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.

Pages

Politics
12:53 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Jindal's Math Under Question: Answers Depend on Party Lines

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:35 pm

Remember in high school when math teachers wouldn’t give full credit for answers that weren’t supported with all the work that showed how a student arrived to that answer?

On Friday, a group of 250 clergymen and women challenged the work behind the math used by the Jindal administration to calculate the tax burden on individuals under the governor’s new tax swap plan.

The governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax, the corporate income tax and the corporate franchise tax. He’d replace that lost revenue by raising the sales tax to 5.88 percent, applying the sales tax to more services and tinkering with a few other taxes and exemptions. Jindal says the plan will not amount to a tax hike for citizens or a loss in revenue for the state, but that it will be revenue neutral.

Read more
Assumption Parish Sinkhole
3:29 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Jindal Addresses Bayou Corne's Sinkhole Problem

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 3:31 pm

Gov. Bobby Jindal and other state and local officials met with Texas Brine representatives on March 13. The company responsible for a giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish is sending appraisers to some evacuated homes in Bayou Corne on Monday.

The Governor said company officials will also meet with the State Attorney General’s office on Monday. He said Texas Brine owes state and local governments 4 million dollars, combined, for costs incurred dealing with the disaster.

Read more
Politics
1:33 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Jindal Unveils Sales Tax Proposal

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 7:50 pm

Gov. Bobby Jindal went before the legislature Thursday to unveil his tax proposal. He wants to eliminate the income tax and says the state can make up the gap with a higher and more expansive sales tax.

The proposal would make Louisiana the state with the highest sales tax in the nation. Combined with local sales taxes, Louisianians would pay an average of 10.75 percent in sales tax. And the state would start taxing things that haven’t been taxed before – like landscaping, haircuts, and cable and Internet services.

Read more
Politics
10:07 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Jindal Agrees to Tax Plan Due Date

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

 Governor Jindal’s administration has agreed to finish and release its proposal to overhaul the state’s tax system by the end of next week. In a reversal of the usual power-dynamic, Jindal is now yielding to pressure from legislators.

Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, who was hand-picked by the governor sent Jindal an open letter yesterday evening pressing for the release of details of his tax overhaul. He asked that the plan be released to legislators by March 15 so that committees could properly debate it before session starts.

Read more
Education
5:42 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

On Second Thought, La. Tenure Changes Tossed

A state judge has thrown out rules passed last session tying teacher tenure and pay to classroom performance. Monday's decision is a turnaround from the same judge’s previous ruling.

In December, Judge Michael Caldwell threw out parts of what’s been called the “Teacher Tenure Act,” – parts that didn’t directly address teacher tenure, but made rules for school boards, visiting teachers, superintendents and principals.

That day, the governor touted the ruling as a success because it kept his tenure overhauls. Now the judge is saying the whole thing has to go. 

Read more
Politics
5:28 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Fact Check: Completing Nichols' Numbers

On the Jim Engster Show Thursday morning, Division of Administration Commissioner Kristy Nichols relied on talking points that have been repeated by officials in the Jindal administration. 

The Commissioner has cherry-picked her facts.

Read more
Politics
5:44 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Cash Balance Plan Could Tiptoe Back to Lawmakers

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Representative Kevin Pearson, chairman of the House Retirement Committee, has prepared a bill that he hopes will improve the cash balance plan – despite that the plan is the subject of ongoing litigation. The plan was overturned in court because it didn’t get a two-thirds vote in the legislature. 

If the State Supreme Court does uphold the decision, the bill could be used as a safety-net, and the cash balance plan could be brought before the legislature a second time.


Read more
Politics
4:28 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Jindal's Tax Plan May Be Unconstitutional

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:51 am

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are voicing their skepticism of Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax overhauls. The forum this morning: an annual pre-session briefing hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Jim Patterson of LABI kicked off the presentation with what he’s heard from legislators about their private talks with Governor regarding his still unreleased tax overhauls. "[Gov. Jindal] does want to conform the local sales tax base to the state tax base," Patterson said. "This will help local governments to absorb what are going to be some relegation of services by the state to them.


Read more
Politics
2:55 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Fiscal Hawks to Pick at Budget

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:39 am

The group of legislators that routinely opposes Governor Bobby Jindal's use of one-time money in his proposed budgets met over the weekend, and may soon have an alternate way to fund some of higher education's budget. 

Last year, the fiscal hawks proposed over $160 million of cuts to lower priority areas of the budget. Representative Kirk Talbot, a leader of the group, says those weren’t considered until the mid-year shortfall. They’ll try again this year.


Read more
Sinkhole
5:19 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Legislature to Consider Bayou Corne Buy Out, Saltdome Regulation

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:35 pm

It’s been 200 days since a sinkhole forced residents of Bayou Corne to evacuate their homes. 

Homeowners are fed up. Some testified at a Joint Committee meeting Tuesday at the Capitol. Some are calling for Texas Brine – the company responsible for the failed salt-mining cavern that allegedly caused the sinkhole – to buy out their properties.
 

State lawmakers have an eye on legislation aiming to amend constituents' problems and assure Louisianians won't meet the same situation in the future.

Read more

Pages