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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Politics
6:02 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Capitol Access: Lege Picks Up Tax Reform, Looks to Ark. for ACA

The legislature is already taking up Governor Bobby Jindal’s charge to move a bill to phase out the income tax, just a day after the governor ditched his own plan for repeal.

In his speech to lawmakers Monday, Jindal didn't mention maintaining his requirement that any new tax changes be revenue neutral.

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Politics
11:57 am
Tue April 9, 2013

La. Capitol Access: MidDay Check-in, April 9

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:55 am

The Legislature is already taking up Gov. Bobby Jindal’s charge to move a bill to phase out the income tax, just a day after the governor ditched his own plan for repeal. The House will consider sending fiscal-hawk Rep. Kirk Talbot’s six-year income tax phase-out to the House Ways and Means Committee when it convenes at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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Politics
8:57 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Capitol Access: Jindal 'Parks' Tax Plan, Ignores Budget

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 12:07 pm

Governor Jindal’s opening address to the legislature didn’t mention healthcare, higher education, or the budget in general. Instead, he flabbergasted lawmakers and media with a thirteen-minute long speech ditching his plan to raise sales tax revenue to replace the income tax. But he didn’t abandon the initiative altogether.

“I know that several of you have already filed bills to phase-out the income tax," Jindal said. "What I’m here to tell you is this: even as we park our bill, I call on you. Let’s work together. Let’s pass a bill this session to get rid of the income tax once and for all in the state of Louisiana.”

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WRKF
9:29 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Capitol Access: 2013 Session Preview

Lawmakers from across the state convene Monday to kick-off the 2013 legislative session. It’s an odd-numbered year, so officials are tackling mostly fiscal matters – including Governor Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate the income tax. He wants to make up the revenue by increasing the sales tax by 2.25 percent. The proposal has already met a litany of criticism.

Bob Mann  a political analyst and communications director for former Governor Kathleen Blanco  thinks the bill has slim chances. “It looks as if it’s not going to make it out of committee – at least not in its current form," Mann said.

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WRKF
5:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Appropriations Committee Questions DOE Surplus

 While departments across the state are seeing steep cuts, the Department of Education has been getting more than it needs, according to accusations Wednesday in a House Appropriations Committee meeting.

Committee chairman Jim Fannin noted: year after year, the department has been allocated more money than it spent. In fiscal year 2012 the department's actual expenditures were $400 million dollars less than its $5.6 billion dollar operating budget.

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WRKF
6:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Appropriations Committee Frowns on BESE Transparency

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:07 pm

The House Appropriations Committee is questioning the number and necessity of contracts that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains with private entities.

At a committee meeting Tuesday Chairman Jim Fannin told BESE President Chas Roemer that contracts should be reviewed more often, so that the board can ensure the funds are being spent wisely.
 
BESE cut costs last year by reducing the number of meetings from ten to seven a year, which gave them less time to review contracts.
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WRKF
9:36 am
Tue April 2, 2013

State Rep. Robideaux Covers Tax, Budget Reform

The lawmaker sponsoring Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax reform package is saying the administration has learned from his mistakes last session. 

After the blow back from the abbreviated debate on education reform in 2012, Representative Joel Robideaux said discussions on the Governor's initiatives got underway sooner this year. “Some may say that wasn’t a good way to go," Robideaux told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, "because we’ve taken two months of opposition, but from a legislative standpoint, I think it’s great because we’ve had two months of debate we wouldn’t have otherwise been afforded.”

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NPR Story
9:03 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Jindal Speaks to Tax Plan Opposition

More stakeholders are turning their noses up at the governor’s plan to eliminate income and franchise taxes in favor of raising and broadening the sales tax.

House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards said the plan is a play from a national conservative think tank that will look good to voters in other states, if the governor decides to run for national office. His caucus thinks it will hurt low- and middle-income families, as well as small business, like those in the tourism industry.

The Louisiana Association for Business and Industry released a statement saying it will oppose any change to the system that raises tax on businesses.

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Business & Technology
4:14 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Baton Rouge to See 800 Tech Jobs with IBM

IBM

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:51 am

Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and software company IBM are partnering to expand LSU’s computer science program, revamp downtown property, and bring 800 jobs to Baton Rouge.

IBM will open a new service center downtown in 2015, but will employ 300 locally in 2014.

Under the partnership, LSU’s school of engineering is expected to double its computer science faculty and jump to the top 15 nationally in number of graduates.

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WRKF
5:25 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Details on Family Rebate Program, Economic Incentive Changes Released

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 6:01 pm

Under the Governor's proposed tax reforms low-income filers will be eligible for a rebate and some business incentive programs will see changes. The state House Ways and Means Committee met again Tuesday to discuss details on these elements of the proposal. 

The Governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax and the corporate income and franchise taxes. Under the proposal, the sales tax will grow to make up that revenue.

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