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WRKF reporters get behind the headlines, in conversation with news makers.

Mann: Keep the Partisanship, Loosen the Gridlock

Jan 30, 2015
Working Congress
Robert Mann / LSU Press

Robert Mann is sending every member of the recently convened 114th Congress a copy of the book Working Congress.

Mann put together the short volume — it’s just 120 pages — with advice from scholars, former Congressional staffers, and former members of Congress from both parties about how to get things moving again in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.

Rep. Cedric Richmond
United States Congress

Not even two weeks into its new session, the U.S. House has already passed a bill to chip away at Obamacare by only requiring that employers provide health insurance to employees working 40 hours or more, instead of 30 hours as is the current mandate. And the House voted for legislation meant to block President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

But 2nd District Congressman Cedric Richmond — the sole Democrat left in Louisiana’s delegation — is optimistic that — with the presidential race coming up — there will be opportunity to get some things done for his minority constituents once the Republicans get past their conservative talking points.

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow speaking with reporters outside of the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to take up Robicheaux v. George -- the case challenging Louisiana’s ban on the marriage of same-sex couples. It may be the case that decides the issue once and for all for the entire nation.

Gwen Hamilton
Don Kadair

Gwen Hamilton was involved in forming the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. She was recently called back in as its interim CEO.

She talks a lot about “transformative change” — the sort of change you can’t help but notice.

Melinda Deslatte
Associated Press

Melinda Deslatte, capitol correspondent for the Associated Press, sums up 2014, or at least the year in Louisiana politics.


Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition

What to do with all the billions in Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP and its contractors for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Officially, it’s up to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of governors from the five affected states and heads of several federal agencies, to decide.

A coalition of environmental groups has come up with their own ideas for how the first millions can best be spent to restore the coast.

Business-backed candidates secured a new 5-to-4 majority on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board last Saturday.

FuturePAC, which is affiliated with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, put up about $50,000 for candidates in these school board elections. BRAC CEO Adam Knapp discusses what business interests are investing in.

We’ve come to the final act in the fall elections. Saturday voters will cast their ballots in runoffs for Senate, Congress, school board, and judge. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is projecting turnout will be around 40 percent statewide, down from about 50 percent for the primary.


It has not been a terrific few weeks for state finances.

Oil revenues dropped. And then a $180 million hole appeared in the state budget.

Melinda Deslatte, AP reporter on the state budget beat, explains how Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to close the gap.