BATON ROUGE — Louisiana's colleges are bracing for the newest rounds of budget cuts, with higher education hit with a $25 million cut in the final month of this fiscal year and another $66 million in slashing for the upcoming budget year.
The reductions are lower than lawmakers considered before they wrapped up their work. But they fall on top of years of reductions that campus leaders say are chasing away administration leaders, faculty and students.
BATON ROUGE — Fine and penalty money the state receives because of the Gulf Coast oil spill will be earmarked to Louisiana's coastal protection fund, under a bill that received final legislative passage.
The measure by Jeanerette Rep. Simone Champagne deals with money that could be received by the state for violations of federal pollution standards, a figure that could total billions of dollars. The coastal protection fund, where the money would be placed, is used for coastal restoration projects and hurricane protection efforts.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed a package of bills that would have tweaked the state's video poker laws. The conservative Louisiana Family Forum asked him to scrap the bills, which were designed to deregulate gambling operations in the state.
A federal appeals court has upheld a former Gretna city councilman's convictions and prison sentence for taking money in exchange for his support of zoning variances. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Jonathan Bolar's argument that a jury didn't hear enough evidence to support his extortion convictions.
Prosecutors are urging a judge to reject defense attorneys' claims that a "secret public relations campaign" by federal authorities deprived five former police officers of a fair trial on charges stemming from deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge following Hurricane Katrina.
The conservative Louisiana Family Forum is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto three bills that tweak the state's video poker laws.
In a letter sent to the governor, Family Forum leader Gene Mills says the changes would deregulate video poker.
One measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Danny Martiny, would remove the mandatory license revocation requirement for a video poker operator who has three or more violations for letting someone under 21 years old play video poker.
Authorities say William "Billy" Bretherton, star of the A&E reality TV show "Billy the Exterminator," has been arrested in Bossier City, La., on drug possession charges.
City spokesman Mark Natale says a warrant was issued last week for Bretherton and his wife, Mary, after items recovered from their hotel room tested positive for synthetic marijuana. They surrendered Friday.
Natale says police were called on April 28 to a Bossier City hotel following a 911 hang-up call from the room.
"Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like 'Only You' and 'The Great Pretender,' " has died at a Boston area hospice, The Associated Press reports. He was 84 and had been in declining health, according to his manager, Fred Balboni.
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have shut down their regular legislative session, ending three months of bitter disputes over budgets, education and retirement. Gov. Bobby Jindal won a big victory for his overhaul of the state education system despite divisions between the GOP governor and some House Republicans.