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.

Pages

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
WRKF
3:01 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Killing the Goose: Higher Ed Cuts Hamper Innovation

PAR president Robert Travis Scott

“You have to remember what you may be losing in the higher education system as you go into deeper cuts,” warns Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott.

Scott addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, focusing on PAR’s new report, “Innovation in Louisiana”, which analyzes state support for university research programs. Those programs bring in grant money up front, and licensing revenue from patents for years afterwards. Scott notes that continued state budget cuts to higher education are impacting the amounts and numbers of research grants Louisiana’s universities are able to access.

Read more
WRKF
3:01 am
Mon March 30, 2015

“Crystal Ball”: Health Care Funding Future Unclear

“Is your hospital next?” asked a sign prominently displayed during a February 11 rally on the state Capitol steps, protesting the planned closure of Baton Rouge General’s Mid-City Emergency Room. With that ER shutting down tomorrow—an unintended consequence of privatizing Louisiana’s charity hospital system—it’s a question that continues to trouble Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith.

Read more
WRKF
3:01 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Elvis Lives: Off the Clock with A.G. Buddy Caldwell

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:20 am

We know their public personas, but what do Louisiana’s statewide elected officials do when they’re off the clock?

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell does Elvis.

Louisiana’s top lawyer actually puts on the bedazzled jumpsuit and performs as an Elvis impersonator in his spare time. It’s not a new gig for him: Caldwell says music has always been a part of his life.

Read more
NPR Story
3:01 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Robin Hood, Louisiana Style?

Robin Hood (Louisiana Renaissance Festival)

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:47 am

As state lawmakers grapple with the $1.6-billion shortfall in the next budget, the House Appropriations Committee has asked budget analysts to investigate each department’s fiscal ups-and-downs over the Jindal administration years. Legislative budget analyst Chris Keaton says overall state revenues have dropped much less than the shortfall would indicate.

“Total state General Fund that we had available to spend went from $9.3-billion in 2006-07, to $9-billion in 2015-16,” Keaton announced Wednesday.

Read more
WRKF
3:01 am
Tue March 24, 2015

What If There’s No "S" in LSU?

LSU System President F. King Alexander consults with Mike the Tiger

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:56 am

Imagine this: it’s a cool autumn Saturday night, and there’s no football in Tiger Stadium. In fact, there’s no LSU football at all, because the state’s flagship university is closed for the year. LSU System President F. King Alexander says the possibility is real.

“This budget reduction is so large, we’d have to furlough everybody for an entire year,” Alexander told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

Read more
WRKF
3:01 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Audit: Student Counts Intended to Cause Shortfalls

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:13 pm

Why do Louisiana’s student counts keep coming up so woefully short, requiring the state to come up with more money for K-12 education each spring?

House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin led the effort to find out why Louisiana’s mid-year MFP shortfall had grown from $18-million in 2008 to $56-million in 2014.

“When you have an increase in need in the MFP and you have a decrease in your revenue, it creates a train wreck,” Fannin told the Legislative Audit Advisory Council Thursday, as they received a report on a legislatively requested audit of the student count problem.

Read more

Pages