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Shreveport Senator John Milkovich’s legislation that would give teachers more freedom to decide how to handle bullies in public schools passed through the Senate Education Committee. The bill gives teachers a wide leniency to “take all steps deemed necessary” to stop bullying, including involving the police, and personally restraining offending students. Milkovich says it would cut down on the red tape involved in stopping bullies.


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Senator John Kennedy has co-sponsored the WOOFF act which stands for welfare of our furry friends act.  He’s aiming to curtail the death’s of animals on airlines like the one last Monday on a United flight.


Kennedy says, "There have been a number of pets, in particular dogs, who have died on United flights." Kennedy says that the airline made a woman place her dog in an overhead compartment. 


Kennedy says he expects to get some answers from the airline that was responsible for the dog’s death.


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Governor John Bel Edwards released his legislative agenda aimed at improving the well-being of children and seniors. One of the bills included is West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman’s proposal to reduce the requirements necessary for public school teachers to obtain tenure. Hoffman says the current requirements are unfair to educators.


Hoffman says that the bill still won't make obtaining tenure a "piece of cake." He says that if obtaining tenure is an option, it needs to be "fair to the teachers." 


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The regular session begins today less than a week after the special session crashed and burned. Fiscal cliff negotiations will be put on hold while a slew of other issues take center stage. There are several gun control bills filed. But Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin doesn’t see any of the measures to restrict who can purchase an assault rifle passing.


Erwin says that despite the school shooting in Florida, it's "really hard to see legislation to limit guns" in Louisiana. He says that Louisiana is a "huge Second Amendment state." 


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The regular session kicks off today, and Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping the legislature gets more accomplished than the special session that ended without a clear solution to the fiscal cliff. The special session was notable for its stark partisan divides, which Edwards says were the worst he’s seen in a decade.


Edwards says, "The level of acrimony and distrust is beyond anything that I've seen in the ten years that I've been involved in state government."


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New Orleans Democrat Senator Troy Carter has filed a bill to raise the state minimum hourly wage to $9.50 for businesses with more than 50 employees by August 2019. 18 states started the year with increased wages and an additional 19 states adopted higher wages in 2017. Carter says in light of WalMart’s recent announcement of employee bonuses and Target raising their minimum wage, it’s time for Louisiana to step up.


Carter’s push to raise the wage in prior sessions have failed and he’s urging lawmakers to ask themselves one simple question.


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US Representative Clay Higgins is proposing two bills aimed at investigating and improving the quality of law enforcement protection at public schools. After the revelation that the school resource officer present at the Florida shooting fled, Higgins says it’s time to reevaluate just who is charged with protecting students.


According to Higgins, these bills would "mandate a nationwide cultural change" to protect children in schools. 


Higgins says the bill would give policymakers a comprehensive look at just how schools are being secured.


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Jefferson Parish Representative Kirk Talbot has filed a bill for the regular session, that would let voters decide in October if internet fantasy sports betting should be legal in Louisiana. The issue dates back to a 1991 attorney general opinion concluding that fantasy draft games done over the phone were illegal and by expansion, now includes websites such as Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Talbot argues this proposition would not expand mainstream gambling.


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A sort of “Re-do” bill has been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative regular session by Metairie Senator Conrad Appel. Senate Bill 31 disqualifies would be candidates from running for office after convicted of a felony for at least 15 years after they have served a sentence. Voters approved this legislation before, but the Louisiana Supreme Court tossed it out, because the version that appeared on the ballot was different than what legislators approved. So Appel wants to put it on the ballot again.


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Medicaid reform legislation was pulled from consideration in the House Health and Welfare Committee before it could be voted on, maintaining the special session’s current run of inaction. The bill would have implemented work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Opelousas Democrat Dustin Miller says the bill was mean spirited and wasteful.


Miller says the proposal was similar to Kentucky’s Medicaid reform that is currently estimated to cost that state roughly 300 million dollars to implement.