Amy Jeffries

News Director

Amy started her career in public radio at WNPR in Hartford, CT more than a decade ago. NPR flew her in to Baton Rouge to help WRKF cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while she was still based in the North. Here she found her journalistic calling.

After getting a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley and taking a detour through online media as a local editor for Patch, she finally returned to public radio and to Baton Rouge in January 2012.

Ways To Connect

In their long list of recommendations for how the state could save money, the Jindal administration's consultants, Alvarez & Marsal, suggested Louisiana could find a billion dollars in savings from the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) over the next five years -- largely by redesigning state employee health insurance plans and what they cover.

Dr. Phillip Brantley, senior scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has been looking into whether specifically the state could save money by covering medical treatment for severe obesity. 

Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order last week canceling the testing contract that was meant to implement learning benchmarks once adopted by Louisiana and 44 other states.

And that has Jindal squaring off against the state superintendent and the president of the BESE board he hand-picked to push through major state education reforms in recent years.  

Melinda Deslatte, the Associated Press state capitol correspondent, discusses the clash.


On June 30, WRKF is bringing the daily business show Marketplace back to the air, weekdays at 5:30 p.m. And you’ll hear the Marketplace Morning Report at 51 minutes past the hour during Morning Edition on weekday mornings.

The return of Marketplace gives us an excuse to talk with host, Kai Ryssdal, about how Louisiana fits in to the bigger economic picture.


 

The race for Senate is just starting to heat up. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s campaign started running a new TV ad recently.

Congressman Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Landrieu for her seat, released his first ad this week. 

Each cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to air. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, wrote this week about how the floodgates for campaign fundraising are opening up in Louisiana. 

Doctors providing abortions in Louisiana will need admitting privileges at a nearby hospital according to a law signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal Thursday. 

Supporters of Louisiana’s new law say it’s aimed at protecting a woman in the event something goes wrong with an abortion.  

Advocates for access say the requirements could lead to the closure of all the clinics providing abortions in Louisiana, except for two in north Louisiana whose doctors already have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. 

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, just a few hours before the final gavel came down on the legislative session, the Jindal administration unleashed a 400-plus page report from their consultants who had been asked to find recommendations for saving the state money.

Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, has been combing through the report.


State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion. 


The state House has rejected a proposal to restructure the East baton Rouge Parish School District. 

In making his closing argument for the bill in the House, Rep. Steve Carter rattled off dire statistics about test scores and arrests at parish schools. 

“The entire business community recognizes the fact we need to do something," Carter said. 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber offered the plan to restructure the parish district. 

With just 10 days left in the legislative session, we’re down to the nitty gritty: lawmakers are trying to figure out how to sew up the state budget. And earlier this week, the Revenue Estimating Committee rebuffed the Jindal administration’s wish to include $54 million in revenue that could come with changes to how the state Dept. of Revenue does its tax collecting, according to a group of consultants on the hunt for savings in the state budget.


 

The Brookings Institution's latest analysis of metro economic data, "The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure jobs," focuses on infrastructure employment for the first time.

The Baton Rouge area is ranked 15th nationally for the share of overall employment made up by infrastructure jobs. 


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