Tort reform bill headed to governor

By Catherine Hunt / LSU Manship School News Service BATON ROUGE — The House voted 72-28 Friday to pass a bill that aims to lower car insurance rates in Louisiana by limiting damage suits and awards to people injured in car accidents. The bill by Sen. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, targets tort laws that Republicans say make it too easy to sue and claim damages after a car accident. The Senate also has passed the bill, and it will go next to Gov. John Bel Edwards. He supported an alternative approach to lowering insurance rates and has said he might veto the bill. Legislative leaders were negotiating Friday with his aides about the terms of the bill, which passed both chambers by large enough ma

Bill would expand medical marijuana

By Kathleen Peppo / LSU Manship School News Service BATON ROUGE — The Senate voted 28-6 Wednesday to approve a bill to make medical marijuana more widely available across the state. The bill would lift regulations that require doctors to register with the state to recommend it and that limit its use in treating diseases. Under the bill, any state-licensed physician could recommend medical marijuana for the treatment of debilitating health conditions. The Senate approved several amendments to the bill, which had already passed the House, so it will now go back to the House for final consideration. Before the vote, Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, gave a personal anecdote about the legal use of

2020 annual meeting canceled

For the safety of our members and loggers, the 2020 annual convention of the Louisiana Forestry Association has been canceled. The 73rd annual meeting was scheduled for Aug. 25-27at the Golden Nugget Hotel Resort & Casino in Lake Charles. However, closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty as the country reopens, led to the decision by the LFA executive committee to decide that safety is paramount. “We regret that we have to cancel this event, which is a favorite for so many of our members, but with all of the uncertainties, we want to make sure our members, our loggers and vendors are not put at any undue risk of the coronavirus,” said LFA Executive Director Buck Vandersteen.

Helm named outstanding alum

David Helm has been named Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Outstanding Alumnus for 2019.

No mail-in voting

Second straight day that Republican lawmakers defeated a bill to allow more mail voting

Senate passes tort reform bill

By Catherine Hunt / LSU Manship School News Service BATON ROUGE — The Senate voted 29-8 Monday to pass a bill that could lower auto insurance rates by limiting damage suits by people injured in car wrecks. The bill by Sen. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, would change aspects of Louisiana’s tort laws that Republican lawmakers and business lobbyists say make it too easy to file lawsuits after car accidents. Louisiana drivers pay the second highest car insurance premiums in the nation, after Michigan. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said the bill would reduce insurance rates by at least 10 percent, and rates could be reduced by as much as 25 percent in some cases. Some Democrats said the bill sh

La. uneasy about contact tracing

The plan includes ramping up the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing capacities to enter the first phase of reopening on Friday.

U.S. Forest Service to hire foresters

The U.S. Forest Service will opening up four forester jobs in Louisiana, according to the Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis Unit. Locations for the jobs include Hammond, Pineville and Ruston. Anyone interested in applying for the positions should use the link below to learn about the outreach notice. Information regarding the jobs will be included in the notice and Potential applicants will have to go to USA Jobs to apply.

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