State Politics

  St. Bernard Parish leaders appeal for federal disaster relief money for fishermen

Fishermen returned to their docks after the threat from Barry diminished Monday (July 15), hopeful the storm brought in enough salt water to knock out the toxic algae bloom that has been hurting their catch for weeks.

Voting rights groups plan Louisiana registration bus tour

  Race for Jefferson Parish’s at-large council seats takes shape

  Jefferson Parish Pres. Mike Yenni says its too early to discuss selling East Jeff Hospital

  Mike Yenni still weighing a reelection bid

Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s training mandate for hair braiding

  The dean of the La. legislature discusses his legacy and ponders his future

Continued Coverage

  La. restaurants face new rule for shrimp and crawfish

Gov. signs state budget with $200 million more for education

Louisiana governor: Abortion ban decision wasn’t political

  Louisiana leaders at odds on how to monitor Medicaid participants

GNO Inc., approves of latest effort to extend, reform national flood insurance program

La. Dept. of Health to begin issuing permits for hemp, CBD manufacturers

How La. lawmakers voted on the fetal heartbeat bill

WAFB reached out to each lawmaker requesting they elaborate on their decision to either support or oppose the law.

Lawmakers approve new minimum marriage age in Louisiana

Louisianans younger than 16 will not be able to marry if Governor John Bel Edwards signs a bill lawmakers sent to his desk in the final minutes of this year’s legislative session.

Louisiana expands foster care for youth with jobs, in school

Louisiana is expanding its foster care program to cover youth in the state’s care until age 21.

  Sen. Danny Martiny talks failure of sports betting bills to win final legislative approval

Sen. Danny Martiny defends his stance on sports betting.

  Gov. Edwards signs bills to help New Orleans tackle serious drainage problems

  State budget passes on final day of session

Several abortion bills passed by Louisiana lawmakers

Louisiana voters asked to support anti-abortion amendment

Veggie products face new labeling restrictions in Louisiana

New Louisiana penalties passed for referee-harassing parents

  Teacher pay raises win final legislative approval at the state Capitol

A proposed pay raise for public school teachers won final legislative approval at the state Capitol on Monday afternoon.

House spurns bill to set minimum marriage age in Louisiana

Opponents of a minimum age touted marriage benefits and said they don't want to prohibit pregnant teenagers from marrying.

Louisiana to create veteran business certification, database

Consumers will be able to search a database to find those businesses, under the bill that won final passage Sunday with a 98-0 House vote.

Louisiana budget deal near as school plan clears key hurdle

House Republicans previously blocked the $39 million increase in district's flexible block grant money.

Louisiana lawmakers add new regulations for abortion clinics

After passing one of the nation's strictest abortion bans, Louisiana lawmakers also passed new abortion clinic regulations that critics said would create additional hurdles to access.

House committee approves governor’s version of K-12 formula

On Thursday, May 30, the House’s education committee approved Louisiana’s k-12 operating formula, which includes $1,000 raises for teachers and a $39 million bump for school districts.

  La. lawmakers debate for hours before passing controversial abortion bill

Hours' worth of debate pitted pro-life legislators against pro-choice legislators.

  Governor Edwards to sign heartbeat bill after House gives final approval

Gov. John Bel Edwards released a statement after the House approved the "fetal heartbeat bill," saying he is ready to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Gov. Edwards signs first bills of 2019 regular legislative session into law

On Wednesday, May 29, Governor John Bel Edwards signed the first bills of the 2019 regular legislative session into law. He also issued his first veto.

Bill to conceal names of companies manufacturing execution drugs dies in La. senate

Another bill that would have abolished the death sentence, sponsored by Landry, was also rejected in the House earlier this month.

Lawmakers to vote on bill to expand ride-sharing statewide

Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, have become a vital resource for travelers. However, those services aren’t available to everyone in Louisiana. Lawmakers are now discussing a bill that could expand services and regulations statewide.

Bill to legalize sports betting dead in state capitol

The House Appropriations Committee killed a bill Tuesday, May 28 that would have allowed voters to decide whether people could place bets on college and professional sporting events in their parishes.

BILL WATCH 2019: What’s what during the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session

Louisiana’s lawmakers return to the capitol Monday, April 8 as their annual regular legislative session gets underway.

