WRKF News

Business
7:27 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Baton Rouge's Family Definition Ruled Unconstitutional

Since 1954, the definition of family has prohibited more than two people not related by blood, marriage, or legal adoption from sharing a house in East Baton Rouge Parish.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Food Banks Appeal for State Funding

The Louisiana Food Bank Association is asking lawmakers for $5 million dollars in state funds to assist with the purchase of food from farmers, fishermen, and vendors. Food banks have hit a wall with many grocers finding more efficient ways to keep food fresher longer and giving away less of their inventory.

The $5 million dollars would buy more than 2 million pounds of food. Historically the association has received state funding, but didn’t receive any funding for food last year.

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Politics
1:14 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Bill To Create Mental Health Courts Heads To House

Legislation seeking to allow for more mental health courts to be set up in Louisiana has been approved by the Senate. These new problem-solving courts would work much like drug courts do now.

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Capitol Access
9:13 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Turns Down Medicaid Expansion

The legislature technically decided Wednesday to put off accepting federal funding for health care expansion, which would include more low-income individuals under Medicaid.  A series of bills were voluntarily deferred, both in the House and Senate, to be taken up next week. A bill by Rep. Barbara Norton was involuntarily deferred - that’s typically a death sentence for a bill. 

The representatives that voted to shelve Norton’s bill did so because they’re unsure of what will happen if they accept the money - despite that the Legislative Fiscal Office testifying that the program would initially save the state money.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Committee Backs Delay of School Performance Score Changes

Performance scores starting with the current school year are set to rely heavily on the ACT. Results from the college entrance exam would account for 25 percent of a public high school’s score.

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Capitol Access
9:50 am
Wed April 24, 2013

On Tobacco Taxes, Medicaid, Lawmakers Clutch Purse Strings

Polls show that the people of Louisiana and the legislature are at odds. Tuesday a constitutional amendment to raise the cigarette tax failed in committee – though recent polls by the American Cancer Society show 73 percent of Louisianians would approve of a tobacco tax increase.


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The Affordable Care Act
1:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Fiscal Office: La. Could Save With Medicaid Expansion

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates Louisiana could save up to $554.9 million over five years and between $185.2 million to almost $511 million over 10 years by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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Capitol Access
9:02 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Restructuring Flies Through Committee; Tobacco Bills Up in Smoke

House committees took up two big ticket items Monday: budget reform and tobacco taxes.  Bills that would makeover the process of building the state’s budget passed favorably in the House Appropriations committee. A packed Ways and Means committee did not vote on tobacco taxes; representatives deferred their bills.


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Sports
4:15 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Democrats Win One in Tiger Stadium

Republicans and Democrats are all smiles after the Truce for the Troops Bowl in Tiger Stadium.
Credit Kayla Reed

Democratic lawmakers claimed a small victory Sunday. But it wasn’t on the House floor. It was at the first annual Truce for the Troops Bowl.


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Politics
12:44 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Tobacco Tax Hike Proposals Shelved

All four bills seeking to increase taxes on tobacco products in the state have been voluntarily tabled amid legislative opposition to raising taxes.

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