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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NPR Story
3:03 am
Thu April 16, 2015

College Students to Lawmakers: Do Your Job

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:26 pm

“Even if we are challenging the governor, we are asking you to inspire us with leadership, and come up with a solution that will solve this problem,” UNO student government president David Teagle told the House Appropriations committee Wednesday.

Teagle was one of several hundred college students from around the state who showed up at the capitol to protest proposed cuts to higher education.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Public Budget Testimony Surprises With Savings Suggestions

Artist's rendering of Acadiana Center for Youth being built in Bunkie

While the Senate Finance Committee began working through the budget Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee was taking public testimony on it.

“Thank you for coming today for this testimony,” Appropriations chair Jim Fannin said in welcome, noting the weather made it more difficult than usual for many who turned up to add their input to the process. “We are appreciative for that,” he said.

Much of the public testimony went as expected: requests for higher allocations to cover jobs and services.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Legislative Mood Day 1: “Worried”

The 2015 legislative session convenes today, with just 60 days to solve a one-point-six billion dollar budget deficit. Has it ever been this bad?

“We’ve gone through this a couple of other times; the Arab oil embargo in the early 80s, and then also in the middle 90s when Roemer was governor,” House Clerk Butch Speer recalls. “We had those two crises, and they were actually worse than this one. Certainly in the middle 90s we were over a billion dollars short. We’re a billion and a half now, but the budget is 6, 8 times as large now.”

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NPR Story
3:03 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Setting the Scene for the Session

Memorial Hall

Participants in the legislative process can easily get sucked into the intensity of a session. BUT Louisiana lawmaking does not take place in a vacuum. It happens in the tallest state capitol building in the United States—a place filled with symbolism.

Built in the first few years of the Great Depression, it was the brainchild of then-Governor Huey P. Long.

“He completed it in just 14 months’ time, at the cost of five million dollars,” explains Capitol tour guide Audrey Fry.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Bell is Tolling for Higher Education

Louisiana’s House Appropriations Committee has been asking every agency to present their worst-case scenario when showing up for budget hearings. Wednesday, the committee got the grim prognosis—full force—from higher education.

“Higher education would be reduced by $600-million. That’s an 82-percent reduction from 14-15,” legislative budget analyst Willis Brewer stated.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Wed April 8, 2015

K-12 Testing: Questions of Content and Funding

Geymann vs. White

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 7:32 am

It wasn’t a comfortable conversation, as Lake Charles Rep. Brett Geymann — a Common Core opponent — grilled Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White in the House Appropriations committee meeting Tuesday. At issue were plans to purchase new batteries of state standardized tests.


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WRKF
3:00 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Will Budget GEMS Yield Real Savings?

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 8:05 am

The budget is the big issue when the legislature convenes next week, and the administration is placing heavy emphasis on GEMS initiatives.

“GEMS” is the acronym for Government Efficiencies Management Support”, which is the title of the efficiency report commissioned last year from the consulting firm of Alvarez and Marsal. Although the report wasn’t delivered till the very end of last year’s session, lawmakers were loudly skeptical of the cost of the contract to provide the report, and the savings promised by Alvarez and Marsal.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Camp Minden Situation Remains Explosive

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 10:20 am

Fifteen million pounds of deteriorating explosives are improperly stored at Camp Minden in northwest Louisiana. The company charged with disposing of them has gone bankrupt. The U.S. Army agreed to destroy the M6 propellant via open tray burning. Area residents said no.

Last week, lawmakers on the House Appropriations committee asked Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Peggy Hatch for an update.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Taming TOPS

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 8:23 am

It happens every session: lawmakers, seeing the quarter of a billion dollar price tag on TOPS, look for ways to tweak the college scholarship program. This time, they might succeed.

“By establishing a ‘baseline’ tuition, future tuition increases will not be reflected in the state budget,” says Senate Finance committee chairman Jack Donahue, who is the author of Senate Bill 48. “This will allow the legislature to do a better job predicting the overall cost.

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WRKF
3:01 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Playing Hard Ball Over Hard Time

Prisoners from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:31 am

The House Appropriations committee combed through the Department of Corrections budget Tuesday, and testimony confirmed what many criminal justice reform advocates have long said: this state has the nation’s highest per capita incarceration rate.

Marrero Rep. Patrick Connick pitched the big question.

“The inmates, in 27 years, have increased 110 percent. And the population of Louisiana has increased 9 percent over the same period. How do you explain that?” Connick asked Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc.

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