Louisiana Legislature

Louisiana Senate approves nearly $700 million roads bill; plan includes 3-mile WBR flyover

The work would be financed by revamping how the state uses about $700 million in settlement funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill.

The money is parceled out to the state in $53 million yearly increments.

The legislation would replace a 2014 state law that said 45 percent of the proceeds would be put in the Medicaid Trust Fund, 45 percent in Louisiana's rainy day fund and 10 percent in the Health Trust Fund.

Louisiana has a $14 billion backlog of road and bridge needs, which has set off a scramble to find innovative ways to finance projects.

Proposed state aid for early childhood education is far below need, advocates say

Despite repeated comments on the value of early childhood education, advocates are bracing for what they view as a paltry allocation likely coming from the Legislature to trim a key waiting list for services.

While 5,520 children from birth to age 3 are waiting for assistance, the list would be trimmed by 7 percent under the latest version of Louisiana's $30 billion operating budget.

Governor wants $4.3M more for early childhood education in new pledge of support; here's why

Amid criticism, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday he will push to increase spending for early childhood education so that a key waiting list for services can be reduced.

Edwards made the announcement during a luncheon that was part of Early Education Day at the State Capitol, which attracted about 120 advocates.

Under current budget plans, a waiting list of around 5,500 children seeking early childhood services would be trimmed by 400.

The governor said he wants the Legislature to allocate another $4.3 million, which would trim the waiting list by about 1,100 children, or 700 more.