Sue Lincoln

Sue Lincoln is a veteran reporter in the political arena. Her radio experience began in the early ’80s, in “the other L-A” — Los Angeles.

Since her transplantation to Louisiana 25 years ago, she has covered the state, the capital, and its colorful cast of characters for Louisiana Radio Network, LPB and the Southern Education Desk.

Now she’s focusing her experience and expertise on producing WRKF’s Capitol Access.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Severing the Fracking Tax Break

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:25 am

Should Louisiana repeal its 20-year-old severance tax exemption for horizontal wells? LSU economist Jim Richardson believes the time for that particular economic incentive has passed.

“In 1994, nobody knew how to do horizontal drilling. Today, everybody knows how to do horizontal drilling,” Richardson says of the tax break implemented to encourage what was then a new technology.

Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association president Chris John says the severance tax exemption for fracking wells keeps Louisiana in the shale production game.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Grover and the 'Guardrails'

Grover Norquist

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 6:53 am

At the state capitol, it seems like everybody is talking about Grover.

No, not Sesame Street’s Grover. They’re talking about Grover Norquist, the Washington, D.C. lobbyist and founder of ATR — Americans for Tax Reform.

State Sen. Robert Adley is not a fan.

“That ATR bunch we’re havin’ to live with? I just found out who they are,” Adley announced at a recent meeting.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Tax System Study Offers No Miracle Cure

Tulane economist Steven Sheffrin (L) and LSU economist Jim Richardson (R) present tax study

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 7:01 am

Anticipating the coming fiscal year’s massive shortfall, Louisiana’s legislature commissioned a comprehensive analysis of the state’s entire tax structure. That report was delivered Tuesday.

“Do we have the right tax structure for 2015 and on?” LSU economist Jim Richardson said was the main question being considered. “It’s a tax structure we put in place in 1973.”


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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Michelangelo Beside the Mississippi

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 7:41 am

Some of the renovations going on at the Capitol are obvious, as chain-link fencing and mounds of dirt block access and parking. For others, you have to look up — way up.

From the floor of the House chamber, turn back toward the balcony. There, on a scaffold, stands George Stuart. He’s painting the ceiling.

“This is a touch-up,” he explains. “We had water damage and the paint started peeling. Whole sections had to be re-plastered.”

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WRKF
3:01 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Curbing Fraud in Film Tax Credit Programs

Louisiana’s budget problems have many criticizing the tax incentives for the entertainment industry, which cost the state about $250-million last year. A legislative task force has been looking into ways to curb fraud in the film program. They met last week, to discuss the thrust of bills they may file in the upcoming legislative session.

“These are various common-sense measures that we think can be taken to perhaps make it a little bit less easy to steal from these programs,” Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street said, as he prepared to give the panel suggestions based on his experiences investigating problems with the programs.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Sending Out an S-O-S for Voting Machines

Voting machines stored in a Louisiana warehouse

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 7:57 am

Addressing the House and Governmental Affairs committee Wednesday, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler sent out an S-O-S on the condition of the state’s stock of voting machines.

“I just will tell you that it’s getting a little scary out there,” Schedler said, reminding lawmakers, “Voting machine equipment is all 15-20 years, plus.”

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WRKF
3:01 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Following Legislation's (Nearly) Paperless Trail

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:16 am

The deadline for pre-filing bills for the 2016 legislative session is just 30 days away. But where does the track for a bill actually start?

Louisiana House Clerk Alfred “Butch” Speer says the process starts with a member’s idea, which is then brought to one of the 80 people who work in the House Legislative Service Division.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Tue March 3, 2015

"Excellence Fee" Idea Not Measuring Up

Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo

At first, it seemed as though everyone was breathing a sigh of relief, as the 2016 executive budget proposal unveiled last week did not slash higher education as deeply as expected.

“The true reduction to higher education is $211.3 million,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the Joint Budget Committee last Friday.

But Nichols went on to admit that number is built on “ifs” and “maybes” that include capping the business inventory tax credit, as well as asking college students to pay what the administration is calling an “excellence fee”.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Holding the Line on Hospitals May Leave Louisiana Holding the Bag

Joint Budget committee

One component of the Jindal administration’s 2016 budget proposal, revealed Friday, involves holding the line on spending in the public-private hospital partnerships. The private partners in the LSU hospital deals had asked for an additional $142-million in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“What we funded these hospitals for was level funding, effectively,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols detailed to the Joint Budget Committee. “And some of the hospitals are projecting growth above level funding. That’s the point of discussion that we are going to have to work through in this process.”

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WRKF
3:01 am
Fri February 27, 2015

“We Don’t Really Know”: FY 2016 Budget Preview

The Jindal administration unveils its budget proposal today for the next fiscal year. What solutions to the $1.6-billion deficit will be proposed?

“Until we see it, we don’t really know,” says Lafayette Rep. Joel Robideaux.

Even House Speaker Chuck Kleckley admits he has been kept in the dark.

“I know nothing,” Kleckley told us earlier this week. “I don’t know anything more than you know, or what I read in the press.”

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