WRKF News

Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Senate Drones Bill Crashes in House Committee

A Senate-approved bill to prohibit the camera-equipped unmanned aircraft known as drones from overflying chemical plants and refineries crashed and burned in the House Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday.

“Drones are becoming more and more prevalent,” explained the bill’s author, Baton Rouge Senator Bodi White. “And it’s just an effort to try to at least have some rules or laws for the state of Louisiana with our critical infrastructure.”

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Culture
6:20 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Poet Laureate Spreads the Word About Louisiana Poetry

Ava Leavell Haymon

 In honor of National Poetry Month, Ann Marie Awad sat down to talk with Ava Leavell Haymon, Louisiana’s Poet Laureate. She’s on a mission to change the way the rest of the world looks at the state of Louisiana through poetry. 

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Coastal Restoration Fund Maneuver Used to Balance Budget

  “There’s no one-time money for recurring expenditures in the budget,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols guaranteed from the start of this year’s budget process. Yet as the House Appropriations Committee worked to modify and approve Governor Jindal’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, the secret behind “no one-time money” was revealed.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Kumbayah Moment: Teacher Termination Compromise

Although they didn’t actually “hold hands and sing Kumbayah”, there was a brief moment of peace and accord between the Jindal administration and teachers unions last week. After more than two years of name-calling, angst and lawsuits, they found common ground around a bill to modify the process for terminating tenured teachers who receive “ineffective” ratings.

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Science and Environment
3:21 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Insight: Gen. Honoré's New Mission -- Fighting Pollution

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
Credit Restore Louisiana Now

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré gets credit for restoring order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And from that, he emerged as a national hero.

Since then, he’s retired and launched headlong into the fight against pollution, gathering the troops in a Green Army.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Tilting at Windmills: Annual Bills, Same Result

  It appeared to be “Tilting at Windmills Day” at the Capitol Thursday, with committees hearing this year’s version of bills that seem doomed to perennial failure.


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Culture
5:38 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Growing Up, Cokie Roberts Didn't Learn Much About the Founding Mothers Either

Roughly a decade ago, NPR news analyst Cokie Roberts authored a best-selling book about the women who were behind, and in some cases alongside, the Founding Fathers.

There’s a new illustrated version, for kids, called, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Attempt to Put Medicaid Expansion on the Ballot Fails

Supporters of Medicaid expansion gather on the state capitol steps. April 23, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

At the conclusion of nearly five hours of emotional testimony, Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman David Heitmeier read the names of those weighing in on Senator Ben Nevers’ bill. The proposal would have put a constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act before voters in Louisiana.

“You’ve got a lot of support here, Sen. Nevers," Heitmeier said.

But Nevers didn’t have the support of the committee. His bill was stopped on a 6 to 2 vote that fell along party lines.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Employment Non-Discrimination Bill Withdrawn

Rep. Karen St. Germain (D-Pierre Part)

 

  She knew she didn’t have the votes going into Tuesday’s Civil Law committee meeting, but Representative Karen St. Germain of Pierre Part still wanted proponents of her anti-discrimination bill to have their say.

“We’re here to do something for the public, and the public means everyone,” St. Germain told her fellow lawmakers. “This is a fairness bill.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Targeting Teachers Unions

Credit Sue Lincoln

In the aftermath of union-filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of education reform measures, a bill to prohibit participation in state retirement by future employees of the teachers’ unions was narrowly defeated on the House floor Monday.

“They’re not public employees. They do not work for the state of Louisiana,” Representative Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport), the bill’s author, explained.

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