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State Budget
6:06 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Billion Dollar Decrease in Proposed Budget

Gov. Bobby Jindal invited the press to the Governor's Mansion for a brief preview of his budget, which will be unveiled in full Friday morning before the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

The budget totals $24.7 billion. The governor says that's a billion dollar decrease from last year.

The Dept. of Health and Hospitals will see a cut of about $50 million because of a drop in federal funds. Jindal says the budget for higher education will see reductions because of the privatization of some of LSU’s hospitals, but not in other areas.

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The Charter Movement
2:26 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Growing Doubts About For-Profit Public School Management

For-profit public school management is on the decline across the country. In 2007 about half of charter schools that entered into management contracts did so with a for-profit company. Three years later, that number fell by 25 percent. In New Orleans, all of the for-profits that came in to manage charters after Hurricane Katrina are now gone. Opposition to for-profit public schools in Mississippi is growing fierce.


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Super Bowl 2013
12:37 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

BR Hotels Rake In $2.54 Million Over Super Bowl Weekend

Super Bowl XLVIIgenerated a major boost for Baton Rouge tourism. That’s according to Smith Travel Research, which tracks hotel occupancy nationwide, and capital city tourism officials are pleased with the numbers.

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Politics
6:08 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

John Bel Edwards: First Horse in 2015 La. Governor's Race

John Bel Edwards is the Louisiana House Minority Leader, and may be the only democratic candidate for governor in 2015.
Credit Louisiana House of Representatives

 Louisiana House Minority Leader, John Bel Edwards, threw his hat into the ring for the next gubernatorial race Wednesday morning on the Jim Engster Show

Edwards may see a fundraising advantage by announcing this early, but has a lot to overcome.

Other potential candidates include fellow democrat New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and republicans US Senator David Vitter, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, and State Treasurer John Kennedy.


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The Jim Engster Show
10:12 am
Wed February 20, 2013

THURSDAY: CPRA Chair Garret Graves, Southern's Dr. James Llorens and Michelle Hill

Jim talks with Garret Graves, Chairman of the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority of Louisiana, and Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities.

From Southern University, Chancellor James Llorens and Admissions and Enrollment Director Michelle Hill discuss budget and enrollment challenges on The Bluff.


Education
8:24 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Gearing Up for Bout Over Breakaway School District

Belinda Davis, head of One Community, One School District, urges an audience at Baton Rouge's Unitarian Church to sign a petition opposing a breakaway school district.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

A constitutional amendment allowing for an independent school district in Southeast Baton Rouge fell fewer than 10 votes short of making it out of the legislature and onto the statewide ballot last year. The proponents, fed up with the shortcomings of the C-rated parish district, intend to try again. Opponents of the split are also readying for round two.
 


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Politics
5:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Legislature to Consider Bayou Corne Buy Out, Saltdome Regulation

The sinkhole that put many nearby residents under a mandatory evacuation order has grow in area and fluctuated in depth since it first appeared on August 3rd.
Credit Assumption Parish

It’s been 200 days since a sinkhole forced residents of Bayou Corne to evacuate their homes. 

Homeowners are fed up. Some testified at a Joint Committee meeting Tuesday at the Capitol. Some are calling for Texas Brine – the company responsible for the failed salt-mining cavern that allegedly caused the sinkhole – to buy out their properties. 

State lawmakers have an eye on legislation aiming to amend constituents' problems and assure Louisianians won't meet the same situation in the future.

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Deepwater Horizon
10:58 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Judge Approves Transocean Civil Settlement

A federal judge has approved Transocean Ltd.'s agreement with the Justice Department to pay $1 billion in civil penalties for its role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in his ruling Tuesday that he found "no just reason for delay" in approving the civil settlement.

Last week, a different judge approved Transocean's criminal settlement with the federal government. The company pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and will pay an additional $400 million in criminal penalties.

Deepwater Horizon
10:23 am
Tue February 19, 2013

BP Ready for Trial in Civil Case

BP says it has failed to reach a settlement in advance of next week's civil trial on the Deepwater Horizon accident and is ready to defend itself vigorously against allegations of gross negligence in the U.S.'s biggest environmental disaster.

Rupert Bondy, the group's general counsel, said in a statement Tuesday that settlement demands were "not based on reality or the merits of the case."

Billions are at stake in the Feb. 25 trial in New Orleans to determine BP's civil liability. BP already agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement of federal criminal charges.

The Jim Engster Show
10:13 am
Tue February 19, 2013

WEDNESDAY: State Rep. John Bel Edwards, Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle

State Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite, head of the Democratic Legislative Caucus, talks about Gov. Jindal's budget and tax reform plans and announces his intentions to run for governor in 2015.

Then, Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle discusses the firing of Police Chief Dwayne White and her push to make that job an elected one -- rather than an appointed one.


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