LRN AM Newscall April 18

At the Capitol today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a spending plan for next fiscal year. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”


America shifts gears from Easter Sunday to Tax Monday, with today as the deadline for filing your federal return. David Grubb has tips for procrastinators…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 


The pay rate for Louisiana school bus drivers could increase next year, Brooke Thorington has more from the senator leading the charge.

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 


At the Capitol today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to finish its work on the state’s annual budget, before sending it to the full House for debate. Committee Chairman and Houma Republican Representative Jerome Zeringue (zer-ANG) says the $38-billion House Bill 1 contains a lot of extra money, to be put to use…:

Cut 4 (12)  “…into the budget.”

Zeringue says HB1 will provide money for teacher pay raises, though the exact amount is yet to be determined. He says there is also enough money for early childhood education, public schools, vouchers, TOPS grants and for state colleges and universities…:

Cut 5 (14) “…backlog of issues.”

With all the additional one-time federal money flowing into the state, Zeringue says his committee has been careful to plan to use a chunk for building a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge, a new I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles and other infrastructure projects…:

Cut 6 (12)  “…as best we can.”

Zeringue says, after adding a few amendments today, he expects the Appropriations Committee will move HB1 to the House floor for debate.


Today is the deadline to file your federal tax return. If you’ve been waiting until the last minute, you’re not alone. Metairie CPA John Theriot has advice if you are one of the 43 million Americans who procrastinate.

Cut 7 (09) “…file an extension.”

Theriot reminds filers that an extension doesn’t mean the IRS won’t be expecting your check if you owe, it’s more time to file, not to pay.

Cut 8 (09)  “…penalties and interest.”

Trying to send your return by mail today could be risky…especially if you’re dropping it in the nearest mailbox. Theriot says the best way to avoid taking that chance is by going online.

Cut 9 (13)  “…postmarked today.”

For E-file options and forms, visit The deadline to submit state tax returns is May 16.


According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate for March in Louisiana reached its lowest point in 14 years at 4.2-percent. But economist Loren Scott says many employers continue to need employees and for some reason, people are not returning to the workforce.

Cut 10 (07) “…in April of ’20.”

And as inflation continues to rise, could it possibly reflect a change in the workforce? Scott was asked if retired individuals might feel the need to go back to work due to their lack of savings and could more individuals delay retirement.

Cut  11 (04)  “…unemployment rate.”  

Scott says some workers are reluctant to return to a work environment because of COVID, and for others, it’s a lack of affordable childcare. He believes many people saved their stimulus checks and child tax credit payments and are delaying a return to work.

Cut 12 (09) “…sock away.” 


A bill to raise the compensation rate for school bus drivers will be heard in Senate Finance today. Bill author Covington Senator Patrick McMath says driver pay rates haven’t changed since the 1980s and we owe it to them and the children they transport, so they can properly maintain their vehicles.

Cut 13 (08) “…do that.”

Senate Bill 57 would raise the rate to a minimum of $1.47 a mile for buses with 48 passengers or less and a minimum of $1.76 a mile for buses with more than 48 passengers.

McMath says not only is the state experiencing a teacher shortage but also a shortage of bus drivers.

Cut 14 (08)  “…this help.”

Last year when similar legislation was introduced McMath says he voted against it and since he’s been enlightened about how the low pay rate is adversely impacting school bus drivers. And as a father of four children who ride the bus to school, McMath says it’s imperative that driver pay rates be increased.

Cut 15 (05)  “…in a pickle.”

The bill passed unanimously in Senate Education and also has the support of the Louisiana School Board Association.


There’s just one more week left in spring practice for LSU as the Tigers will practice three more times this week before Saturday’s scrimmage. The Bayou Bengals are short on depth at some positions, but not at wide receiver. Coach Brian Kelly says he’s trying to build some grit with this group…

Cut 16 (19)  “…big catches late”

On the defensive side of the football, intensity has been lacking at times. The lack of depth is one possible reason and Kelly has also been preaching brotherhood to the players and it might be impacting tackling…

Cut 17 (18) “ …get them on the ground.” 

Defensive coordinator Matt House has been encouraged by the development of his defense and he says they are starting to identify some leaders…

Cut 18 (20) “ …come out”