Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Lawmakers Not Ready to Reduce Pot Penalties

Testifying before the House Criminal Justice committee are (L to R): Marjorie Esman, ACLU; Rep. Austin Badon; Kevin Kane, Pelican Institute.

  The House Criminal Justice committee took up the first of several bills that have been filed to change Louisiana’s marijuana laws on Thursday. New Orleans Representative Austin Badon is the author of a measure to reduce penalties for second-offense and subsequent convictions for marijuana possession. His bill would also prevent simple possession from being counted toward “three strikes” and life imprisonment.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Contending Over Common Core

House Education Committee members worked into the night Wednesday, taking testimony on bills that would halt or slow implementation of Common Core state standards and the accompanying standardized tests.

Louisiana is one of 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, that signed onto Common Core. The state is also one of 17 in a consortium using the PARCC tests to evaluate student progress on the new standards.

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The Jim Engster Show
12:45 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

WEDNESDAY: Planned Parenthood's Raegan Carter; AHIP's Clare Krusing; Sam Irwin; Darlene Rowland

Raegan Carter of Planned Parenthood talks with Jim about House Bill 388 written by Katrina Jackson, which Carter says could shut down three of the five abortion clinics in the state.

Deputy Press Secretary for America's Health Insurance, Plans Clare Krusing, joins us from Washington to discuss the Medicare program's budget cuts to the states, and what it means for senior citizens.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tort Reform Bill Advances to House

LABI president Stephen Waguespack testifies in favor of tort reform
Credit Sue Lincoln

A bill that would change how civil lawsuits are handled in state courts is headed to the House floor. The tort reform bill removes the threshold for having a civil case heard by a jury, instead of only by a judge. Current state law allows a jury trial only if the amount involved exceeds $50,000.

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The Jim Engster Show
11:12 am
Tue April 1, 2014

TUESDAY: Clarke Cadzow of Highland Coffees, Politico Raymond Strother, Saxophonist Brad Walker

Jim talks with Clarke Cadzow, owner of Highland Coffees, and resident authority on the North Gate neighborhood, and veteran political consultant Raymond Strother.

And Brad Walker, a rising star in the New Orleans jazz scene, visits the studio.


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Higher Education Funding for Worker Development

The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill establishing the WISE (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy) Fund on Monday. The proposal, authored by House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and now headed to the House floor, sets up a system to pay bonuses to colleges that turn out graduates prepared to fill the high-demand jobs soon coming to Louisiana. Colleges will also have to come up with a 20 percent match from private firms in order to be eligible for a portion of the $40 million fund.

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Reporter Testimonials
3:24 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

WRKF Lets Me Tell More of the Story

Sue Lincoln, Capitol Access reporter for WRKF
Credit Kelly Tate

Sue Lincoln has spent much of the last two decades as a reporter for radio and television. And she's put in many hours covering the capitol. 

Her expertise covering the statehouse makes her a valuable asset to WRKF and our listeners during the legislative session. 

"It’s often said that Louisiana has two sports: football and politics. And we watch both avidly," Sue says. "Louisiana’s politics are known to be different, wonky, if you will, to the rest of the U.S. But they’re endlessly fascinating."

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The Jim Engster Show
10:37 am
Mon March 31, 2014

MONDAY: Former Congressman Buddy Leach, Former Ambassador Francis Rooney

Former congressman and former chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party Buddy Leach talks with Jim about what's going on in Louisiana politics with Edwin Edwards running for Congress and Sen. Mary Landrieu seeking a fourth term.

Francis Rooney, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, discusses relations between the Pope Francis and President Obama.


First Bell
5:18 am
Mon March 31, 2014

First Bell: For Her Youngest, Learning the ABCs Wasn't Easy as A-B-C

Beverly Ortego, an interventionist at Hosanna Christian Academy, with a reading student.
Credit Sue Lincoln

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________

LaToya Johnson is the mother of three boys.

Early on, in daycare and preschool, Johnson's older two learned their ABCs and how to write.

"So by the time I got to my youngest and he got to pre-k and he wasn’t able to recognize his alphabet, I was like, ok, something was wrong." 

That turned out to be the start of a journey that ultimately led Johnson to enroll her son Micah in a private school — Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge — through the state voucher program.
 


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Politics of Compromise: Domestic Violence and Guns

A package of bills to help prevent domestic violence deaths is pending debate on the House floor, but without a controversial piece of the puzzle.

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