WRKF News

Capitol Access
6:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Budget Cuts Take Toll on Higher Ed

After five years of steep budget cuts, some members of LSUnited, the faculty union, are hoping the legislature’s budget negotiations will raise enough revenue to prevent further cuts.

Lawmakers are looking at plans to cut tax exemptions and get rid of one-time funds, which might provide more stability to the state’s universities.

Michael Russo, a librarian and an instructor, said LSU’s finances are dismal.

"A half billion here, a half billion there," Russo said, "I don’t know what else they can cut."

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Capitol Access
4:03 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bipartisan Budget Deal in the Works

 

Thursday House Speaker Chuck Kleckley endorsed a plan that would raise revenue and cut spending.

Earlier this week, the budget was on track to avoid much debate on the floor, but it hit a snag on Tuesday.

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Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
8:15 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Proponents of Community-Based Waiver Supports Call For More Funding

Decked out in yellow shirts, proponents of community-based waiver supports for the developmentally disabled rallied at the state capitol.
Credit WRKF

Despite the threat of rain, proponents of state-funded supports that allow developmentally disabled individuals to live at home – rather than in institutions or group homes – rallied at the state capitol Wednesday.

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Capitol Access
6:05 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Education Overhaul Revisions Get Mixed Reviews

 

The governor announced Wednesday that 8,000 children have been offered a private school voucher for the second year of the program -- 3,000 more than enrolled with this year’s inaugural crop.

The voucher program, passed last session, allows parents of low-income families to take their kids out of schools rated C, D and F and send them to private schools on the state’s dime.

The program’s funding mechanism is awaiting judgement by the State Supreme Court, as are accountability measures, another part of the overhaul.

Meanwhile, bills are popping up this session to refine the overhaul.

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LSU Hospitals
5:38 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Unanswered Questions Remain Weeks After Charity Hospital Closes

Staff and physicians of Earl K. Long Medical Center's Emergency Room on their last day of work.
Credit Lauren Richard

Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge closed its doors for good last month. The cooperative endeavor agreement between the hospital, the state and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for the take-over and eventual shutdown of EKL was reached more than two years ago.

Erica Barham, Kimberly Burkett and Lauren Richard are all former Registered Nurse Supervisors in the EKL Emergency Room. Mental Health Emergency Room Extension Supervisor Amy Germain also used to work there.

They tell WRKF’s Ashley Westerman the transition was bungled and even on closing day, critical questions about how patients would get care and follow-up remained unanswered.


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Louisiana High School Athletics
10:40 am
Wed May 1, 2013

HS Football Playoff Controversy To Be Resolved Outside of Legislature

A bill filed in response to a decision by high school principals to change football post-season play has been voluntarily deferred.

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Small Victory for Medicaid Expansion Proponents

A Medicaid Expansion plan passed the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare Tuesday in a 4, 3 vote.

 

Opponents of the expansion repeated the arguments they’ve given throughout the debate: federal funding is unreliable, and the plan will cost the state too much money. 

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Interviews
4:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wait, Wait' Host Talks of Bombs and Laughter

Peter Sagal
Credit NPR

As the host of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal, makes jokes about the news every week.

Game show hosts are typically not supposed to be part of the news.

But Peter Sagal ran the Boston Marathon as a guide for a blind runner, and a strange thing happened on the way past the finish line...


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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Tue April 30, 2013

One-time Funds Nixed from Budget, Temporarily

The House Appropriations Committee again called into question the way the Jindal Administration crafts the state’s budget.

 

On Monday the committee passed the budget bill and the funds bill, which allows for interagency transfers, the primary source of one-time funds.

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Capitol Access
8:16 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Expansion, Privitization Could Work Together

 

The state may need to accept the federal Medicaid Expansion to fund LSU hospitals under the new public/private partnerships.

 

That’s according to Steve Spires, with the Louisiana Budget Project, an advocacy group that focuses on the effects of policy changes to low- and middle-income households.

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