LRN AM Newscall May 20

As the abortion debate returns to the headlines, Brooke Thorington has reaction from the director of one of three abortion clinics remaining in Louisiana.

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


A record number of graduates will be leaving LSU and entering the workforce this weekend, but what awaits them when they do? David Grubb has the story…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 


Lawmakers deliver the state’s $39-billion annual budget to final passage. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 


After a bill to charge a woman with murder if she has an abortion was heard in the Louisiana House, Kathaleen Pittman, Director of the Hope Medical Group for Women, which provides abortion in Shreveport, says it’s not just antiabortion protesters that upset her.

Cut 4 (07)  “…the women.”

The bill was heavily amended and then returned to the calendar by the bill’s author.

Pittman who’s advocated for abortion rights for more than three decades says more restrictive abortion laws are only going to put more women in danger.

Cut 5 (11) “…of that.”

As a guest on Jim Engster’s Talk Louisiana radio program Pittman was asked about her feelings about majority male lawmakers making decisions regarding female reproductive rights, she said she feels it’s about control. And when religion is brought into the debate, Pittman has a response.

Cut 6 (08)  “…treat that.”

Pittman says when Texas outlawed abortions in September they experience a significant increase in patients who crossed state lines for a procedure.


LSU will be awarding a record number of degrees with more than 45-hundred students expected to cross the stage, diploma in hand, this weekend. The number one question for every graduate, or at least their parents, is “what’s next?” LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says opportunities abound for the class of 2022.

Cut 7 (07) “…it seems like.”

Scott says that nearly every industry in the state has complained about the lack of available workers. That means, at least for now, the value of those degrees is on the rise along with wages.

Cut 8 (09)  “…we’re seeing that.”

The shortage of workers and the steady uptick in inflation has pushed many employers to offer better salaries right out of the gate.  That increases competition for employees, especially for one industry in particular.

Cut 9 (10)  “…really hot.”



The state’s $39-billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st has reached final passage. House members Thursday voted concurrence on amendments made in the Senate; sending the bill to Governor Edwards’ desk. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says lawmakers did a good job of using windfalls of federal money; from the pandemic and the Infrastructure Act passed months ago…:

Cut 10 (14) “…out of their pockets.”

Pinsonat says polling of Louisiana taxpayers indicates they’d approve of the Governor’s budget proposals and how legislators dealt with them…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…existing revenue.” 

The budget contains money for road & bridge improvements, $300-million toward a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge and pay raises for teachers and school staff members.

Governor Edwards is expected to sign the budget bill, but will he use his privilege of the line-item veto before he does? Pinsonat says, if Edwards does, he’ll use it sparingly…:

Cut 12 (08) “…don’t end very well.” 


Proposed changes in policy could have a major impact on how charter schools in New Orleans are evaluated. Due to the pandemic, clear performance data was harder to come by, so adaptation became necessary says Sarah Vandergriff, Legal and Policy Director for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools.

Cut 13 (10) “…pre-COVID.”

Orleans Parish has 10 schools up for charter renewal this year and a new superintendent coming on board this summer. Vandergriff says these temporary policy changes allow for schools to receive multiple comprehensive evaluations in order to offset the lack of state testing data and performance scores in determining whether or not to extend those charters.

Cut 14 (12)  “…recommendations would be.”

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has been conducting its own review of the state’s accountability system. Vandergriff believes this is an opportunity for Orleans Parish to take a leadership role in localizing the process due to its unique makeup.

Cut 15 (11)  “…100 percent charter.”