WRKF News

Capitol Access
8:28 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Lawmakers Scurry to Keep Bills from Dropping Dead

Monday lawmakers and lobbyists hustled across the rotunda that connects the chambers to assemble the votes to keep their bills alive, lest they fall victim to “Drop Dead Day” at the Capitol.

Sound ominous? 

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Capitol Access
8:25 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Time Running Short for Budget Passage

The Senate has given the House a tough decision.

Senators rewrote the representatives’ version of the budget, re-allocating arguably unstable funds that the House had painstakingly removed. But it may be hard for representatives to vote against the budget. 

This audio is pending

That’s because it sets aside $50 million for a one-time salary bonus for public school teachers.  

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Education
5:44 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Suit Over Teacher Tenure Changes Kicked Back to District Court

The Louisiana Supreme Court has asked a Baton Rouge district judge to review his decision to throw out Gov. Bobby Jindal's revamp of teacher tenure and salary laws – called Act 1.

Judge Michael Caldwell had ruled that the legislation was unconstitutional because it bundled together too many items spanning Louisiana's education laws.

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Environment
5:08 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Keeping Track of Refinery Emissions

In its "Poisoned Places" series, NPR reports that industry here in Louisiana is emitting more smog-producing chemicals than it should and regulators aren't doing enough to curtail the pollution.

Elizabeth Shogren honed in on Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery and the smoke Almena Poray sees from the front porch of her house, a block from the refinery's south gate.

"That's something you see every day," Poray told the NPR reporter. "Sometimes it's a darker gray, sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

Ed Overton, professor emeritus of environmental science at LSU, and Robert Berg, state regulatory advisor for Exxon talk more about what Poray is seeing and breathing from her front porch.


Capitol Access
5:30 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate Shoots Down Fiscal Hawks' Bills

After yesterday’s committee approval, Senators will consider whether to try a new way to write the budget, which will more clearly designate what the legislature has the power to allocate.

They’ll also consider whether to try limiting the use of money that doesn’t come from taxes on expenses that occur annually.

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Education
5:23 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Senators Reject Delay of Teacher Evaluation, School Grading Changes

Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.

The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.

Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Senate Committee Ditches House Plan for Budget

The Senate Wednesday dashed the House’s hopes of eliminating from the state budget what some lawmakers consider to be unstable funding.

The fiscal hawks in the legislature would, for example, frown on paying utilities with proceeds from a garage sale.

So the House spent the first half of the session occupied with removing from the budget money that is only available once, like money from the sale of property and court settlements.

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Capitol Access
8:52 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Hospital Stabilization Fund Passes Senate

The Senate signed off on a measure yesterday that aims to restore funding to health care.

Sounds good right?

The opposition, including twenty-plus-year member of the legislature Senator Robert Adley, was quick to point out that approving the measure may back lawmakers into a corner with the budget.

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Opinion
6:17 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Teachers Let Students Imagine Gate Leads to Anywhere

Twin Oaks Elementary teachers pose with the old rusty red gate with the new playground behind them.
Credit Nicole Walker

I volunteer for two reasons: to serve and to learn. One of my volunteering projects delivered a very unexpected lesson.


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University Medical Center
12:35 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Officials Assure Lawmakers University Medical Center Is Fully Funded

Facility planning officials say the construction of University Medical Center in New Orleans is on time and on budget.

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