Roundup: Debris removal / Holiday gas prices / ‘Pink Tax’ 

    Beginning Thursday: Mayor Sharon Weston Broome has announced plans to expedite Baton Rouge’s emergency debris removal process after last week’s floods. Removal will begin Thursday, with the hardest-hit areas served first. According to mayor’s office estimates, there are currently about 22,000 cubic yards of flood debris on roadways in the area.

    At the pump: The national average for the price of gas is just over $3 per gallon, the highest price going into Memorial Day weekend since 2014, and $1 more per gallon than a year ago. Some of the price increase is left over from the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline earlier this month, WAFB-TV reports. While that supply pipe is back in full operation, some gas stores in the Southeast aren’t fully stocked yet. The American Automobile Association expects 37 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend. Read the full story.   

    Product exemption: The so-called “pink tax” exemption bill, which would establish a state sales tax exemption on feminine hygiene products and diapers, passed the Louisiana House on Tuesday and was ordered to the Senate for consideration, Louisiana Illuminator reports. HB7, authored by Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, passed in a 62-32 vote with no debate on the House floor. Tuesday’s passage marks a new step for the legislation, which Democratic lawmakers have tried to advance for several years. Read the full story.