Quantcast

Today's Louisiana legislative action - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Today's Louisiana legislative action

Posted: Updated:

Minimum wage efforts rejected

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Lawmakers once again have shot down efforts to raise Louisiana's minimum wage, with Republicans aligned in opposition to the pay hike.

The Senate labor committee Thursday considered a measure by Sen. Karen Peterson, D-New Orleans, that would have required businesses working on a project for state government to pay their employees $8.25 an hour, starting next year.

"It represents good public policy," Peterson said.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Committee members voted 3-1 to reject Peterson's proposal. Opponents said it was unfair to target some businesses and could cost state agencies more money for projects.

Senators then voted 3-1 to kill a bill by Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge, that would have created a state minimum wage of $10 an hour.

Dorsey-Colomb said minimum wage earners in Louisiana struggle to survive on a wage that has not been adjusted for inflation.

"We should be embarrassed," she said.

Democrats have filed several bills this session seeking to raise Louisiana's minimum wage, arguing it would lessen poverty in a state with the nation's third highest poverty rate.

But lawmakers have sided with business groups that oppose the effort, arguing it would hurt the economy by causing businesses to cut jobs and raise the cost of goods and services.

Put down the phone in school zones

A proposal to ban drivers from using handheld cell phones during school zone hours is heading to the full Senate for debate.

The House-approved bill (House Bill 370) by Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, faces rewriting on the Senate floor amid continued concerns about how to notify drivers if the change is enacted.

Thompson said he proposed the idea to help ensure the safety of children.

"We want to make sure when we have distracted children crossing those roads that we don't also have distracted drivers," he told the Senate transportation committee, which agreed without objection to advance the measure to the Senate floor.

Opponents say drivers have many types of distractions that go beyond cell phones, and they say school zones already require drivers to slow down to ensure safety.

If passed into law, violators would face a fine up to $175 on a first offense, then up to $500 on subsequent offenses. If the driver is involved in a crash while on a cell phone, the fine would be doubled.

The bill would take effect Jan. 1.

Special support services for human trafficking victims

Courts should be able to create specialized divisions to handle human trafficking cases, both the House and Senate have agreed.

Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, said her bill (House Bill 569) would allow judges to better steer victims to support services, rather than jail for drug crimes or prostitution that are tied to trafficking.

The creation of a special division or section of a court to handle human trafficking cases would allow for a judge to get specialized training about available support services. If a special human trafficking division exists, all prostitution-related cases would be steered to it.

The Senate unanimously agreed to the proposal Thursday. The House already has approved it, but it heads back there for review of a Senate change. The measure is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

    Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:00:39 GMT
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.
  • Like the sound of a 3 day work week? The world's 2nd richest man does

    Like the sound of a 3 day work week? The world's 2nd richest man does

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:26 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:26:11 GMT
    Carlos Slim (AP photo)Carlos Slim (AP photo)
    Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is suggesting that workers shift to a three-day work week. The catch: He would require 11-hour work days and workers to stay on the job until age 70 or 75.
    Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is suggesting that workers shift to a three-day work week. The catch: He would require 11-hour work days and workers to stay on the job until age 70 or 75.
  • Shreveport tackles bulk garbage issue

    Shreveport tackles bulk garbage issue

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:16:20 GMT
    Changes on the way for your trash and the City of Shreveport. The city is tackling it's bulk garbage issue that's been leaving city streets filled with trash on the side of the road for weeks at a time. 
    Changes on the way for your trash and the City of Shreveport. The city is tackling it's bulk garbage issue that's been leaving city streets filled with trash on the side of the road for weeks at a time. 
Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File