Latest Louisiana State Legislature News

Former Louisiana Senate president Hines, dead at 85

Jun. 19, 2019 1:39 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Donald "Doc" Hines, a physician who led the Louisiana Senate as president from 2004 to 2008, has died at age 85. Hines' death was confirmed Wednesday by the state Senate and Gov. John Bel Edwards' office. A Democrat from Bunkie, Hines served in the Senate from 1993 through 2008. He...

Lawmakers drain Louisiana voting machine replacement fund

Jun. 19, 2019 6:14 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana never had sizable sums set aside to buy the thousands of new voting machines it needs. But the state has even less now, after the small amount socked away for the expense was shifted elsewhere in an election-year legislative scramble to boost spending on education, public...

Louisiana governor signs $30B budget; touts teacher raises

Jun. 18, 2019 7:43 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Saying "a great education cures a lot of ills," Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday signed Louisiana's $30 billion operating budget at a Baton Rouge elementary school where he hailed the first statewide public school teacher raise in a decade. The 2019-20 budget starting July 1...

No more veggie bacon? Louisiana governor signs labeling bill

Jun. 17, 2019 5:42 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Vegan bacon, broccoli rice and other veggie foods will need new names to stay on Louisiana's grocery store shelves next year. Gov. John Bel Edwards' office announced Monday the Democratic governor has signed new food labeling restrictions into law. The law will keep veggie products...

Edwards signs Louisiana ride-hailing regulations into law

Jun. 11, 2019 5:04 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's mid-sized and rural communities are hopeful they'll soon see Uber and Lyft drivers on their streets now that lawmakers passed a measure creating statewide rules for the ride-hailing services. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law Tuesday at Nicholls State...

Louisiana expands foster care for youth with jobs, in school

Jun. 8, 2019 10:19 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is expanding its foster care program to cover youth in the state's care until age 21. Lawmakers passed the plan , which will cost an estimated $3 million next year, in the just-ended legislative session. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed it into law Thursday. The voluntary...

Bid to expand college credit access leads to La. study group

Jun. 8, 2019 10:16 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards' bid to ensure that public high school juniors and seniors have free access to two courses for college credit didn't win legislative backing. Instead, lawmakers in the just-ended regular session created a task force to study the issue, including how to pay for...

Louisiana retailers will have to apply to sell CBD products

Jun. 8, 2019 10:14 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says it will release applications for retailers who want to sell CBD products on June 17. A regulatory structure for the products was passed by lawmakers, and Gov. John Bel Edwards signed it Thursday. Under the new law, retailers are...

Lawmakers lock Louisiana into spending hikes for the future

Jun. 8, 2019 8:21 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Flush with new cash in an election year, Louisiana lawmakers got generous, passing pay raises and boosted spending plans, but the full bill won't come due until later years. Despite improved revenue collections, the Legislature didn't have enough money to cover all the items on its...

Louisiana fantasy sports betting rules fail to win passage

Jun. 7, 2019 1:57 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana voters agreed to legalize fantasy sports betting in three-quarters of the state's parishes months ago, but they won't actually get to compete for online cash prizes anytime soon. Lawmakers didn't set the required rules and tax rates for the betting before the clock ran out...