Kelly Connelly

Kelly grew up in Baton Rouge. She started out in radio at Baton Rouge High where she was first on air at WBRH and KBRH. While studying film and politics at Hendrix College, she reported and hosted for KUAR in Little Rock, AK. She then moved on to KUT in Austin, TX. She misses the dry air, live music at Studio 1A and breakfast tacos, but is happy for crawfish and non-ironic use of Mardi Gras beads.

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State Legislature
8:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

State Legislature Continues Its Session This Week

The Louisiana State Capitol building.
Stuart Seeger Flickr

The Louisiana state legislature continues its session this week. Kelly Connelly from our partner WRKF brings us this update from Baton Rouge.

On Friday the Senate Finance Committee continued to comb through the budget, and discovered there’s a lot left to fund this session.

To get a summary, Senator Fred Mills asked Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter to detail the five top worries that keep him up at night.

His first answer:

“That I won’t have a job after the session is over.”

Read more
WRKF
5:32 am
Mon May 20, 2013

More State Budget Woes Left To Tackle

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:10 pm

Friday, the Senate Finance Committee continued to comb through the budget, and discovered there’s a lot left to fund this session.

To get a summary, Senator Fred Mills asked Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter to detail the five top worries that keep him up at night.

Read more
WRKF
9:34 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Some State Senators Puzzled By Tax Amnesty Solution

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:23 am

In the Finance committee Thursday Senators questioned the way the House filled the hole it dug in the proposed budget for next year. The House took out one-time money, from selling state property, court settlements, and dedicated funds, and put in a tax amnesty program.

The Legislative Fiscal Office usually considers tax amnesty revenues to be one-time money too.

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WRKF
9:32 am
Thu May 16, 2013

School Voucher Funding Up In The Air

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:32 am

Hundreds of parents, children, teachers and administrators rallied on the steps of the Capitol calling on lawmakers to find a new way to fund private school vouchers, chanting "You promised/ to put kids first."

The old way to fund vouchers was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court last week because it routed money through a formula -- called the MFP -- that is dedicated to public schools.

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WRKF
8:42 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Southeast School District In Baton Rouge Could Cost State

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:45 pm

 

A slice of East Baton Rouge Parish, south of I-12 and north of I-10, is a step closer to having its own school district.

 

The House Education Committee passed the set of bills needed to establish the breakaway district. Approval now falls to the Appropriations committee next to evaluate cost.

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WRKF
8:41 am
Tue May 14, 2013

La. Hospital Privitization Costs Still Foggy After Auditor's Report

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:59 pm

Lawmakers that have fought the Administration for more power in the process of privatizing the state’s charity hospitals may get their wish as they consider funding for the cost of laying off hospital workers.

According to a report by the state auditor’s office, the privatization will cost the state 42 million dollar in leave payouts and unemployment payments. 

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WRKF
9:21 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Clears State House Committee

Kelly Connelly WRKF

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:30 pm

With a one-vote margin, a bill that would force Louisiana to accept federal Medicaid Expansion advanced through the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday.

Governor Bobby Jindal has opposed the Expansion, claiming it would be too expensive and that the federal program doesn’t meet Louisiana’s needs.

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WRKF
8:59 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Jindal Promises Continued State Funding for Vouchers

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:10 am

The State Supreme Court has ruled that the state can't pay private school tuition through the same funding channel as it uses to support public schools.

Now, Gov. Bobby Jindal is going to have to find another way to keep the voucher program going.

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WRKF
7:22 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Lawmakers Use Budget Negotiations to Assert Independence

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:30 am

The legislature’s bipartisan budget negotiations have yielded a late-night preliminary deal, struck after the legislature closed up shop on Monday. The plan will cut tax exemptions and reduce spending to curb the state's dependency on one-time funds.

 

The deal includes cutting tax exemptions by 15 percent across the board. That will free up $329 million, enough to replace a large chunk of the half a billion in one-time funds in next year’s budget.

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WRKF
6:02 am
Mon May 6, 2013

The Tolls Of Budget Cuts On Higher Education

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:46 am

After five years of steep budget cuts, some members of LSUnited, the faculty union, are hoping the legislature’s budget negotiations will raise enough revenue to prevent further cuts.

Lawmakers are looking at plans to cut tax exemptions and get rid of one-time funds, which might provide more stability to the state’s universities.

Michael Russo, a librarian and an instructor, said LSU’s finances are dismal.

"A half billion here, a half billion there," Russo said, "I don’t know what else they can cut."

Read more

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