Insight

Fridays at 6:44 a.m. and 8:44 a.m.

One-on-one conversations about what's happening around us in Baton Rouge and Louisiana at large from reporters, researchers, and thinkers. Insight probes the big big ideas, and the big picture.

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Politics
5:31 am
Fri October 10, 2014

DHH Punts on 'America Next' Health Reform Plan, State Senator Disappointed

During the last legislative session, state Sen. Ben Nevers fought hard for the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana under the Affordable Care Act. But ultimately, a bill to put the issue on the ballot didn’t even make it out of committee. 

But the legislature did pass another bill from Nevers, compelling the state Department of Health and Hospitals to come up with a plan for Louisiana to pilot “America Next” — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s alternative to Obamacare. 

DHH put out their initial report in response a few weeks ago.


Politics
3:12 am
Fri October 3, 2014

With SLFPA-E Nomination, Fate of Lawsuit and Levees Hangs in the Balance

The nominating committee for the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has made its selection to fill a slot on the levee board. They voted 7-3 a week ago to renominate Paul Kemp — a geologist in the Coastal Ecology Institute at LSU — who’s current term is expiring. 

The ball is back in Gov. Jindal’s court — he can accept or reject Kemp’s nomination or ask the state Senate to consider it — and the fate of the levee board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands hangs in the balance. 

Bob Marshall, reporter with The Lens in New Orleans, has been following all this.

Politics
5:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

State Senator Seeks Baseline for Handling of Sexual Assault on Louisiana Campuses

Sen. JP Morrell

The Louisiana Board of Regents unleashed a 500-plus page report earlier this week about sexual assault. The report shows wide variation in how sexual assault is dealt with on state college and university campuses. 

State Sen. JP Morrell requested the report and is now putting together a working group that may wind up crafting legislation to make campus responses to the problem more uniform.


Business
5:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Despite Latest BP Spill Ruling, Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf Still Worth It

Credit U.S. Coast Guard

BP was to blame — that was U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a week ago in the case over the Macondo well disaster. The judge found Transocean, which was operating the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, and cement contractor Haliburton at fault too. But Barbier said BP was guilty of “gross negligence”. And that could mean that payouts by BP balloon to $50 billion or more ultimately.

Dr. Jim Richardson, professor of public administration and economics at LSU explains some of the business implications.


Politics
5:28 am
Fri September 5, 2014

What it All Boils Down to: 'Get Out the Vote'

The fundraising push is over, and the ground game has begun in Louisiana’s hotly contested Senate race.

Researchers at Tufts University recently pinpointed Louisiana as one of a handful of states where the youth vote could decide the outcome of a key Senate race this fall.

Jeremy Alford, Publisher of LaPolitics.com, paints a picture of how the campaigns are honing in on voters.

 


Health
5:04 am
Fri August 29, 2014

After Charity Hospital Privatization, Trouble for BR General was Expected

Baton Rouge General's Mid City campus.

The closure of Earl K. Long hospital last year with the privatization of Louisiana’s charity hospital system sent a wave of uninsured patients to Baton Rouge General.

Under the strain of their care, the hospital had decided to close its emergency room. But Baton Rouge General’s ER was rescued at the last-minute Wednesday.

Don Gregory, health policy advisor for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, explains whether that deserves a sigh of relief. 


Politics
8:46 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Also on Louisiana's Ballot... 14 Constitutional Amendments

 

Candidates for office, from Constable to Senate, have been parading through the Secretary of State’s Office and the Clerk of Court Office this week, qualifying to get their names on the November ballot.

But it’s not just names that we’ll be voting on.

Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, explains why we’ve got so many constitutional amendments to decide on too.

 


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Sports
5:35 am
Fri August 15, 2014

More Money for Student Athletes May Not Mean More for Education

Credit JustDog / Wikimedia

College football season is upon us. The first regular season game for the LSU Tigers is in two weeks. Playoffs debut this year. And the Tigers will have a new starting quarterback. There are major shifts happening off the field for Division I programs too.

Brad Wolverton is a reporter with the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C. and has been following the NCAA action.


Politics
5:50 am
Fri August 8, 2014

House Speaker Returns from U.S.-Mexico Border: "It's Very Alarming"

A Texas Highway Patrol boat on the Rio Grande in McAllen, TX.
Louisiana Governor's Office

State House Speaker Chuck Kleckley returned from a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this week. He traveled there with Gov. Bobby Jindal and Louisiana’s state police superintendent Col. Mike Edmondson to get a first hand look at the nation’s immigration crisis, and what it could mean for Louisiana.


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Politics
5:30 am
Fri August 1, 2014

CityStats Report: Baton Rougeans Impatient for Progress

The sixth annual CityStats report is out.

It shines some light on where people are on some of the biggest debates in East Baton Rouge Parish at the moment— including the rights of gays and lesbians, and the state of the public schools.

Mukul Verma of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which produced the report, reads between the lines a little bit.


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