  Sports betting bill nets a loss before La. House committee

A bill to legalize sports betting in Louisiana failed to get a win in a state House committee on Tuesday (May 28).

  Final action needed on budget, abortion bills as legislative session winds down

As the 2019 state legislative session enters its final days, political observers say it has been less divided compared to recent years, which is unusual ahead of an election year.

  Lawmaker who helped kill CCC tolls is leaving office

Rep. Patrick Connick is leaving office after a 12-year career that saw him help orchestrate the removal of Crescent City Connection bridge tolls.

  Gov. Edwards: Backwater relief plan ready in case Morganza Spillway opens

Some parishes have been dealing with flooding for months, and the spillway opening could make things worse for some areas.

Governor releases statement after federal judge temporarily blocks Mississippi abortion law

In issuing a preliminary injunction, Judge Carlton Reeves said the law “threatens immediate harm to women’s rights, especially considering most women do not seek abortions services until after six weeks.”

State budget expected to advance Monday with education amendments

The Senate Finance Committee will work through the weekend to determine how they’d like to change the state’s $30 billion operating budget before amending the bill and advancing it to the senate floor on Memorial Day.

LETTER TO DEVOS: La. AG Landry wants student loan debt automatically forgiven for injured veterans

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry wants student loan debt automatically forgiven for veterans who become totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty.

Bill to build LA 415 connector speeding through legislature

A Senate committee has approved a bill that would divert money currently earmarked for state savings accounts to construct a new LA 415 to LA 1 connector.

Bill that would have raised smoking age to 21 in La. killed

A bill that would have raised the smoking age died in the state capitol Thursday, May 23.

  Pro-choice forces rally and block traffic in the CBD

Lunch time brought hundreds of pro-choice activists to a protest in the New Orleans central business district on Wednesday. They attacked anti-abortion legislation in Louisiana and recently enacted abortion restrictions in some other states.

Sports betting bill advances in state capitol

The House’s criminal justice committee approved a bill Tuesday, May 21 that would allow voters to decide whether sports betting will be legal in their parishes during the October election. Most revenue from any expansion would be dedicated to early childhood education.

Those for and against abortion speak out as Senate passes bill to ban procedure in La.

Democrat State Representative Katrina Jackson spoke at the capitol Tuesday, May 21 about why she stands with the Senate as they passed House Bill 425, also known as the Love Life Amendment. The amendment would remove language from the state’s constitution securing the right to abortion.

Proposed bill could reduce incarcerated children across state

A proposed bill swiftly making its way through the State Legislature could soon reduce the number of juveniles placed in youth detention centers across Louisiana.

Bill to exempt diapers, feminine hygiene products from sales tax one step from law

Lawmakers at the capitol approved a bill that would exempt things like diapers and feminine products from state sales taxing.

  Debates intensify as La. abortion bills near final passage

As two bills restriction abortions in Louisiana near the end of the legislative process, both sides of the debate are ramping up efforts for their cause.

Gas tax hike dead in state legislature

Baton Rouge Republican Rep. Steve Carter shelved his bill that would have raised the gas tax by 18 cents over the next 12 years on Monday, May 20.

Lawmakers aim to raise smoking age in La., but with exception for military, first responders, law enforcement

At the capitol Monday, May 20, a House committee approved a plan that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.

Louisiana’s per capita debt dips for first time in a decade

Louisiana’s debt load has declined for the first time in a decade, a notable benchmark in a state trying to get a handle on its finances after years of budget gaps and record borrowing. But the amount Louisiana owes for every man, woman, and child still outstrips the national average.

Recreational marijuana bill not dead in Louisiana Legislature

The House’s judiciary committee did not approve or kill a bill that would allow for recreational marijuana use in Louisiana. Instead, lawmakers essentially sent it to the House’s criminal justice committee, where the concept faces opposition.

  Zurik: State official’s companies sanctioned in two separate investigations

A business owner who sits on two different state board has been sanctioned in two separate investigations surrounding insurance claims.

Bill would make prosecuting hazing cases easier

The House’s education committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 15 that would require campus organizations and university officials to contact law enforcement as soon as they learn of any hazing allegations.

Protesters pour fake blood in Capital Building as La. lawmakers debate Fetal Heartbeat Bill

A bill banning abortions in Louisiana after a heartbeat can be detected is one step closer to becoming law.

