September 22, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Announce Special Legislative Session to Address COVID-19, Unemployment

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana Legislature will convene in a special session on September 28 to address issues such as COVID-19, storm relief, and unemployment.

The Louisiana Legislature will convene in a special session on September 28 to address issues such as COVID-19, storm relief, and unemployment.

The Louisiana Constitution authorizes lawmakers to call themselves into special session upon the written petition of a majority of the elected members of each house.

Lawmakers may file and consider bills on 70 items. House Speaker Clay Schexnayder announced the special session will focus primarily on Hurricane Laura disaster relief and recovery efforts, on-going issues with COVID-19 relative to funding and the economy, and the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.
Several House members have also asked to address the continued proclamations issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards during the pandemic and what many see as an imbalance of power.
The session is set to begin September 28 at 6 p.m. and must adjourn by 6 p.m. on October 27.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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July 6, 2020 •

Louisiana Lobbyist Expenditure Limit on Food, Beverages Increases

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Lobbyists in Louisiana can now spend a bit more on wining and dining state lawmakers and other public officials. When the new budget year began July 1, the lobbying limit on food and drink for a public official edged up […]

Lobbyists in Louisiana can now spend a bit more on wining and dining state lawmakers and other public officials.

When the new budget year began July 1, the lobbying limit on food and drink for a public official edged up $1 per person, per occasion.

The new limit per person at an event is $63.

When the lobbying cap was first enacted, the limit was $50 per occasion.

However, the 2008 law that sets the limit allows annual adjustment tied to increases in the federal consumer price Index for food and beverages.

That index rose 1.8 percent in the last year.

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June 30, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Winding Down Special Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers have until final adjournment at 6 p.m. on June 30 to pass the government spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. In the special session premised in large part on COVID-19 relief, lawmakers gave […]

Louisiana lawmakers have until final adjournment at 6 p.m. on June 30 to pass the government spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

In the special session premised in large part on COVID-19 relief, lawmakers gave final legislative approval June 29 to send $250 hazard pay checks to up to 200,000 frontline workers.

Qualifying jobs include health workers, emergency, fire and law enforcement personnel, bus drivers, garbage workers, and grocery store and convenience store workers.

Additionally, negotiations on the state budget continue into the final day of the special session.

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June 5, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Call Special Session to Address State Budget

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers called themselves into a 30-day special session that began on June 2, immediately following the adjournment of the regular session. The special session agenda focuses on piecing together a more than $30 billion operating budget for the financial […]

Louisiana lawmakers called themselves into a 30-day special session that began on June 2, immediately following the adjournment of the regular session.

The special session agenda focuses on piecing together a more than $30 billion operating budget for the financial year that begins on July 1.

The session will also center on tax credit considerations, exemptions, and suspensions for businesses that were forced to reduce operations since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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May 4, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Resume Regular Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation. Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session. These […]

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation.

Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session.

These final four weeks began March 9, and the session was postponed March 16.

Legislative leaders also anticipate a large financial gap from widespread unemployment, forcing down tax collections and oil prices.

Altogether, the next financial year, beginning July 1, is predicting between $500 million to $1 billion less in state funding.

With a session that must end June 1, many legislators are eager to use the available days to assist with economic recovery.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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April 16, 2020 •

Louisiana Further Postpones Primary Election until July 11

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards delayed Louisiana’s presidential primary a second time due to COVID-19. The primary was originally scheduled for April 4. Edwards initially postponed the election until June 20 at the request of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. Now […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards delayed Louisiana’s presidential primary a second time due to COVID-19.

The primary was originally scheduled for April 4. Edwards initially postponed the election until June 20 at the request of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

Now the primary election has been pushed back an extra three weeks to July 11, making it one of the last states on the current primary calendar.

Ardoin also asked lawmakers to approve emergency procedures for the election. He sought to expand early voting from seven to 13 days.

Additionally, he wants to widen the availability of mail-in absentee ballots to people impacted by the virus.

With a 5-1 vote, the Senate and Governmental Affairs rejected an emergency certification that Ardoin needed to move ahead with the changes to polling places, early voting timelines, and absentee-by-mail voting eligibility.

The vote’s impact on the election is uncertain.

