4:30 LRN Newscast April 13

With Congressional efforts to raise the federal minimum wage off the table… Governor Edwards is looking to the Legislature to increase the state’s 7.25 an hour minimum this session. In past years Edwards would put his weight behind a single bill but this time he says he’ll take any raise he can get, even if it’s below his preferred number.

Cut 9 (07) “..sign it.”

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder’s proposal to centralize Louisiana’s sales tax collection system gets positive reviews from a House committee. Shreveport Representative Tammy Phelps says she supports the idea of a centralized sales tax system, that’s easier for small businesses but she’s concerned about whether voters will understand what this proposed constitutional amendment will do.

Cut 8 (08) “…laymen terms”

The new system is designed to assure the right amount of taxes is collected.

The state department of health is following guidance from the CDC and FDA halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine and investigating a possible connection between blood clots in six women. Tulane School of Medicine Professor Doctor Lisa Morici says this is only with the J& J vaccine this shouldn’t discourage you from being vaccinated.

Cut 4 (10) “…Pfizer vaccines.” 

Approximately 85-thousand doses of Johnson & Johnson have been administered in Louisiana with no adverse reactions reported.

The City of New Orleans will be the backdrop for the first movie production to leave the state of Georgia amid protest of the state’s new voting laws. Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s spokesperson, Beau Tidwell, says the Will Smith feature, Emancipation, is moving to New Orleans. As the economic impact…

Cut 14 (10) “…update you.” 

2:30 LRN Newscast April 13

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder’s proposal to centralize Louisiana’s sales tax collection system gets positive reviews from a House committee. The new sales tax collection proposal will need two-thirds support in both the House and Senate and Schexnayder says a constitutional amendment to streamline Louisiana’s sales tax system could appear before the voters in the fall.

Cut 7 (07) “…always important.”

Governor John Bel Edwards tells the legislature whatever bill they pass to increase the minimum wage he’ll sign it into law. The 7.25 an hour minimum wage hasn’t seen a hike since 2008 and Edwards says there’s tons of polling to suggest that raising it in Louisiana is a very popular idea.

Cut 11 (11) “.life.”

The state health department is following a directive from the CDC and FDA in by stopping the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Tulane School of Medicine Professor Doctor Lisa Morici says it’s very rare to have a blood clot from the vaccine and the clot could be a result of something else for example smoking and not the vaccine, so it’s important the six cases be thoroughly investigated.

Cut 5  (12)  “…going forward.”

The City of New Orleans will be the backdrop for the first movie production to leave the state of Georgia amid protest of the state’s new voting laws. Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s spokesperson, Beau Tidwell, says the Will Smith feature, Emancipation, is moving to Louisiana.

Cut 12 (12)   “…recently.” 

1:30 LRN Newscast April 13

A top priority of the 2021 session, a centralized sales tax collection system, receives significant support from the House Ways and Means Committee. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (31) …I’m Jeff Palermo”  

A body has been recovered from the Mississippi River in Reserve, Louisiana, according to St. John the Baptist sheriff’s deputies. Authorities have not released any more information except that the body appears as if it’s been in the river for some time. Over the weekend dive teams searched near the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge for missing LSU freshman Kori Gauthier

With Congressional efforts to raise the federal minimum wage dead in the water Governor Edwards is looking to the Legislature to increase the state’s 7.25 an hour minimum this session. Edwards says many essential workers don’t make a living wage, and after everything they’ve done for the state since the start of the pandemic, they deserve a raise.

Cut 10 (09) “..needs.” 

The minimum wage hasn’t been raised in the state since 2008.

The state department of health is following guidance from the CDC and FDA halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine and investigating a possible connection between blood clots in six women and the one-dose vaccine. Tulane School of Medicine Professor Doctor Lisa Morici says this is only with the J& J vaccine this shouldn’t discourage you from being vaccinated.

Cut 4 (10) “…Pfizer vaccines.” 