#MakeSocksGreatAgain: La. lieutenant governor sports Trump socks during president’s visit to Louisiana

President Donald Trump toured Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG Export Facility in Cameron Parish Tuesday, May 14, and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser was sure to show off his choice of socks to the president.

  Trump’s Louisiana visit to promote industry, economic growth excites residents

Air Force One made a couple stops in Louisiana today and many residents said they were excited by the visit.

Senate advances bill to establish legal marriage age in Louisiana

The bill would establish 18 as the youngest possible age for marriage in Louisiana.

Beer to your front door? Alcohol delivery bills advance in legislature.

Two bills that would allow retailers to deliver alcohol to doorsteps are now headed to the Senate floor after a judiciary committee approved the bill Tuesday, May 14.

  President Trump praises oil and gas industry workers during visit to Louisiana

With dozens of workers positioned at his back, the president robustly touted activity in Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, crediting it with helping America become energy independent.

Could inspection stickers be a thing of the past?

The House Transportation Committee approved a bill Monday, May 13 that would eliminate inspection stickers in Louisiana.

House committee approves bill to put up ‘Home of the Who Dat Nation’ signs on I-10

A bill to place the phrase “Home of the Who Dat Nation Highway” on signs along I-10 is a step away from becoming law.

  Debate continues over ‘self-reporting’ environmental bill

Environmentalists fear House Bill 615 would allow companies to handle incidents outside the public eye.

Senate kills bills that would exempt feminine hygiene products from taxes, ratify equal rights amendment

The Louisiana Senate killed a bill Wednesday, May 8 that would have allowed voters to decide if feminine hygiene products and diapers should be exempt from state sales tax.

Amazon partners with Louisiana community colleges to offer new degree

The partnership is the first step in a broader push to try to increase the workforce for high-paying tech jobs in the state, the governor said.

Few issues settled at Louisiana legislative session midpoint

Expectations remain intact that legislators will head home without a special session.

  Bill to ensure La. constitution doesn’t protect abortion rights advances in the legislature

Louisiana’s legislature is one step closer to amending the state constitution not to protect abortion rights in the event Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

State education board refuses to back down from $39 million budget proposal

A state education board defied House leaders Tuesday (May 7) and refused to back down from its budget proposal, even though it could put a teacher pay raise in jeopardy.

‘Fetal heartbeat’ bill passes Louisiana Senate, heads to House

A bid to ban abortions after six weeks in Louisiana moved one step closer to being placed on the governor’s desk.

Louisiana Senate backs abortion ban, tied to Mississippi law

A proposal to enact tougher abortion prohibitions in Louisiana, banning the procedure as early as five or six weeks of pregnancy, has won the support of state senators.

Bid to ban death penalty in Louisiana rejected by senators

Louisiana's senators overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to end the state's use of capital punishment.

State budget advances with increased teacher pay raises, no per-pupil bump

The House Appropriations Committee advanced the first iteration of the state operating budget without objection Monday, May 6.

  Bill to allow medical marijuana to be inhaled moves forward in La. House

Medical marijuana patients testified that smoking medical marijuana is more effective than other methods.

  Trump administration rolls back some oil industry regulations put in place after BP spill; environmentalists react

The Trump administration is easing some safety rules put in place by the Obama administration after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.

Senate approves ‘Who Dat Nation’ interstate bill, moves back to House

A bill to create a New Orleans Saints inspired stretch of Interstate 10 that runs from Mississippi to Texas was passed by the state Senate. Bill 134 now heads back to the House.

Louisiana Congressional delegation announces fix to ‘duplication of benefits’ for 2016 flood victims

Louisiana residents affected by flooding in 2016 will be eligible to receive Restore Louisiana grants even if they took out SBA loans, according to a delegation of the state’s congressional leaders.

Medical marijuana inhalers could become treatment option for Louisiana’s sickest patients

The Louisiana House’s health committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 1 that would loosen regulations on the state’s medical marijuana program so certain patients could use medical marijuana inhalers.

  Gov. Edwards, Mayor Cantrell meet to finalize infrastructure funding deal

The mayor and governor were scheduled to announce the deal Wednesday afternoon, but it was postponed.