Wednesday notes from the legislature - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Wednesday notes from the legislature

Posted: Updated:

BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Students at poor-performing public schools could have the possibility of switching to higher-performing schools, under a bill that received the unanimous support Wednesday of the Senate.

Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, said he proposed the measure (Senate Bill 61) to offer choice to public school students, like the state has offered through the taxpayer-funded voucher program.

"It gives our public school students the same rights as our scholarship students in private schools," he said.

The proposal would start with the upcoming 2014-15 school year.

Parents would be able to enroll their children in the public school they choose if the student was assigned to a school that was graded with a D or F in the state's school grading system. The school that a parent chooses must be rated at an A, B or C level - and it must have the space to take the student.

The bill contains an exception for schools under court orders. It also would require parents to get their children to the newly-selected school if it's located outside the geographic boundaries of the school system or would cost the system more than it would otherwise pay for transportation.

Louisiana's public schools would be given explicit authority to put up nativity scenes and Christmas trees as part of a holiday display, under a proposal that received the backing of the House Education Committee.

Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, said he sponsored the proposal (House Bill 876) to "support Merry Christmas."

The displays on school properly could include a menorah, nativity scene, a Christmas tree or other symbols "associated with traditional celebrations in winter" if the display either represents more than one religion or includes one religion and at least one secular symbol. The display couldn't include a "message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief."

Seabaugh's bill also would spell out in law that students and staff can say "Merry Christmas," ''Happy Hanukkah" or other holiday greetings at school.

The committee approved the measure without objection, sending it to the full House.

Home-based bakers who sell their pies to the public would be exempt from some state licensing standards, if lawmakers agree to a bill advancing in the Legislature.

Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, is seeking to add pies to a law passed last year giving the exemptions to people who sell cakes and cookies they baked at home, a law that keeps them from adhering to sanitation rules that require commercial grade equipment.

Schroder's bill wouldn't apply to people who make chicken pot pies, crawfish pies or other pies with meat or fish.

The proposal (House Bill 216) received the backing of the House Health and Welfare Committee in a 9-5 vote Wednesday. It moves to the House floor for consideration.

Opponents of such bills have raised concerns about food-borne illnesses and food safety.

In other legislative action:

-The Senate wants the Louisiana Legislature to lodge a formal request with the USDA to develop "tastier food options" for school lunches through its National School Lunch Program. The resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 41) by Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, was sent to the House with a 36-0 vote. Gallot said it was introduced after talking with high school students who complained about their lunch options.

-Information deemed "commercially sensitive" to a public utility authority would be exempt from public disclosure, if lawmakers agree to a bill (House Bill 1121) that received the unanimous backing Wednesday of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. The protected information would include fuel costs, power pricing details, and customer billing and usage information. The measure by Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur, moves next to the full House for consideration.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Black bear plays hide-and-seek in Winnsboro

    Black bear plays hide-and-seek in Winnsboro

    Sunday, August 31 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:16:24 GMT
    WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - One KNOE viewer sent in some cute video of what looks to be a Louisiana Black Bear hanging out in a rice field.
    WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - One KNOE viewer sent in some cute video of what looks to be a Louisiana Black Bear hanging out in a rice field.
  • US judge blocks enforcement of new La abortion law

    US judge blocks enforcement of new La abortion law

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-09-01 04:02:42 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana's restrictive new abortion law.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana's restrictive new abortion law.
  • San Antonio man shoots two children during domestic dispute

    San Antonio man shoots two children during domestic dispute

    Sunday, August 31 2014 2:47 PM EDT2014-08-31 18:47:50 GMT
    SAN ANTONIO, Tx. (KENS) - A shooting in southeast San Antonio left two children riddled with gunshot wounds Saturday.
    SAN ANTONIO, Tx. (KENS) - A shooting in southeast San Antonio left two children riddled with gunshot wounds Saturday.
  • Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:00:56 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
  • Louisiana police arrest man in Montana killing

    Louisiana police arrest man in Montana killing

    Sunday, August 31 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:06:59 GMT
    SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Shreveport police say a two-day manhunt has brought the arrest of a 27-year-old man accused in Montana of killing a homeless man.
    SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Shreveport police say a two-day manhunt has brought the arrest of a 27-year-old man accused in Montana of killing a homeless man.
  • Two women arrested on conspiracy, fraud and forgery

    Two women arrested on conspiracy, fraud and forgery

    Saturday, August 30 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:21:06 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Two Monroe women have been arrested for multiple counts of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. West Monroe Police say former Cash Time employee Kisha Scott allegedly set up several fake accounts in order to get hundreds of dollars from each one.' Police report Mary Mustin helped Scott steal the money.  
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Two Monroe women have been arrested for multiple counts of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. West Monroe Police say former Cash Time employee Kisha Scott allegedly set up several fake accounts in order to get hundreds of dollars from each one.' Police report Mary Mustin helped Scott steal the money.  
  • 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

    49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:30:05 GMT
    San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL after a series of off-field legal issues.
    The San Francisco 49ers have been preparing for months to play on without Aldon Smith over an extended period.
  • BR Police: officer shot man who tried to take gun

    BR Police: officer shot man who tried to take gun

    Sunday, August 31 2014 2:41 PM EDT2014-08-31 18:41:03 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge police Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. says an officer shot and critically wounded a man who allegedly tried to grab the officer's gun while threatening his life.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge police Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. says an officer shot and critically wounded a man who allegedly tried to grab the officer's gun while threatening his life.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.