10:30 LRN Newscast April 13

The Louisiana Department of Health following the guidance of the CDC and FDA is halting the use of the Johnson and Johnson one dose COVID vaccine. The CDC and FDA are investigating a possible connection of blood clots and the vaccine. Six women reportedly had blood clots six to thirteen days after the injection and a reduction in platelet count.

Louisiana has seen literacy rates amongst elementary and middle-grade students decline for several years in a row now. Matt Doyle spoke with Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley about how to fix this…

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

The session will run for the next two months and there are a lot of different items on the agenda, including legislation that would bar transgender individuals from participating in girls’ or women’s sports. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says the NCAA is threatening to pull events like the Final Four, which New Orleans is set to host next year, if this bill passes…

Cut 15 (07)“…transgendered student”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a rehabbed brown pelican that was found covered in oil near Queen Bess Island in 2010, and then released in Georgia, has found its way back to the Bayou State. LDWF Biologist Casey Wright says the pelican known as 33Z remains tagged on his right leg and while it’s not known exactly when he returned from Georgia,Wright says it’s not a complete shock that’s he found his way back.

Cut 8 (07) “…banding.”

4:30 LRN Newscast April 12

Among some 900 bills and resolutions filed for the legislative session that begins today, there are several measures dealing with the legalization of sports betting. Metairie Senator Cameron Henry says a big question is whether lawmakers will agree to allow residents in approved parishes to place bets on their phones.

Cut 12 (10)   “…bet online” 

Sports betting was approved last fall in 55 parishes.

Louisiana could be in line for billions of dollars in federal “infrastructure” aid under President Biden’s over two trillion-dollar American Jobs Plan. The bill also contains hundreds of billions in funding for expanded childcare, elderly caregiving, and housing. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says those investments are needed to power a modern economy.

Cut 11 (06) “..moving.”

100-billion is included in the bill for broadband.

Residents in the St. Landry Parish village of Palmetto are rummaging through the damage from an EF3 tornado that ravaged at least 25 homes early Saturday morning and claimed one life. Parish President Jesse Bellard says the tornado touched down on Bolden Road just off Highway 359.

Cut 3 (11)  “…storm.” 

The twister also sent seven people to the hospital.

A 26-year-old woman who fell off her jet ski and was not found until the next day is listed in critical condition at a hospital in Covington. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says the search began Friday night in the Tchefuncte River…

Cut 6 (08) “.. next morning.”

Einck says around 10:30 on Saturday morning the woman’s jet ski was located and St. Tammany Parish deputies found her about a half-hour later.

2:30 LRN Newscast April 12

A 26-year-old woman who fell off her jet ski and was not found until the next day is listed in critical condition at a hospital in Covington. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says the search began Friday night in the Tchefuncte River, and once discovered, deputies quickly got her to a nearby boat launch…

Cut 8 (08) “…critical condition”

Over 900 bills and resolutions have been filed for the legislative session that began today and several measures deal with the legalization of sports betting. Metairie Senator Cameron Henry says he’s heard the governor is not completely comfortable with mobile sports betting, where bets can be placed anywhere in the approved parishes. He says as the legislation moves forward, they’ll work with the governor’s office …

Cut 13 (06)“…in place.”

Sports wagering was approved in 55 of the 64 parishes last November.

President Biden’s over two trillion-dollar American Jobs Plan proposal could see Louisiana receive a massive windfall in federal infrastructure aid. Matt Doyle has the story. Cut 2 (30) …I’m Matt Doyle.”  

The state reports 999 new cases of COVID for the last three days and 308 currently hospitalized, 966-thousand residents have completed their vaccine series in the state.

12:30 LRN Newscast April 12

An EF3 tornado ripped through the village of Palmetto in St. Landry Parish early Saturday morning, claiming one life, and damaging 25 homes. Parish President Jesse Bellard (Bell-ard) encourages those with storm damage to report it to Damage.LA.Gov so the state can access the destruction and possibly receive funding.

Cut 4 (08) “…assessment.” 

The St. Landry Parish Foundation is also collecting funds to assist with sending the body of the one fatality back to his family in Mexico.

