Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Your on-ramp for news and insight from Louisiana's statehouse.

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Sue Lincoln

Deep horizontal drilling for oil and gas is enormously expensive. The fracking process to release oil and gas from the shale reached by those deep wells is enormously controversial. But when one of those wells comes in, it’s enormously profitable.

“I know for a fact that companies absolutely want to drill those wells because we have that incentive,” Louisiana Oil and Gas Association president Don Briggs says of Louisiana’s severance tax exemption for deep horizontal wells. Passed by the legislature in 1994, it seemed like a good idea at the time, as it was encouraging new technology.


Marsanne Golsby

WRKF’s gubernatorial forum Friday night did not go as planned. Three of the four candidates cancelled on us.

“I want to thank David and Scott and John Bel for not showing up tonight,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne quipped. “I don’t think one of them was ever intending to come. The other two have been very faithful at coming to a lot of these, and I have no idea why they didn’t show up.”

Dardenne flew solo, bravely answering dozens of questions posed by the sold-out crowd in attendance.

Louisiana State Police

“Steven Vincent epitomized what it meant to be a Louisiana State Trooper. When you talk about courtesy, loyalty and service – that was him!” Louisiana State Police Commander Mike Edmonson said, his voice husky with unshed tears.

Senior Trooper Steven Vincent is being laid to rest tomorrow, following a noon mass at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Lake Charles. He was killed in the line of duty, after stopping to render assistance.


Higher Education Budget Continues Being Trimmed

Aug 27, 2015
Louisiana Board of Regents

The Louisiana Board of Regents has learned that they’re owed a decent chunk of money. 


Louisiana Republicans may be united in a lot of things: gun rights, conservative fiscal policy, dislike of President Obama. But they’re no longer unified in their choice for state Attorney General.

“We voted to endorse Buddy Caldwell for re-election,” Woody Jenkins, chairman of the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party, announced Tuesday.

That conflicts with the endorsement the state GOP made last month.

“Jeff is the Republican in the race,” LA GOP chairman Roger Villere said, when announcing the endorsement of former congressman Jeff Landry in late July.

Centers for Disease Control

It’s called the “brain-eating” amoeba, and Naegleria fowleri has been found in three Louisiana water systems this summer.

“Where we’ve found most of the amoeba so far, in our testing, has been surface water,” State Public Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday. He says the systems that have tested positive – St. Bernard Parish, Ascension District 1, and Schriever in Terrebonne Parish -- are boosting chlorine to kill the single-celled organisms and clean the pipes that carry water to homes and businesses.

S. Lincoln

“We got new terms. Now we’ve got like ‘Super-PACs’, right?” NAACP attorney Alfreda Bester told Leaders With Vision during their informational luncheon on campaign finance last week.

But what are Super-PACs? Technically, under Louisiana law, they don’t exist.

“State law just calls everything a ‘political committee’,” Louisiana Board of Ethics administrator Kathleen Allen explained. “If you’ve got two or more persons supporting or opposing candidates, they’re just called a political committee.”

Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital

What do Louisiana’s statewide elected officials do when they’re off the clock?  Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain invited me out to Covington, to show me.

“The main building here is over 10,500 square feet now,” Strain said, as he looked fondly at Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital.

“How big was it when you started?” I asked.

“15-hundred,” he said, as we walked in the front doors.

“These are the original doors. Just think how many times they have open and closed for healing, over the past 31 years,” he said with a smile, as a parakeet in a cage on the front counter began to chatter at him.

courtesy Louisiana Architects Association

A gubernatorial forum on coastal issues, put on by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, was held Tuesday evening at Nicholls State University. It had all four of the major candidates in agreement on the importance of working to avert Louisiana’s land loss.


Wallis Watkins

It was the first of many meetings on Tuesday for the Sales Tax Streamlining and Modernization Commission, led by Representative Julie Stokes. 


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