politics

WRKF
3:03 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Do Heroin, Do Time

LSP Commander Col. Mike Edmondson testifies on behalf of bill to impose mandatory jail time for heroin.

While state lawmakers will be considering moves toward decriminalizing marijuana later in this session, they’re heading the other direction when it comes to heroin. Law enforcement officials say that drug has become a lethal epidemic.

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Latest News
5:09 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Lawmakers Reject Tweaks To TOPS Tuition Program

Lissandra Melo Shutterstock

The House Education Committee shot down a bill that would change eligibility for Louisiana's TOPS program and require repayment of the free college tuition if students lose their awards.

Napoleonville Representative Joe Harrison was pushing the TOPS changes as a way to cut costs for a program expected to cost about $235 million next year.

Several lawmakers said they were worried about the long-term financial stability of the program, but that didn't generate enough votes for Harrison's proposal to put limits on the popular program.

WRKF
4:01 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Forced Charity: LSU Hospital System Makeover

Baton Rouge General Mid City

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:27 am

It’s been nearly a year since the state started implementing public-private partnerships for the LSU Hospital System, formerly known as Louisiana’s Charity Hospitals. The plan was pushed as a cost-saver for the state. How is it working out? Good for some and not so good for others—with patients and hospital caregivers caught in the middle.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Rally for Payday Lending Reform

Sen. Ben Nevers speaks at payday loan reform rally

Penny Fisher says she got caught in the payday loan trap.

“I borrowed $300 back in ’95, and ended up paying $4,983.30 back.”

Thelma Fleming had two jobs, and lost one. She went to a payday lender to borrow money to pay her bills.

“And I borrowed $300. That really changed my life because I lost my car. My checking account was closed.”

State Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa says enough is enough.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Tourism Giveth, Yet the Budget Taketh Away

The Senate Finance Committee got an outline of the proposed state budget Monday, and Houma Senator Norby Chaubert was curious about something.

“I notice that the majority of the statewide offices saw an increase in funding,” Chaubert said. “But I did not see the Lieutenant Governor’s budget getting any bump.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s office, which oversees the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, is indeed struggling to make ends meet.

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Latest News
5:47 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

No Ban On Cellphones For Louisiana Drivers

A proposal to prevent drivers from using handheld cellphones stalled in the House.
Ed Brown

Louisiana drivers will not face new restrictions on using handheld cellphones while driving. An effort to require drivers to use hands-free devices stalled Monday in the House Transportation Committee.

Republican Rep. Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge voluntarily shelved his proposal after criticism that the cellphone ban was too broad.

Louisiana has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Reducing the risk of accidents by limiting cellphone use while driving could help to lower those costs.

Latest News
5:28 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Complaint Filed Against Pro-Vitter Super PAC

Campaign finance reform groups are questioning the operations of a super PAC formed by supporters of Senator David Vitter
United States Congress

Two groups that advocate for campaign finance reform are raising questions about the operations of a super PAC formed by backers of Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter.

The Advocate reports the groups — Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, — have asked the Federal Elections Commission to look into the possible solicitation of illegal campaign contributions.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Student Data: Private Property or Shared Resource?

Louisiana parents gave the House and Senate education committees an earful last week.

“There seems to be no effective safeguard in law to protect our children’s information from the whim and will of BESE and LDE,” said Sara Wood of Mandeville.

She was talking about data privacy. Seven bills have been filed this session, each trying to prohibit how much individual information about Louisiana students is shared—and with whom.

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Le Show
1:34 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Le Show For March 23, 2014

Harry Shearer

On this edition of Le Show, Harry Shearer brings you AC370, News of AfPAC, Just Say So, News of the Olympic Movement, What the Frack?, News from Outside the Bubble, News of the Atom, Apologies of the Week, and more!

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Latest News
3:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

President Obama Signs Flood Insurance Relief Bill Into Law

Homeowners living in flood-prone areas will get relief from skyrocketing flood insurance rates, under the new law.
Gary Nichols U.S. Navy

President Barack Obama has signed a new law that will give hundreds of thousands of homeowners living in flood-prone areas relief from big jumps in insurance costs.

Lawmakers from both parties supported the measure in response to angry homeowners who faced sharp premium hikes after an overhaul of the government's flood insurance program two years ago.

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