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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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Students Push for Tastier School Lunches

Ruston High student Madison Wooley's "selfie" with Sen. Rick Gallot
Credit Madison Wooley

“The food is not very tasty, at all.”

“The food’s so disgusting.”

“The cafeteria food is nasty.”

These students from Ruston and Central high schools aren’t just bellyaching about their school lunches, they’re testifying before Louisiana’s Senate Agriculture Committee. They’re hoping to advance a resolution they initiated.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Voucher Eligibility: “C” is for “Choice”

  A bill that would take students attending “C” rated public schools out of eligibility for the voucher program failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.

“Either ‘C’ schools are failing schools, or they’re not,” stated Amite Representative John Bel Edwards, explaining the proposed program change as simple logic. “This program was premised upon giving choices to parents whose kids were trapped in failing schools. A ‘C’ school is not a failing school. It’s just that simple.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

State Education Superintendent: Elect or Appoint?

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White

  State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Coastal Restoration Spending Advances

Scientists' rendering of the Louisiana coastline in 2100--if land loss is not reduced or halted.
Credit sciencenews.org

 

   Members of the House Transportation Committee put their stamp of approval on the Coastal Restoration Spending Plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Jerome Zeringue, director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, says they’ll spend $725-million. Most of that money is oil-spill funds from BP.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Public Invited for State Budget Input

  As the sixth week of the twelve week session begins, the budget takes center stage on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our public comment days are April the 14th and April the 15th,” explains House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin. And he says they will work into the evening both days, to ensure everyone can be heard.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Committee Says No to Higher Minimum Wage

Workers await their time to testify on minimum wage bills.

The House Labor Committee heard and rejected several bills Thursday, aimed at setting a state minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Crime Against Nature' Repeal Effort Advances

Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith

Not every bill a legislator files is to make new law. Sometimes a bill is needed to repeal an old law. Such was the case Tuesday in the House Criminal Justice committee.

“No matter what you might think about the language, it is unconstitutional,” said Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith, in reference to the state’s sodomy law, also known as “crime against nature”, and her bill to repeal it.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Pistol Packing Politicians?

   “This is for personal protection,” Senator Bret Allain said of his bill to allow legislators to carry their guns in the state capitol. The Senate and Governmental Affairs committee considered the Franklin lawmakers’ bill on Tuesday.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Higher Education: Paying More for Less

Higher Education system presidents testify in House Appropriations. (L to R) Dr. Monty Sullivan, LCTCS; Dr. F. King Alexander, LSU; Dr. Ronald Mason, SU; Dr. Sandra Woodley, UL.

 

   The House Appropriations Committee got a different look at the cost of six years’ worth of higher education cuts Monday, as the push is on for colleges and universities to better prepare students to fill new jobs coming to Louisiana.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Payday Lending: 3 Million Louisiana Loans

  You live on a limited income, paycheck to paycheck. Now your next paycheck is in jeopardy, because your car won’t start. What to do?

There’s that payday lending store around the corner, so you go take out a loan and buy a new battery for your car. You give the lender a post-dated check for the amount of the loan, plus interest and fees. The lender cashes your check after you get paid. Done deal, right?

Not always, according to David Gray with the Louisiana Budget Project.

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