They’re called “legacy lawsuits”—when property owners sue oil and gas companies for environmental damage done in decades past. Thursday, Louisiana’s House spent hours hearing—and ultimately approving—two bills dealing with legacy lawsuits.
“When we get to court, we know there’s an issue,” explained Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, while introducing his bill, which would let parties on either side ask the Department of Natural Resources to come up with a remediation plan for the polluted or otherwise damaged property.
Bernie Pinsonat with Southern Media and Opinion Research has a new poll out. He chats with Jim about the current Senate race numbers and how things aren't looking so great for the incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu right now. But Governor Bobby Jindal? His numbers are on the rise according to the poll. Also if the 2015 race for Governor were held when the question was asked 10 days ago, the survey shows Senator David Vitter pulling out the victory.
Jenny Nadler Thomas is the Program Director at The Angola Museum and she stops by the studio with information about the traveling Smithsonian exhibit coming to Louisiana. "The Way We Worked" will hold it's grand opening at Angola on May 18th and the exhibit runs through June 29th. You can get more information online at angolamuseum.org.
With a 34 to 3 vote, the full Senate has approved HB 388, requiring doctors who perform any abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.
“There are parts of the state where there is no hospital within 30 miles, period,” protested New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell. “That would make it impossible for there to be procedures done in rural areas.”
Associate Dean for undergraduate studies and admissions at LSU, Dr. Andrea Miller, joins Jim to discuss her new book she co-authored Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and the Deep Water Horizon Disaster. Within a five-year span Louisiana experienced a natural disaster and a manmade catastrophe, and the authors of Oil and Water explore the media-fed experiences, the visuals and the narratives associated with both disasters.
Former East Baton Rouge School Board member Noel Hammatt discusses Senate Bill 636 which has moved within one step of final approval. The bill, which Noel is adamantly opposed to, would overhaul the EBR Parish school system by giving principals broad new powers. The bill would give principals new authority by allowing them to craft budgets, hire and fire personnel, and oversee instruction and curriculum.
Also, Author Porter Shreve talks about his latest novel from LSU Press, The End of the Book, about an aspiring contemporary novelist who may or may not be writing a sequel to a forgotten classic, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.
Louisiana’s full House approved “Erin’s Law” on Monday. Approved in 20 other states, it requires schools to teach kids what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There was no debate, and the votes for passage were unanimous.
Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearing a bill to require schools to teach comprehensive sex education. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith is the author, and she made reference to the previous day’s approval of “Erin’s Law”.
“It came out of this committee; passed the House floor. My question to you is, how can you teach sexual assault without talking about sexual education?” Smith queried her fellow committee members.
We start the show discussing a bit of controversy regarding the apology Councilman Ryan Heck issued over comments he made on Facebook. Stephanie Riegel wrote a piece in The Baton Rouge Business AM Daily Report Monday indicating Heck asked LSU graduate student (and former WRKF reporter) Swede White if he wanted him "to come over there and kick his ass" over social media. Mr White joins us in studio to talk about the cease and desist letter he sent to Heck. LSU Sociology Professor Dr. Sarah Becker also chimes in and addresses this form of online bullying.
We also celebrate the life of retired LSU journalism professor Dr. Jesse Dale Thorn who passed away on Thursday May 8th. Sammy Hanna from The Ouachita Citizen was a good friend of Dr. Thorn as was Dr. William Arceneaux, President of CODOFIL. The two discuss the life of Dr. Thorn, his time as a reporter and his job as the first press secretary for former Governor Edwin Edwards. Thorn was 71.
“It it’s not broken, let’s don’t try to fix it,” Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi summed up the sentiment of a majority of the Senate regarding TOPS.
TOPS isn’t broken, but many lawmakers see curbing the cost of the college scholarship program as part of the fix for the state budget. A measure that would have saved an estimated $24-million per year, by raising the standards for TOPS was argued on the Senate floor Monday.