Sue Lincoln

Capitol Access Reporter

Sue Lincoln is a veteran reporter in the political arena. Her radio experience began in the early ’80s, in “the other L-A” — Los Angeles.

Since her transplantation to Louisiana 25 years ago, she has covered the state, the capital, and its colorful cast of characters for Louisiana Radio Network, LPB and the Southern Education Desk.

Now she’s focusing her experience and expertise on producing WRKF’s Capitol Access.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings and Messages About Sex Education

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.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Effort to Elevate TOPS Standards Ends

“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.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Raising the TOPS Bar

Senator Jack Donahue, author of SB 520

Every year, lawmakers look at the climbing cost of TOPS--$217-million this year, $235-million next year—and then start looking for ways to rein in the runaway expense. Dozens of bills are filed, and all usually die in committee.

Of the 20 TOPS bills filed for the current session, one has broken out of the usual pattern. SB 520, by Mandeville Senator Jack Donahue, is being heard by the full Senate today.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

House Reallocates Education Dollars

If there was a theme to “Budget Day” in the Louisiana House, it could be summed up by Thursday’s oft-heard refrain, “If we don’t do it, the Senate’s going to do it.”

There wasn’t a lot House members could do to alter the allocations, until they got to the Department of Education section. Because House Appropriations had forwarded the budget bill, HB 1, to the full House before the Senate Education Committee rejected the MFP, House members now had $70-million to play with.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

House Spending Full Day on Budget

It’s budget day for the full House, and lawmakers are not looking forward to grappling with the $26-billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July first.

“I don’t see any scenario where I can vote for the budget,” Representative Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) says of the plan.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Senate Sends Dozens of Bills to the Governor

 With less than a month left in the session, the full Senate spent most of Tuesday afternoon digging through a mountain of House bills awaiting final passage. More than 120 House bills were on the Senate’s to-do list, and the upper chamber managed to complete the legislative process on about half of those.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Feds Give LSU Hospital Deals Thumbs Down

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols explains turn down of LSU hospitals deals.
Credit Sue Lincoln

Louisiana got some bad news from the federal Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) late last Friday. CMS says “no deal” on six of the LSU hospital public-private partnerships.

“I don’t know what their issue is, but it appears that the basis for the denial is related to the means of financing—specifically as it relates to the advance lease payments,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the House Appropriations committee Monday.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Death Penalty Drugs Bill Advances

 If you can’t get lethal injection drugs, how do you impose the death penalty?

"We have the death sentence. Whether some of you agree with that or disagree with it, that's what we have,” said House Criminal Justice committee chairman Joe Lopinto. “If we're going to have that we need to be able, as a state, to follow through with that order."

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Senate Committee Turns Down the MFP

 

The Senate Education Committee took testimony on the MFP Thursday, and ended up rejecting the formula for funding public schools.

The formula included $150-million in new spending: for a growing number of students, for career education and for kids with special needs. On a conference call following the committee meeting, state Superintendent John White said he’s not worried about students losing out, despite the formula being turned away. That’s because House Appropriations already added the extra money to HB 1, the next state budget.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bill Snuffed Out

Former state senator Tony Guarisco testifies on medical marijuana bill.
Credit Sue Lincoln


Louisiana’s legislature approved medical marijuana for certain diseases in 1991. Twenty-three years later, a bill that would finally set up a prescription system for dispensing the drug was heard in Senate Health and Welfare Wednesday.

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