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April 1, 2020 •

Louisiana Legislature Recesses Indefinitely As COVID-19 Concerns Grow

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Only 58 House members and 21 Senate members of the Louisiana Legislature returned briefly on March 31. Lawmakers did not set a date for their next return, opting instead to recess upon the call of the presiding officer. House Speaker […]

Only 58 House members and 21 Senate members of the Louisiana Legislature returned briefly on March 31.

Lawmakers did not set a date for their next return, opting instead to recess upon the call of the presiding officer.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez will decide when the session will resume.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said March 31 he is likely to extend his statewide stay-at-home order until April 30 to coincide with federal guidelines.

In the meantime, official legislative proceedings are halted.

The legislature is prohibited by statutory, constitutional, and rule requirements from meeting remotely.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 16, 2020 •

Lousiana Legislature Suspends Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

On March 16, the Louisiana Legislature was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. The suspension is scheduled to be in effect until 11 a.m. on March 31. Per the constitution, the legislature is still scheduled to adjourn sine die on June […]

On March 16, the Louisiana Legislature was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

The suspension is scheduled to be in effect until 11 a.m. on March 31.

Per the constitution, the legislature is still scheduled to adjourn sine die on June 1.

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March 16, 2020 •

Louisiana Prepares Spending Package for Coronavirus Concerns

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers plan to create a contingency package of spending bills in case coronavirus concerns threaten to derail the session. Under the constitution, the legislature is required to pass a balanced budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30. […]

Louisiana lawmakers plan to create a contingency package of spending bills in case coronavirus concerns threaten to derail the session.

Under the constitution, the legislature is required to pass a balanced budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Ordinarily, legislators don’t pass a state budget until the final hours of the session, which must end this year by June 1.

The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference has not yet settled on an official revenue projection.

The purpose of the projection is to dictate how much a lawmaker may spend.

Both the House and Senate remain on schedule to debate the budget and all other legislation.

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March 16, 2020 •

Louisiana Capitol Building Screens Visitors for COVID-19

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Legislature announced that anyone planning to enter the state Capitol building will be screened for coronavirus beginning March 16. An email was sent from the Senate and House Communication Offices regarding how to prevent the spread of […]

The Louisiana State Legislature announced that anyone planning to enter the state Capitol building will be screened for coronavirus beginning March 16.

An email was sent from the Senate and House Communication Offices regarding how to prevent the spread of the virus.

Besides all legislators, the staff and members of the public who enter will be subject to COVID-19 screening.

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March 13, 2020 •

Louisiana Postpones Presidential Primary

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana will postpone its presidential primary originally scheduled for April 4. The state is the first to do so in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Louisiana will push the election to June 20, from the planned date of April 4. […]

Louisiana will postpone its presidential primary originally scheduled for April 4.

The state is the first to do so in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Louisiana will push the election to June 20, from the planned date of April 4.

It has also delayed its municipal elections scheduled for May 9 to July 25.

States such as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio, which hold primaries on March 17, have so far moved forward with their election events as planned.

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January 14, 2020 •

Louisiana Superintendent of Education Resigns

John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education

John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, is officially vacating his position on March 11 after eight years. The announcement came just two days after Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee announced her resignation effective January 31, after four years […]

John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, is officially vacating his position on March 11 after eight years.

The announcement came just two days after Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee announced her resignation effective January 31, after four years of service.

The news of White and Gee comes ahead of the inauguration of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ second term.

Edwards and several other state officials were sworn in on January 13.

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November 18, 2019 •

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards Wins Reelection

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

On Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards defeated Republican challenger Eddie Rispone to win reelection. The election was close heading into the final week and Edwards held onto his seat with a difference of 40,300 votes. Edwards becomes the first Democrat […]

On Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards defeated Republican challenger Eddie Rispone to win reelection.

The election was close heading into the final week and Edwards held onto his seat with a difference of 40,300 votes.

Edwards becomes the first Democrat in Louisiana to win reelection since 1975.

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June 7, 2019 •

Louisiana Legislature Adjourns

The Legislature adjourned sine die on June 6. The 60-day session was overshadowed by the upcoming November gubernatorial election. However, in its final day the Legislature did pass a $30 billion budget that increased teacher pay. Gov. Jon Bel Edwards […]

The Legislature adjourned sine die on June 6.

The 60-day session was overshadowed by the upcoming November gubernatorial election.

However, in its final day the Legislature did pass a $30 billion budget that increased teacher pay.

Gov. Jon Bel Edwards is expected to sign the deal, which applies to the financial year beginning July 1.

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