Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

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

Follow Capitol Access on Twitter @LaCapAxS.

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Does it seem like immigration is the issue on everyone’s lips?

Donald Trump is certainly talking about it.

“We have at least 11-million illegals in the country. Not only the jobs they’re taking, but everything else. And you know about the crime wave,” Trump told Fox News recently.

And Bobby Jindal is following suit, telling CBS News this past Sunday, “People that want to come to our country should come legally, should learn English, should adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work.”

It’s been a favorite theme for U.S. Senator David Vitter for several years.

State Senator Elbert Guillory of Opelousas is running for Lieutenant Governor, and while his campaign budget is minimal, he’s been putting some slickly-produced 2-minute videos up on the internet. One of the most recent ones is raising eyebrows.

“The term ‘nigger’ is part of the American culture,” Guillory states in the video, titled “Let’s Talk About Race.”

There's just one week left until qualifying, and so far we’ve covered the Governor’s race and the candidates for Attorney General. But little has been said about the four candidates vying for Lieutenant Governor - the person who will be in charge when the Governor is out of state and the head of Louisiana tourism. 

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.”