News for Friday 052716
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to issue the call for another special session any day now, according to Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com. Edwards has said a second session is needed to raise revenues to address a 600-million dollar budget deficit for next fiscal year. Alford says the call could include reductions to personal or corporate income tax credits and addressing issues not covered in the previous session.
NOAA will issue its outlook for the 2016 hurricane season today. State climatologist Barry Keim expects the federal forecasters will predict an average season. He says there are two factors working against each other, cooler than normal sea surface temperature, which is an indication for fewer storms, and La Nina coming later this season, which is an indicator for more storms. Hurricane Isaac in 2012 was the last hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. Keim says Louisianans should still be prepared.
The Edwards administration is urging the Senate to reject the House amendments that were made to the proposed budget for next fiscal year. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told the Senate Finance committee that the spending plan the House approved is not acceptable, because it will result in deep cuts to programs that assist the elderly and disabled. One of the major changes the House made to HB1 was reallocating money towards TOPS and away from hospitals that provide care for the poor.
Every student would be guaranteed that at least part of their TOPS scholarship would be funded if lawmakers have to make some cuts to the program, under a bill nearing final passage. Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater says it would be better to reduce the award for all than to cut some 13-thousand students out of the program. The bill has one more stop in the Senate before heading to the governor’s desk.
Governor Edwards has signed the Blue Lives Matter Bill into law, which makes Louisiana the first in the nation to expand its hate crime laws to protect police, firefighters and EMS crews. The new law allows prosecutors to seek tougher penalties against individuals who intentionally target first responders because of their profession.
A Senate-approved measure that would let patients see physical therapists without a doctor’s referral receives the support of the House as it nears final passage. The measure passed on a 65-33 vote in the House and heads back to the Senate for concurrence on House Language.
The House has approved a bill that would require cursive writing to be taught in public schools. The Senate still has to agree to House changes. Under the proposed law, the cursive writing requirement would go in effect for the 2017-18 school year.
Yesterday the price of oil rose above 50 dollars a barrel for the first time since October. Executive Director at LSU’s Center for Energy Studies David Dismukes says this marks an important milestone and it might put an end to the job losses in this industry. Crude oil was below 30 dollars a barrel earlier this year.
An investigative report by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums finds that the Baton Rouge zoo is not at fault for the deaths of two elderly giraffes, who died in March during a severe thunderstorm. Baton Rouge zoo director Phil Frost says they welcomed the findings of report and were glad the investigators found that the zoo did all they could for the animals.
A Baton Rouge man is in jail on felony child abuse charges amid allegations he forced his 8-year-old nephew to smoke weed. A report indicates the child told hospital staff that 29-year-old Jason Taylor made him smoke mojo which gave him a headache and a racing heart. When officers learned the child tested positive for marijuana, Taylor was booked with cruelty to juveniles.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office says a man is under arrest after a 17-year-old woman died of an apparent drug overdose. They say Melissa Sharpe drove the victim to the hospital, and it was determined the woman had been deceased for several hours. She is charged with obstruction of justice. Noah Sharpe is booked with 2nd degree murder in the incident. They’re asking anyone with information on this incident contact authorities.
LSU stayed unbeaten in the SEC Tournament with a 6-2 win over the first-place Mississippi State Bulldogs. Jared Poche got the win for LSU. The boys have the day off today. But, will meet Florida Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm