WRKF News

Politics
3:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Black Justice Sworn in as Supreme Court Chief

Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson
Credit Louisiana Supreme Court

Her honor Bernette J. Johnson was sworn in as Louisiana's first African American chief justice Friday morning. Johnson was only able to take her seat after two civil rights lawsuits.

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Education
10:04 am
Fri February 1, 2013

LSU Supervisors' 'Disregard' Garners National Attention

The rules of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the organization that issues LSU's accreditation, mandate that "the governing board is free from undue influence from political... bodies."
Credit K. K. Murray

A report  in the Chronicle of Higher Education detailed a letter received by LSU’s Board of Supervisors. A national organization that monitors academic freedom at colleges and universities shook their finger at what they called the mistreatment of faculty at LSU.


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Brain Drain
6:48 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Student Surveys Reveal More LSU Grads Staying In State

Director of LSU Career Services Mary Feduccia says according to her office, more LSU graduates are staying in Louisiana.
Credit WRKF

At the start of the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit in November, keynote speaker Mitchell J. Silver – who works for the Department of City Planning in Raleigh, North Carolina – gave his audience some constructive criticism:

“Baton Rouge, you’re not keeping your young people. They're leaving," said Silver.


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Politics
4:30 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

First Bills Take Up Gun Regulations

State legislators are likely to consider gun regulation next session - but a recent constitutional amendment might hamper lawmaking.
Credit Alex C. Balla

Legislators have begun filing their bills for the upcoming session. The first three take up gun regulation.

 Because this is an odd-numbered year, legislators will concentrate on tax and appropriation bills. But each legislator is allowed to file five bills on other topics. Gun regulation is likely to be a recurring theme. 

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Medicaid
12:44 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Medicaid Cuts Take Effect Friday

Nearly $52 million in state cuts to Medicaid services go into effect Friday, Feb. 1. The reductions are part of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals’ response to a mid-year shortfall in Louisiana’s general fund.

The cuts include the elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women and a healthy parenting program for first-time mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary care services through Medicaid will be dropped by 1 percent.

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LSU Hospitals
5:24 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Local Partnerships Key To LSU Hospital Privatization

As privatization moves forward, the LSU hospital system is focused on partnering with health care providers already operating in the communities where LSU facilities are.

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Fiscal Hawks
5:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Proposals Offered to Fix Holes in State Budget Process

A coalition of state representatives is pushing a slew of bills and amendments to reform Louisiana’s budget process. The lawmakers are fed up with rushed legislation, cutting higher education and healthcare year after year, and procedural tomfoolery.

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State Pensions
6:34 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Pension Actuaries Make Quick Return to Capitol

The state employee retirement reforms Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed last session were overturned in court last week. Monday, a state committee heard testimony about changes to the firefighters' retirement system that could be considered by the legislature this spring.

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Road to 2016
6:05 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Dollars will Show Success of Jindal's National Stumping

FILE: Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
Credit Gage Skidmore

Gov. Bobby Jindal spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., attracting widespread attention with a set of speeches. Many national pundits think Jindal is laying groundwork for a presidential bid in 2016.

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Grading Teachers
5:49 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

State Supt. Disputes Mass Exodus of Teachers

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana reported earlier this month that the number of its members retiring from jobs in K-12 education jumped by more than 25 percent last year. The spike came after the legislature passed changes to the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and awarded tenure.  

The retirement system’s figures include people retiring from food service, and other non-classroom jobs. And State Superintendent John White says the figures are misleading.

He says the number of teachers leaving the classroom for any reason – including promotion to administrative positions – has in fact remained steady at around 12 percent over the past three years.

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