Politics http://wrkf.org en Insight: With Fresh Analysis of State Budget, Lawmakers Go 'OMG!' http://wrkf.org/post/insight-fresh-analysis-state-budget-lawmakers-go-omg <p>At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.<br /><br />Robert Travis Scott, president of the <a href="http://parlouisiana.org/" target="_blank">Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana,</a> has been following the developments.<br />&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:01:22 +0000 Amy Jeffries & Robert Travis Scott 25364 at http://wrkf.org Students Push for Tastier School Lunches http://wrkf.org/post/students-push-tastier-school-lunches <p>“The food is not very tasty, at all.”</p><p>“The food’s so disgusting.”</p><p>“The cafeteria food is nasty.”</p><p>These students from Ruston and Central high schools aren’t just bellyaching about their school lunches, they’re testifying before Louisiana’s Senate Agriculture Committee. They’re hoping to advance a resolution <em>they</em> initiated.</p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25360 at http://wrkf.org Students Push for Tastier School Lunches Voucher Eligibility: “C” is for “Choice” http://wrkf.org/post/voucher-eligibility-c-choice <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A bill that would take students attending “C” rated public schools out of eligibility for the voucher program failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.</p><p>“Either ‘C’ schools are failing schools, or they’re not,” stated Amite Representative John Bel Edwards, explaining the proposed program change as simple logic. “This program was premised upon giving choices to parents whose kids were trapped in failing schools. A ‘C’ school is not a failing school. It’s just that simple.”</p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25308 at http://wrkf.org Voucher Eligibility: “C” is for “Choice” State Education Superintendent: Elect or Appoint? http://wrkf.org/post/state-education-superintendent-elect-or-appoint <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25256 at http://wrkf.org State Education Superintendent: Elect or Appoint? Coastal Restoration Spending Advances http://wrkf.org/post/coastal-restoration-spending-advances <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Members of the House Transportation Committee put their stamp of approval on the Coastal Restoration Spending Plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Jerome Zeringue, director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, says they’ll spend $725-million. Most of that money is oil-spill funds from BP.</p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25204 at http://wrkf.org Coastal Restoration Spending Advances Public Invited for State Budget Input http://wrkf.org/post/public-invited-state-budget-input <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>As the sixth week of the twelve week session begins, the budget takes center stage on Monday and Tuesday.</p><p>“Our public comment days are April the 14<sup>th</sup> and April the 15<sup>th</sup>,” explains House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin. And he says they will work into the evening both days, to ensure everyone can be heard.</p><p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25156 at http://wrkf.org Public Invited for State Budget Input Insight: Congressman's Scandal Yields Political Turf War http://wrkf.org/post/insight-congressmans-scandal-yields-political-turf-war <p>Vance McAllister swept into Congress six months ago, elected in a special election to finish out Rodney Alexander's term representing the 5th District in north Louisiana. And already, McAllister has been ensnared in a scandal, caught on tape kissing a woman who is not his wife.&nbsp;</p><p>Now political opportunists on all sides are calling for McAllister's resignation and chomping at the bit to fill his seat.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>JR Ball, <a href="http://www.nola.com/baton-rouge/" target="_blank">NOLA.com's </a>news manager in&nbsp;Baton Rouge, has had an ear to the frenzy.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:07:12 +0000 Amy Jeffries & JR Ball 25044 at http://wrkf.org Insight: Congressman's Scandal Yields Political Turf War Committee Says No to Higher Minimum Wage http://wrkf.org/post/committee-says-no-higher-minimum-wage-0 <p>The House Labor Committee heard and rejected several bills Thursday, aimed at setting a state minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.</p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 25043 at http://wrkf.org Committee Says No to Higher Minimum Wage 'Crime Against Nature' Repeal Effort Advances http://wrkf.org/post/crime-against-nature-repeal-effort-advances <p>Not every bill a legislator files is to make new law. Sometimes a bill is needed to repeal an old law. Such was the case Tuesday in the House Criminal Justice committee.</p><p>“No matter what you might think about the language, it is unconstitutional,” said Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith, in reference to the state’s sodomy law, also known as “crime against nature”, and her bill to repeal it.</p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Sue Lincoln 24978 at http://wrkf.org 'Crime Against Nature' Repeal Effort Advances 'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus http://wrkf.org/post/kissing-congressman-video-puts-scandal-unusual-focus Embattled GOP Rep. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:48:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 24972 at http://wrkf.org 'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus