
There were no winners in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing, which means the jackpot for Saturday now goes up to $415 million dollars. The cash value is $269 million dollars.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday and restaurants will be packed with families getting together to celebrate Mom. Louisiana Restaurant Association spokesperson Erica Burns says this is the most popular day of the year to dine out. She advises husbands and kids, if you haven’t made a reservation yet, do so now before it’s too late.
LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri will start Alex Lange on the mound tonight against Arkansas, instead of Jared Poche, who has been the Tigers Friday night starter for most of the season. LSU enters tonight’s game with an 11-10 record in SEC Play, while Arkansas is just 7-and-14. But Mainieri is expecting three tough games with the Razorbacks….