Wallis Watkins

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on health and health policy for Louisiana's Prescription.

Despite the recent controversy over an extension of the state’s contract with Harrah’s Casino, a Senate committee narrowly agreed Monday to keep the negotiations moving. 

Lawmakers in the Senate are ready to consider the state's budget, now that it has passed the Senate Finance committee.

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

On the same day thousands of letters were sent to Medicaid recipients across Louisiana warning them of potential cuts to the program, Governor John Bel Edwards tried to address concerns at University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette - one of the state’s hospital partners threatening to shut down if they aren’t fully funded in next year’s budget.

Louisiana’s Congressional delegation is working to reform laws to help victims recover from natural disasters. 

Louisiana’s Higher Education leaders are reiterating their concerns about potential cuts to university funding — this time to lawmakers in the Senate, where the state’s budget is currently being considered.

Lawmakers in the Senate were set to consider a bill to extend the state contract with Harrah's Casino — but they hit the brakes when a report by the Advocate revealed a real estate company is in talks to buy the property.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler has announced his resignation following allegations of sexual harassment.

Several Louisiana lawmakers, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, called for Schedler to resign when an  employee filed a lawsuit in February.

Louisiana’s Legislature is already reconsidering a package of criminal justice reforms they passed last year. The goal was to lower the state prison population, which is the highest in the nation.

Several Louisiana lawmakers have presented bills this session in response to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Fla. Most were aimed at allowing individuals — like teachers or former law enforcement officers — to carry a gun on school campuses. Others, like those from Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans), restrict the type of weapon someone can buy — and who can buy it. 

The Legislature has already shown a willingness to expand medical marijuana use in Louisiana.

But other bills up for consideration this session will show exactly what kind of threshold the Legislature has for loosening marijuana restrictions in the state.

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