Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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Wallis Watkins

A bill to legalize betting on professional and college sports in Louisiana casinos started advancing in the Senate Tuesday.

“It’s not a big money maker, but if we don’t do it, it puts us at a distinct disadvantage,” Senator Danny Martiny (R-Metairie) told members of a Senate judiciary committee.

BATON ROUGE-- The House Ways and Means Committee discussed a trio of bills Monday and Tuesday that would give the city of New Orleans more control over local revenue to address its growing infrastructure concerns.

The public discussion came as New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Administration and leaders of the city’s hospitality industry have been unable to reach an agreement on how to pay for repairs to the city’s infrastructure.

Wallis Watkins

Facing a steep drop in state revenue last year, the Louisiana Legislature agreed to partially extend the state sales tax by .45% until 2025. But as the state’s finances have moved from deficit to surplus, some Republican lawmakers are reconsidering the temporary tax. 

SARAH GAMARD/LSU MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE

A proposed constitutional amendment regarding abortion cleared its first hurdle in the House Civil Law committee last week. 

Wallis Watkins

Louisiana Senator Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) has proposed a bill that would automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver's license.

Wallis Watkins

A handful of Democratic legislators are pushing a plan to provide paid family and medical leave for working families in Louisiana.

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The debate over school funding came to a head Tuesday, when the House Education committee voted to change the K-12 budget proposal backed by Governor John Bel Edwards. 

DAVID STANLEY / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Massive criminal justice reforms passed by the Legislature two years ago have shed the state’s title as the incarceration capital of the nation. Sentencing changes, including increased access to probation and parole, are also saving the state millions of dollars. 

SARAH GAMARD/LSU MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE

For the first time in about a decade, the Louisiana Legislature is set to consider ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.  If successful, Louisiana would be the last state needed to adopt the amendment - ensuring the equal rights of men and women - to the U.S. Constitution.

Wallis Watkins

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham squared off at a gubernatorial forum Thursday held by the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana. 

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