Wallis Watkins

Producer & Contributing Reporter

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on politics for Capitol Access and science and health for Louisiana's Lab.

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Wallis Watkins

Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off the regular session Monday with a state-of-the-state address. He touted accomplishments from his first two years in office, such as chipping away at the backlog of infrastructure projects, a low unemployment rate and bipartisan criminal justice reform. 

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

The state Legislature is back at work today. Just one week after ending a rocky special session, Gov. John Bel Edwards used his State of the State address to urge lawmakers to work together and move forward.

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The Trump Administration is placing a tariff — or tax — on imported steel and aluminum in an effort to bolster U.S. manufacturing.

The price of imported steel will go up by 25 percent, which means construction costs will go up, too. 

Credit rating agencies are taking notice of the ongoing political gridlock in Louisiana’s legislature, and it could lead to higher borrowing rates for the state. 

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The state legislature couldn't figure out a way to solve the budget shortfall for next fiscal year. That leaves Louisiana’s universities — and students on TOPS scholarships — wondering how to pay for school. An answer isn't likely to come before June.

Wallis Watkins

Legislators are moving on from a failed special session to focus on the regular session that starts Monday.

Robert Travis Scott is President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a non-partisan public policy group. Despite the collapse of the special session, Scott says there's still progress to be made over the next few months. 

Wallis Watkins

The special legislative session to address the state's budget shortfall for next fiscal year ended early, with no solution in sight. The Legislature spent two weeks in an impasse over how to replace revenue that's set to expire after June 30. Unable to compromise, lawmakers will head into a regular session starting Monday to draft the state's budget for next fiscal year. 

Wallis Watkins

Lawmakers ended the special session early, failing to raise any revenue to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, clearly frustrated, says the session failed because of a lack of leadership in the House. 

Wallis Watkins

Louisiana’s special legislative session could come to an early close Monday, with no fix for next year’s billion-dollar budget shortfall.

Wallis Watkins

A bill to raise state sales tax failed on the House floor for the second time Sunday night, putting even more doubt on the future of a rocky special session. 


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