KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 05/07/13


News for Tuesday 050713

By Dave Graichen

 

The House Ways and Means  committee  advances  several  bills to the House floor that limit the amount of tax breaks Louisiana doles out. These  measures  will  be  used  in a budget deal House members  are working to approve later this week.  One  bill  heading to the House floor  will  cut  tax  credit programs by 5-percent,  raising  state

revenues by an estimated  47-million  dollars.  Governor Jindal held a press conference after the committee meeting say what the state reps were doing was sneaky and he believes all they want to do is raise taxes.

 

An audit on Louisiana's food stamps program shows about two-million  dollars in benefits went to ineligible residents, including prisoners.  Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says one-point-one million dollars in  food stamp benefits went to over 17-hundred incarcerated participants  during fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The audit also shows that about 300 participants spent 100-percent of their  benefits at a single retailer. Purpera says it's an indication the food  stamp recipient used their benefit card to possibly by liquor or tobacco. Something not allowed under the program.

 

The  House  has  passed  a bill that will exempt Louisiana-based gun manufacturers from federal  gun  regulations.  The bill, by Metairie Rep. Joe Lopinto, provides for a license for in-state  made firearms and  that  the  making  and  selling of said guns is not subject  to federal laws. The measure passed by a wide margin.

 

A  House bill that would loosen restrictions on who can carry a gun into  a restaurant that sells alcohol will be heard in a Senate committee  today. The legislation by Haughton representative Henry Burns was  originally written to allow off-duty police officers into bars and  restaurants.  Burns believes his bill was amended to include ALL permit holders in a  effort by opponents to kill it, but that backfired and it passed. It

also passed on the House Floor despite confusion over who the bill  applied to.

 

In an effort to help traditional retailers and financially strapped state and local governments, the US Senate Monday passed a bill that would allow for the charging of state sales taxes on most purchases made over the internet. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69-27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike. But opposition from some conservatives who view it as a tax increase will make it a tougher sell in the House. President Barack Obama has expressed his support.

 

Louisiana judges would no longer be subject to a mandatory age 70 retirement under a proposition endorsed Monday evening by the state Senate.The Senate voted 33-2 for a proposed constitutional amendment contained in Senate Bill 5 , which  now moves to the House for debate. The proposition must receive a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber before it goes to voters at the next statewide election which is in 2014.

 

Gas  prices continue to slide in  Louisiana.  The  current  statewide average  for a gallon of regular is $3.27 which is down a penny from yesterday.  Some  analysts  from the American Automobile Association say it's very possible prices  could  be  $3  a  gallon  by the time summer rolls around. A year ago at this time the price was $3.63.

 

A  proposal  to  help  state  road and bridge funding keep pace with inflation was rejected in a House  committee  Monday.  The bill would have indexed the gasoline tax to the Consumer Price Index.

 

A state audit shows that more than 44 percent of the Louisiana students who received scholarships from the state's TOPS program over a seven-year period had their awards canceled for one reason or another. The audit says the state spent $165 million in TOPS awards for the more than 42,000 students whose awards were eventually canceled. In response, TOPS administrators said more than 80 percent of money paid for TOPS awards went to students who completed the program. And they said most of the canceled awards were lost by students who failed to maintain enough credit hours but still had good grades.

 

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's office is investigating  the  death of a 3-year-old  child. Capt Ryan Turner says no charges have been  filed in the death  of  the  child because cause of death has not yet been determined. However he says  they  did  arrest  the four adults that were in the home that day after drugs were found during the investigation.

 

A  16-year Baton Rouge boy was  killed  when  the   car  he  was   a passenger  in  ran  off  I-10 in Ascension Parish and crashed into a line  of  trees.  The non-licensed  16-year-old driver and two other passengers in  the  vehicle were wearing  seatbelts  at  the time of the  wreck  and  suffered  only  minor  injuries.  An  investigation continues.

 

Legislation  that  would  prohibit  drivers  from  posting  on their Facebook  or  tweeting  while driving moves one step closer to final legislative approval. Livingston  Senator  Dale  Erdey says his bill calls  for  a  fine  of  up  to  175-dollars for the first  offense,

500-dollars for subsequent violations. The bill now heads to the House Floor, it's already been approved by the Senate.

 

 

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