4:30 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 they want to see federal funds from COVID relief awarded to frontline workers in the form of hazard pay.

Cut 11 (07) “…open.”

Prison reform advocates want to change the state constitution’s “slavery exception” that allows for practically unpaid forced labor of inmates. Executive Director of Decarcerate Louisiana Curtis Davis, who spent 25 years at Angola, says prisoners are paid pennies for their work.

Cut 12 (10)   “…of soap.” 

If passed a constitutional amendment could be added to the fall 2022 ballot. The session begins on Monday.

The state’s COVID test percent positivity rate was only 2.3 percent this week, the lowest since the pandemic began. Despite this good news State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter is concerned the more deadly and contagious UK variant could cause us problems.

Cut 7 (06) “…go up”

The CDC estimates a minimum of 13 percent of Louisiana COVID cases is UK variant.

And 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…

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The state launched a COVID Vaccine Hotline to answer questions and book appointments for vaccines at 1-855-453-0774.