A state audit finds that prisoners received unemployment checks last year. Don Molino has the story…
Cut 1 (31) “ …I’m Don Molino”
House Criminal Justice is scheduled to hear a bill tomorrow that seeks to decriminalize prostitution in Louisiana. Brooke Thorington has more.
Cut 2 (36) …I’m Brooke Thorington.”
Motorists who have State Farm could see a slight increase in their premiums. The Louisiana Insurance Department has approved a statewide rate increase of four percent. Last June, State Farm lowered rates by an average of 10-percent. So what changed? Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says more vehicles on the road…
Cut 3 (09) “…as well”
The adjusted auto rates in Louisiana went into effect on April 5th. Donelon says 9.6 percent decrease in auto insurance rates that State Farm put into place last year is no longer justified as the nation starts to move out of the pandemic
Cut 4 (12) “…2019.”
The state legislature passed a tort reform law last year that supporters say will lead to lower auto insurance rates. So why are State Farm’s rates going up? Donelon says the legislation changes the rules on how car accident lawsuits are handled in the state’s court system, but we will not see the impact until suits are settled or judges rule on cases…
Cut 5 (09) “…legislature.”
The Louisiana Department of Transportation has completed debris removal from what Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta left behind last season. DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says the extensive removal process started at the end of August.
Cut 6 (11) “…hurricane debris”
Debris removal in Calcasieu Parish wrapped up last week, it was the last parish of the five in southwest Louisiana that required removal.
Mallett says with the assistance of contractors they moved from one parish to another until the cleanup of the more than 3- million cubic yards of debris from a historic 2020 hurricane season
Cut 7 (12) “…professional fashion.”
The southwest parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis required the majority of debris removal with more than 2 million cubic yards of the just over 3 million cubic yards removed in the state.
Cut 8 (09) “…hurricane season.”
A state audit finds the Louisiana Workforce Commission paid out six-point-two million dollars in unemployment benefits to nearly 12-hundred prisoners. Data Analytics Manager for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office, Chris Magee, says it’s a conservative number since they only looked at unemployment applications for the first half of 2020
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Magee says L-W-C has told them the problem is with a vendor that multiple states use to track incarceration data…
Cut 10 (09) “…COVID pandemic.”
Magee says LWC plans on trying to recoup the unemployment benefits that went to prisoners. He says in most of the cases they’ve identified, incarcerated individuals received multiple unemployment checks
Cut 11 (10) “… those individuals”
The LWC says they are trying to determine why there was an issue with the cross-matching process which helps identify if individuals are eligible for benefits. The state agency says the potential overpayments found by the Legislative Auditor represent well less than one percent of the 900-thousand individuals paid since the start of the pandemic.
The House Criminal Justice Committee will hear a bill to decriminalize prostitution in Louisiana on Tuesday. New Orleans Representative Mandie Landry says the intent of her bill is not to turn the state into a red-light district but to protect sex workers and reduce human trafficking.
Cut 12 (10) “…they need.”
Landry says if their profession is no longer a crime, they could seek assistance.
However National Center of Sexual Exploitation CEO Dawn Hawkins says decriminalizing prostitution will do more harm than good for sex workers.
Cut 13 (11)“…prostitution.”
Hawkins says it was a London School of Economics study that found decriminalization increased the sex trade and violence associated with it.
Landry says trafficking is already a crime no matter what age someone is doing something against their will along with prostitution.
Cut 14 (12) “…trafficking victim”
Landry says it’s often sex workers that are charged with a crime and not those seeking their services.
Hawkins says the answer to protecting sex workers and victims of trafficking is to providing off-ramps for those being exploited in the commercial sex trade.
Cut 15 (12) “…in the area.”