Health care providers and patients who rely on Louisiana's Medicaid program are expected to learn Friday how the Jindal administration plans to slash $859 million in the program that takes care of the poor, elderly and disabled.
The cuts are tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.
The reductions will strip 11 percent of the funding from the $7.7 billion Medicaid budget that lawmakers passed for the fiscal year that began July 1.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says its child abuse and neglect hotline has received 114,000 calls in its first year, and more than 50,000 of those calls reported suspected abuse or neglect.
The hotline is 1-855-4LA-KIDS. It's for both people required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect, and people in the general public.
Department Secretary Suzy Sonnier said Thursday that the toll-free number replaced a long list of parish and regional phone numbers. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 41 trained child welfare specialists.
The U.S. Department of Labor says more north Louisiana child care businesses are paying workers a legal wage after a crackdown by the Wage and Hour Division. But it says a majority of such businesses in Bossier, Caddo, East Carroll, Lincoln and Ouachita parishes are still breaking the law.
A news release Thursday said 57 percent of the employers investigated this year were violating minimum-wage, overtime or record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act — compared to 81 percent last year.
State officials are looking at ways to beef up efforts to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in debts owed to agencies across Louisiana government.
Louisiana doesn't have a centralized collection agency that handles all state government debts.
Lawmakers authorized the creation of a two-year pilot program that would let the state sell or auction off long-term delinquent accounts to companies that believe they can collect some of the money owed.
A former New Orleans pastor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments meant to rebuild a church after Hurricane Katrina.
Toris Young pleaded guilty in January to theft of government funds and mail fraud. The sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was roughly twice that recommended in federal sentencing guidelines.
Young also must pay $963,900 in restitution to the Small Business Administration.
Ed Evans, Northwestern State's head athletic trainer since 1989, is retiring and will be honored at a reception in Natchitoches at Prather Coliseum on Thursday, July 26.
Evans arrived at Northwestern as a graduate assistant trainer under head trainer Eugene Christmas from 1979-82. He spent the next seven years as athletic trainer at Natchitoches Central High School. He returned to Northwestern as Christmas' successor in 1989.
The president of a business organization in New Orleans says the group is focusing on changing the image the city presents to businesses that are thinking about relocating or expanding.
Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, told a luncheon Wednesday that many people often associate New Orleans with Bourbon Street, jazz and its port. But Miller said they don't think about the new things coming to the city like the film industry and technology companies.