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Politics
3:04 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Metro Council Approves Annexations that May Stymie St. George Effort

Members of the group Better Together, which advocated in favor of the annexations, fill the front row of the Metro Council chamber, May 15, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

 

The Baton Rouge Metro Council has approved the annexation of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge General Hospital, and the Mall of Louisiana. 


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Louisiana Senate Approves House Abortion-Restriction Bill

 With a 34 to 3 vote, the full Senate has approved HB 388, requiring doctors who perform any abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

“There are parts of the state where there is no hospital within 30 miles, period,” protested New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell. “That would make it impossible for there to be procedures done in rural areas.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings and Messages About Sex Education

Louisiana’s full House approved “Erin’s Law” on Monday. Approved in 20 other states, it requires schools to teach kids what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There was no debate, and the votes for passage were unanimous.

Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearing a bill to require schools to teach comprehensive sex education. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith is the author, and she made reference to the previous day’s approval of “Erin’s Law”.

“It came out of this committee; passed the House floor. My question to you is, how can you teach sexual assault without talking about sexual education?” Smith queried her fellow committee members.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Effort to Elevate TOPS Standards Ends

“It it’s not broken, let’s don’t try to fix it,” Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi summed up the sentiment of a majority of the Senate regarding TOPS.

TOPS isn’t broken, but many lawmakers see curbing the cost of the college scholarship program as part of the fix for the state budget. A measure that would have saved an estimated $24-million per year, by raising the standards for TOPS was argued on the Senate floor Monday.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Drive to Get St. George Petition Signers to Remove Their Names

A campaign to incorporate a new city in the southeastern part of East Baton Rouge Parish is aiming to collect 18,000 signatures by July 23 to get the issue on the November ballot.

Monday, opponents with the group Better Together, announced a drive to get some of the thousands who have already signed on to remove their names.

Lionel Rainey, spokesman for the incorporation effort called the withdrawal campaign the latest in a series of tactics to maintain the status quo.

“I guess they think these people are too stupid to understand what they are doing," Rainey said.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Raising the TOPS Bar

Senator Jack Donahue, author of SB 520

Every year, lawmakers look at the climbing cost of TOPS--$217-million this year, $235-million next year—and then start looking for ways to rein in the runaway expense. Dozens of bills are filed, and all usually die in committee.

Of the 20 TOPS bills filed for the current session, one has broken out of the usual pattern. SB 520, by Mandeville Senator Jack Donahue, is being heard by the full Senate today.

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Politics
6:10 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Insight: Over Hospital Deals, Louisiana and CMS at Loggerheads Again

A week ago, the federal Centers for Medicaid Services once again threw a wrench in Louisiana’s works, giving a thumbs down to the privatization of the LSU charity hospital system, which is nonetheless charging forward.

 

 


Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

House Reallocates Education Dollars

If there was a theme to “Budget Day” in the Louisiana House, it could be summed up by Thursday’s oft-heard refrain, “If we don’t do it, the Senate’s going to do it.”

There wasn’t a lot House members could do to alter the allocations, until they got to the Department of Education section. Because House Appropriations had forwarded the budget bill, HB 1, to the full House before the Senate Education Committee rejected the MFP, House members now had $70-million to play with.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

House Spending Full Day on Budget

It’s budget day for the full House, and lawmakers are not looking forward to grappling with the $26-billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July first.

“I don’t see any scenario where I can vote for the budget,” Representative Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) says of the plan.

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Culture
6:30 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Meet The Neighbors

Credit Ann Marie Awad

Everyone can think of a character they know. Someone who puts their mark on the community. Someone who just has a colorful personality. Someone you just want to know more about.

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. 

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