BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers have temporarily shelved key pieces of Louisiana's planned criminal justice overhaul after they say Republicans threatened to trounce the proposals because Democrats are holding up an unrelated financing bill. The House was expected to vote Thursday on six bills that resulted from a task force's recommendations to decrease the state's highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate and save millions annually. All six bills, however, were postponed.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - House lawmakers refused to give the Louisiana inspector general's office a protected, $2 million annual stream of state cash. Rep. Julie Stokes, a Kenner Republican, said her constitutional amendment would promote independence for the government watchdog agency by making it less vulnerable to cuts. But a majority of her colleagues objected to the protection move, with opponents saying it would limit their ability to make budget decisions.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers have spiked a proposal to keep fully automatic weapons away from young children. The House voted 61-21 against Rep. Barbara Norton's bill to fine, and possibly imprison, people who allow children under 13 to handle fully automatic firearms. Norton proposed the bill after a 9-year-old Arizona girl lost control of the Uzi submachine gun she was firing and fatally shot her gun range instructor in 2014. Bill opponents said Norton's intentions are admirable but her bill was vague.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana wildlife officials are proposing an experiment that could someday enable private recreational fishermen to catch highly sought Gulf of Mexico red snapper any time of year in federal waters. This year, the federal season for recreational red snapper fishing by individuals is only three days.
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