John Alario

For the second straight year, Republican lawmakers have refused to accept state economists’ forecast of expected revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, a crucial benchmark for crafting the state budget.

The partisan stand-off over the budget could also delay funding for several projects in Louisiana, including the reopening of the Algiers Ferry, coastal restoration in Plaquemines Parish and payments associated with the Harrah’s Casino contract.

In Thursday’s meeting, Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie), on behalf of House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia), voted down updated forecasts presented by the Legislative Fiscal Office and pision of Administration.

With the 2019 election behind him, Governor John Bel Edwards’ focus has shifted from winning a second term to figuring out how to get his initiatives through an even more conservative legislature.

He talked about his priorities last week at his first press conference since the election.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Two bills focused on deterring pregnant women from getting abortions have been overwhelmingly approved by two legislative health committees.

Sen. Sharon Weston Broome said Wednesday that her proposal gives women the opportunity to listen to a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. The measure is based on a similar law passed last year in Texas requiring that doctors conduct a sonogram, describe the fetus and play a fetal heartbeat for pregnant women seeking abortions.