Louisiana's veterans affairs secretary told state lawmakers Friday that he's heard complaints for years about problems with veterans having trouble getting treatment in the federal VA hospitals and clinics around the state.

A federal judge has set a mid-July deadline for filing briefs on multiple issues involving gay marriage in Louisiana.

Desperate to knock off GOP incumbents in this year's Republican primaries, the nation's tea party groups have spent millions only to fall short in election after election.

"We do have a deficit this fiscal year. We clearly do. Now, it can be papered over through a payday loan. Even if they're right legally, it's not fiscally responsible."

The Department of Education said Thursday that 23,560 students scored an 18 or higher in 2014. That was an increase of 1,472 over the 2013 total. And it was the second increase in as many years.

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