Off to the races: Lawmakers in the Louisiana House are opening their budget hearings today amid a new round of partisan financial disputes. Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras has blocked economists’ recommendations to increase the state income forecast and make more money available for next year’s budget. Edwards proposed a 2019-20 spending plan that assumes the money eventually will be recognized. Read the full story.
In court: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell filed a lawsuit Friday against Entergy New Orleans, Chevron U.S.A. Inc, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and eight other oil and gas companies, demanding they repair damage caused by exploration, production and pipeline construction activities to wetlands along the city’s eastern edges. In response to the lawsuit, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association released a statement saying the lawsuit was self-serving and sends a message to the industry that New Orleans is “closed for business.”
Headline maker: Louisiana’s new subscription model for treating hepatitis C in prisoners and Medicaid recipients by paying a flat fee to biotechnology firm Gilead sciences has become the subject of national medical news. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that kills thousands each year and is very expensive to treat. Read Modern Medicine’s feature about Louisiana.