Louisiana could be in line for billions of dollars in federal “infrastructure” aid under President Biden’s over two trillion-dollar American Jobs Plan. Biden says Louisiana is in need, giving the state a D+ grade on the Infrastructure Report Card. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson doesn’t dispute that appraisal.

Cut 9 (10) “…years.”

A New Orleans lawmaker files legislation requiring college university employees who fail to properly report incidents of “power-based violence” such as sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence to be terminated. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle.” 

10:30 LRN Newscast April 12

The 2021 legislative session begins today and at 6 o’clock tonight, Governor John Bel Edwards will deliver a state of the state address at Southern University’s Mumford Stadium. Tax reform will be a dominant issue, but Edwards says any changes to the tax code should be revenue-neutral and he does not believe it will be a good idea to reduce taxes…

Cut 10 (10) “..tax.”

Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat expects the session to be dominated by debate over how to allocate billions in federal pandemic aid. There are several controversial culture war topics on the docket including trans issues, marijuana legalization, prison labor, and teaching about systemic racism, but ultimately…

Cut 4 (11)“…happens”

Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder wants to simplify the tax code to make it easier for small businesses and citizens to operate. Schexnayder says the sales tax would stay the same…

Cut 13 (09) “…part of it.”
Schexnayder says the state is missing out on a substantial amount of revenue from internet sales.

There’s a bill calling for the automatic termination of any higher education employee who fails to properly report incidents of “power-based violence” to the campus Title Nine coordinator. New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman says her legislation is in response to LSU’s failure to properly handle incidents of sexual misconduct.

Cut 7 (11)  “…terminated.”

Power-based violence is defined as dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.

9:30 LRN Newscast April 12

Governor Edwards will kick off the 2021 Legislative session at 6PM with a speech at Southern University’s Mumford Stadium. Edwards will push for legislation to close the state’s gender pay gap, which he says remains among the worst in the country, and to end discriminatory practices in setting auto insurance rates.

Cut 11 (05) “…record.”

A bill is filed that would result in automatic termination of any post-secondary employee who fails to properly report incidents of “power-based violence” to the campus Title Nine coordinator. STAR legal director Morgan Lamandre says under this law if you receive knowledge that someone has committed an act of power-based violence, you must report it.

Cut 9 (11) “…radar.”

Current policy often only requires Title Nine reporting if employees are informed of a victim who is involved with the school.

There’s a number of hot-button issues up for debate in this year’s legislative session but a political analyst doesn’t expect many of them to get far. Matt Doyle has more…

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

LSU says it does not suspect foul play in the disappearance of Kori Gauthier. The freshman from Opelousas has been missing since Wednesday. Her abandoned car was discovered early Wednesday on the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge. So far, a search of the nearby levees has yet to locate her.

5:30 LRN Newscast April 9

House Democrats release their Come Back Stronger Louisiana agenda for the upcoming legislative session. House Democratic Caucus Chair Representative Sam Jenkins says assisting those who’ve lost employment in the pandemic is a priority.

Cut 9 (08) “…of work.”

Prison reform advocates back an amendment ending the “slavery exception” that allows inmates to be forced to perform labor for just pennies an hour.  Executive Director of Decarcerate Louisiana Curtis Davis, who spent 25 years at Angola, after being wrongly accused of second-degree murder, says if you refuse to work guards can use force against you.

Cut 13 (07)“…those guns”

If passed a constitutional amendment could be added to the fall 2022 ballot.

The session begins on Monday.

The number of new UK variant cases in Louisiana is rising. Now up to 13.4 percent of all new COVID cases reported in the state are believed to be that more deadly and contagious variant. But our percent of variant cases is much better than the rest of the county. The nationwide average is 27.2 percent, Florida is at 34.5 percent, Texas is at 25.2 percent. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says these numbers do lag a few weeks behind but gives us a good idea of where we are…

Cut 8 (11) “…reduced”

With UK variant cases rising Senator John Kennedy asks all residents to go get a vaccine. He says he’s not much of a singer but he is proudly vaccinated, because the vaccine works…

Cut 4 (11) “..star”