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Politics
2:18 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Economist Says Jindal's Tax Plan Doubles Rates

WRKF's Kelly Connelly sat down with Dr. James Richardson to discuss the repercussions of Governor Bobby Jindal's tax reform proposals. Dr. Richardson is an economist with LSU and a member of Louisiana's Revenue Estimation Committee.
Credit EJ Ourso Business School, Louisiana State University

Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to eliminate income tax is raising eyebrows. Jindal’s office confirmed Thursday that the plan would make up for lost revenue by increasing the state sales tax.

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Shoring Up Higher Ed
10:14 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Board of Regents Considers Raising Revenue

Many institutions have cut differed maintenance budgets to save core academic programs.
Credit Nicolas Larchet / Paul M. Hebert Law Center

The Board of Regents is thinking of ways to bring in new funds to make up for the past five years of budget cuts sustained by the Louisiana University System.

The Board of Regents met for the first time this year on Thursday morning. Newly appointed members Richard Lipsey, Joel Dupre, and Edward Markle were sworn in and got straight to business.

Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell addressed the Board with a presentation on the state of state higher education.

Chairman W. Clinton Rasberry requested the presentation.

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Education
6:12 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Louisiana Gets an 'A' for Education Policy, 'F' for Achievement

Louisiana has jumped up in the ranks on a national education scorecard.

Education Week’s "Quality Counts" report, which combines measures of policy and performance, ranks the state 15th overall, up from 23rd last year.   

Louisiana gets an 'A' for accountability and curriculum policy, and an 'F' for student achievement.

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Politics
5:19 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Jindal Wants to Eliminate Income Tax

Governor Jindal says eliminating corporate and personal income tax will
Credit Gage Skidmore

Governor Bobby Jindal is calling for legislators to eliminate the state income tax in the upcoming session.

The details of Jindal’s tax reform plan have not been released, but according to a written statement Jindal says his goal is to replace both personal income tax and corporate income tax with revenue from an increased sales tax. Jindal says the reforms would be enacted in such a way as to not decrease or increase the state’s revenue.

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LGBT Life
6:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

In Baton Rouge, the Closet is Crowded

FILE: A group from Baton Rouge's L Bar holds up a pride banner at the capitol, June 23, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

In its municipal survey released in November, the Human Rights Campaign scored Baton Rouge a two out of 100 based on the policies and services the city has in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.   

Only Montgomery, Al., Frankfort, Ky. and Jefferson City, Mo. scored lower.

So we wondered if Baton Rouge’s dismal score is indicative of life for LGBT people here.


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Early Childhood Development
5:52 am
Wed January 9, 2013

New Study Maps Out Risks to Early Childhood Development

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel
Credit WRKF

A unique study released last week by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center uses maps to show where certain risk factors that could impede early childhood development are most prevalent across the state.

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel and Epidemiologist Lina Brou said their study found that 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have at least one high-risk factor that could impede childhood development such as high unemployment, high teen birth rate and high percentage of uninsured children. The nature of that risk was also found to differ from parish-to-parish.

Goidel said the initial step to addressing the needs of the children across Louisiana is to first understand the nature of the risk in each parish.


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Politics
5:34 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Vitter Slings Mud After Katrina Belittled

Even days after Katrina passed, parts of New Orleans and surrounding areas were still underwater.
Credit Lieutenant Commander Mark Moran / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Senator David Vitter made his opinion of Senator Harry Reid clear this morning via twitter. "Sadly," Vitter wrote, "Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."

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Deepwater Horizon
4:17 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Transocean's Battle in Gulf Oil Spill Case Concludes

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April, 20, 2010.
Credit U.S. Coast Guard

The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.

About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.

BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.

The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.

Carrie Johnson, NPR’s Justice Correspondent, has been following this case from the beginning.

WRKF's Amy Jeffries speaks with NPR's Carrie Johnson about the Transocean settlement.

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School Safety
4:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Jindal Orders School Safety Review

Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for a state officials to look at safety measures at Louisiana public and private schools, from pre-K through college.

The governor issued the executive order Friday in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last month.

On the day of that shooting, State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, said his department immediately started talking about making sure they would be able to respond if something similar happened here.

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Consolidation Campaign
1:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In Vegas, Merger Led to More Efficient Law Enforcement

The Fight Not Fear campaign is pushing for consolidated law enforcement in Baton Rouge.
Credit Fight Not Fear

Ads by Fight Not Fear, the campaign to consolidate law enforcement in Baton Rouge, were on heavy rotation during the weeks leading up to the November election for mayor-president and metro council members.

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