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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Joint Budget Committee to Vote on Mid-Year Cuts

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets today to vote on the governor’s plan for slicing $103-million from current year spending.

“These mid-year cuts are critical,” House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says of the painful necessity.


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Law and Order
2:18 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Study Shows Increasing Incarceration Has Diminishing Returns

Credit Brennan Center

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

The Brennan Center for Justice recently put out a report on the effect of imprisonment on crime. Lauren-Brooke Eisen, one of the authors of the report, walks through some of the findings.


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

“Statutory Dedications” Explained

With so much current focus on the state budget, the term “statutory dedications” keeps coming up. What are they and why are they an issue? We turn to Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy for answers.

“We have about 370 special accounts into which money automatically flows, because the Legislature has dedicated it,” Kennedy says, by way of introduction.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Opting Out of Standardized Testing

 “I don’t want to subject my son to an environment of testing that I know has nothing to do with learning.”

So says James Kirylo, father of Antonio, a third-grader attending public school in Tangipahoa Parish. Kirylo is also a professor of education at Southeastern Louisiana University, and is one of dozens of parents around the state who are opting their children out of standardized testing this spring. Kirylo admits his reason is different than most.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Promised Coastal Dollars May Be Reconsidered

Louisiana’s congressional delegation — most notably former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu — has fought for coastal restoration funding for years. And it’s just about to pay off big.

“In November of 2017, approximately $170-million is to be made available to the state — $140-million of which comes to the CPRA,” explains Kyle Graham, with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The source of the funds is a federal program known as GOMESA.

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Bayou Garden
7:16 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Love in Blooms

Bleeding heart flower
Credit Muffet / Wikimedia Commons

For Valentine's Day, there are plants including "hearts-bustin'-with-love", "bleeding hearts", "love in a puff", and "love lies bleeding", and the "love apple".


Culture
4:01 am
Fri February 13, 2015

In Debut Novel, Baton Rougean Gets Heard

Author M.O. Walsh in his hometown, Baton Rouge.

There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road ... It was a crime impossible during daylight, when we neighborhood kids would have been tearing around in go-karts, coloring chalk figures on our driveways, or chasing snake down into storm gutters. But at night, the streets of Woodland Hills sat empty and quiet, except for the pleasure of frogs greeting the mosquitoes that rose in squadrons from the swamps behind our properties.

— That’s how “My Sunshine Away”, the debut novel from M.O. Walsh, begins.

It’s a suspense and a coming of age story set in an idyllic suburban neighborhood unsettled when a teenage girl — the narrator’s boyhood crush — is attacked.

Specifically, the novel is set in Baton Rouge. That’s where M.O. Walsh is from, but he now lives in New Orleans where he’s the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO.


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Louisiana Trying to Salvage Credit Rating

State officials have been burning up the phone lines between Baton Rouge and New York City this week, trying to stave off the threatened downgrade of Louisiana’s credit rating. State Treasurer John Kennedy says it’s been intense.

“We’re in trouble. I don’t want to overstate that, but I don’t want to sugarcoat it, either,” Kennedy says. “We’re in trouble with two of the three rating agencies. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have told us unless we get our fiscal affairs in order, they’re going to downgrade us.”


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Culture
7:17 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Baton Rouge Bands Take on Tiny Desk

Baton Rouge-based band Ship of Fools

While Oakland, California-based musician Fantastic Negrito has been declared winner of NPR's Tiny Desk contest, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on all of the entries that came out of the Baton Rouge area.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Unequal Cuts: Statewide Elected Officials Complain

Statewide elected officials believe the Jindal administration’s budget ax must have become dull from overuse, since the latest round of proposed cuts are far from even.

“The cuts seem to be disproportionate,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne observes.


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