Regular Session

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The regular legislative session is at the halfway point, with issues like TOPS reform, gun control, and gambling expansion mostly dead, while new sexual harassment policies, tougher hazing laws, and medical marijuana expansion have received broad support. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the session has been bogged down by one issue.

 

 

The yearly attempt at altering TOPS hit a brick wall on the house floor, and Pinsonat says at this point legislators should just give up trying to change the universally popular program.

 

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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."