Rex Fortenberry

The regular session ends in just two weeks, and the Senate Finance Committee is now grappling with the budget sent over from the House. Governor John Bel Edwards expects a difficult two weeks.

“You’re going to see the Senate struggle with putting this bill in the best possible posture,” the governor states.

Senator Sharon Hewitt of Chalmette is new to the legislature and the Finance Committee, and admits it’s overwhelming at times.

C.J. arrived at KCUR in August 2014. She spent many years as an alt-weekly journalist in Kansas City, including a decade as editor of The Pitch, whose writers won local, regional and national awards and were published in several Best American writing anthologies.

She then spent a few years in academia, serving as director of communications at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where reporters frequently gave her a taste of her own medicine.

A native of Nebraska, C.J. majored in English at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Boston University.

After three years as a part-time announcer at KTJS Radio in Hobart, Rachel Hubbard started her career at KOSU as a student reporter in 1999. Following graduation from Oklahoma State University, she served as KOSU’s state capitol reporter and news director. Today, in her role as associate director/general manager, Rachel continues to oversee the newsroom but also manages the day to day operations of the station. During her tenure at KOSU, Rachel has won national awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., and the Scripps Howard Foundation for her news coverage. She has also received numerous state and regional awards for news coverage and has been named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40.

Sue Lincoln

Thursday, the Capitol was still buzzing over the battle of the sexes played out in the House the day before. Even Governor John Bel Edwards weighed in on the controversy.

“It was in bad taste, and it wasn’t funny,” Edwards said, adding the lady legislators were right.

He Said What?

May 19, 2016
S. Lincoln

Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger was handling Senator Ronnie Johns’ SB 468 on the House floor Wednesday afternoon.

“This bill has to do with the minimum age for dancers in strip clubs. If you have to be 21 to drink in a strip club, you probably ought to be 21 to dance,” Leger said, introducing the measure which has the intent to help halt human trafficking.

Louisiana lawmakers have a love-hate relationship with the Feds. We love those federal funds, but chafe at edicts from Washington D.C.

“We’ve got a federal government that’s telling us how we educate our kids, telling them how they go to the bathroom, telling them everything in the whole world," said Mandeville Senator Jack Donahue in a Judiciary A committee meeting Tuesday.

How Many Reports?

May 17, 2016

“I’ve seen a lot of times where, you know, we get a report and don’t even open ‘em,” Senator Bret Allain told the Finance committee Monday.

They were considering one of more than two dozen bills and resolutions filed by lawmakers seeking more reports – on everything from college athletics costs to the possibility of reversing chemical abortions.

courtesy Six Flags

The full House completed their budget-balancing exercise Friday, leaving few completely pleased with the outcome.

But, as Minden Rep. Gene Reynolds said, “The reality is once it gets over to the Senate side, it’s not going to come back the same way it left – believe me.”

Alex Goldmark is the supervising producer of Planet Money. Before Planet Money, his reporting appeared on NPR news programs, Radiolab, On The Media, APM's Marketplace and in magazines such as GOOD and Fast Company. As a senior producer at WNYC–New York Public Radio, he piloted new programming and helped grow young shows to the point where they now have their own coffee mug pledge gifts, including Note To Self, The Takeaway, and the multi-station reporting project Transportation Nation. He was also the executive producer of two shows at Air America Radio, a very short term consultant for the World Bank, lives next to the Brooklyn Bridge, and owns an orange velvet couch.

Sue Lincoln

The longest day of the legislative year began with the Revenue Estimating Conference dashing some House members hopes for more money.

“Is there any reason to change that forecast?” REC chairman Jim Richardson asked.

“Based on what we’ve heard, it seems to me that there is no reason to change the forecast,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne responded.

“Mr. Speaker?”

“Mr. Chairman, I would agree,” House Speaker Taylor Barras responded, with a sigh.