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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WRKF
9:02 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Restructuring Flies Through Committee; Tobacco Bills Up in Smoke

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:48 am

House committees took up two big ticket items Monday: budget reform and tobacco taxes.  Bills that would makeover the process of building the state’s budget passed favorably in the House Appropriations committee. A packed Ways and Means committee did not vote on tobacco taxes; representatives deferred their bills.

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WRKF
9:24 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Women's Health Funding At Risk In Legislature

Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley last week called on the legislature to restore funding to the state program that provides breast and cervical cancer screenings to uninsured and underserved women, and Sen. Karen Carter Peterson chaired a committee focused on funding for women’s services.

Women testified about holes in funding for domestic violence shelters, pregnancy care, cancer screenings, and sexual health. Peterson called Governor Jindal’s budget proposal for next year irresponsible. According to Beth Meeks, from the Louisiana Coalition on Domestic Violence, the governor’s slashing of women’s services just doesn’t make fiscal sense.

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WRKF
9:36 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Southeast School District In Baton Rouge Tries Again

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:52 am

The slice of east Baton Rouge between Interstates 10 and 12 may be a step closer to seeing its own school district.

A constitutional amendment that would have funded the district failed to pass in the House last year. The same measure passed through the Senate Education committee Thursday without much debate.

Parents that live from Inniswold to Shenndoah testified that they just want to make schools safer and more academically successful for their children, like Norman Browning, president of the pro-breakaway group ‘Local Schools for Local Children.’

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WRKF
12:51 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

La. Legislature Picky On Spending

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:13 pm

State lawmakers are being more sensitive to how they spend money.

A bill containing minor change to the state’s Enterprise Zone program failed to pass in the House Thursday.

The Enterprise Zone is an incentive program that works to encourage businesses to expand in rural parts of the state. The bill would have changed the definition of a “multifamily residential housing”, making bigger apartment complexes eligible for a tax credit. 

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WRKF
9:23 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun Rights Bills Progress at State Capitol

Seven of eight bills to loosen restrictions on firearms passed through the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday.

One bill seeks to circumvent federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, despite several members questioning how it would stand up to the Supremacy Clause, which establishes federal law as the law of the land.

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WRKF
8:39 am
Wed April 17, 2013

The Income Tax Repeal Is Out. So What's In?

After the legislature tabled all tax repeal bills, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus ditched the parts of its tax package that would cut taxes. But it’s keeping the part that raises revenue.

Representative Katrina Jackson leads the caucus. She says under her plan, the funds from raising the tobacco tax would be dedicated. “It starts making the areas of higher education systems whole, and the area of health care as well,” Jackson said.

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NPR Story
10:46 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Income Repeal Bills Shelved

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 9:49 am

Last week Governor Bobby Jindal announced his main priority this session would be repealing the income tax. Lawmakers took that off of the table on Monday.

Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Joel Robideaux, said he’d spoken with constituents, House leadership, and policy analysts. There’s little support for bills that repeal the income tax without making up the revenue. “As a result of my conversations and review of the analysis," Robideaux said, "I would prefer if we indefinitely shelve bills to repeal the income tax. It’s a difficult, but I believe necessary measure.”

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WRKF
6:02 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Some Policy Analysts Say Ditch Tax Reform "Plan B"

Now that the governor’s plan to replace the income tax with a higher and broader sales tax is off the table, lawmakers, policy analysts and other officials are coming up with new ideas. 

Governor Jindal isn’t requiring a new plan to make up for lost revenue, but eliminating the income tax would cost the state 23.7 billion dollars if it’s phased out over the next ten years.

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State Legislature
9:37 am
Fri April 12, 2013

LSU Okay to Lease Hospitals Without Lege Approval, Dept. of Ed. Seeks Restructuring

Legislative approval is not required for LSU to lease its hospitals, that’s according to an opinion issued Thursday by State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. A law passed in 1997 gave governance of hospitals to LSU, and a 2003 amendment didn’t include leases on the list of things LSU has to go to the Capitol for – so Caldwell ruled leasing “intentionally omitted.”

The opinion hasn’t stopped the legislature from trying to intervene in privatization. The House moved a resolution to stop the process until the legislature has more information.

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State Legislature
6:02 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Earl K Long Closure Made Official, Education Changes Proposed

Lawmakers have put the final nail in the coffin to close LSU’s public hospital in North Baton Rouge. In Wednesday’s Joint Budget Committee, the Baton Rouge delegation pointed to gaps in care for pregnant women, prisoners and mental health services.

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