WRKF News

TOPS For Grown Folks

Nov 24, 2017
studentaid.ed.gov

"We have to find a way to fund TOPS for grown folks," says Louisiana Community and Technical College System president Monty Sullivan, especially since the system now has the responsibility for adult education in the state — a huge task.

Giving Thanks

Nov 23, 2017
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What are you thankful for this year? Here’s what some of your state officials said…

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Raising the minimum wage has been a consistent policy goal for Gov. John Bel Edwards. As he says, "Seven dollars and a quarter is not a meaningful wage."

 

And Jeannie Donovan with the Louisiana Budget Project says the federal $7.25 per-hour minimum is keeping Louisiana Residents in poverty.

 

courtesy: ULM.edu

There was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm for the state Treasurer's race — from voters, and from the traditional political parties, as well.  Meanwhile, more than 25 percent of voters in the state are now registered as "other" or "no party." Is there a link?

C-Span

It’s hard to tell what aggravates Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler more: The expected low turnout for tomorrow’s statewide election, or the cost of holding it.

 

“It costs $6 million here in Louisiana to run a statewide election,” Schedler said, speaking on C-Span last week. "It costs me the same amount of money to run a presidential election at close to 70 percent voter turnout as it will cost me to have a 12 percent voter turnout."

“We can certainly put our money at better usages here in Louisiana, in my opinion,” he added.

courtesy: LA DEQ

For years, it’s been joked that DEQ stands for “don’t even question,” since Louisiana allows its industrial plants to self-report hazardous releases.

 

"There’s some entities, if they have a release, they’ll say, ‘Well, nothing left the fence line,'" Dr. Chuck Carr Brown acknowledges.

 

Of course, that was before he became Secretary of Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality last year.


Wallis Watkins

Over the past four years, access to hospitals and emergency rooms has dwindled in north Baton Rouge, forcing residents there to travel farther for health care. As of Wednesday, they have a new — and closer — option. 


The public comment period on the EPA settlement with Exxon is now open. The agreement involves reducing air pollutants at eight Exxon facilities — five in Texas and three in Baton Rouge.

 

"The company has agreed to install what we call 'flare gas recovery systems,'" the EPA's Patrick Foley explains. "These requirements will cost about $300 million to implement, but they’ll have significant reductions in air pollutants."


Sue Lincoln / WRKF

Kerry Myers served on the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force and says he’s dismayed at the people watching and waiting for the reforms to fail.

“There are some people in this state that would love to find the next Willie Horton," says Myers. "That’s unfortunate because that began driving policy – policy based on fear, policy based on ignorance.”

But Myers, who also served time at Angola, is a realist, as well.

C-Span

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry appeared on C-Span last week and was asked about the duties of the state’s chief legal officer.

"Over the last couple of decades, you’ve seen the role of attorney generals become more and more important as the federal government has encroached more and more on the state’s ability to govern itself," said Landry. "And you’ve seen attorney generals push back on those particular federalism issues."

Yet when asked for specifics, he seemed to contradict the spirit — if not the fact — of "pushing back on federalism."

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