14:30 LRN Newscast Feb 25

At the state capitol, members of the Louisiana House Representatives are trying to agree on a plan to address the state’s 900-million dollar shortfall this fiscal year and it appears they are making progress. They’ve approved a one-cent increase to the state sales tax and agreed to 101-million dollars in cuts.

A three judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Louisiana can enforce a state law that requires doctors preforming abortions must have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles. Benjamin Clapper with Louisiana Right to Life says this legislation ensures that in an emergency the physician can take the proper steps to protect the health of the woman…
CUT 6 (09) “same standard”
Planned Parenthood says the ruling will force the closure of three out of the four abortion clinics in the state.

A survey from AAA finds 87-percent of respondents admit to at least one risky behavior while driving in the past month. Triple-A spokesperson Don Redman says a lot of drivers say they’ve recently talked on the cell phone, sent a text message and traveling more than 15 miles over the speed limit…
cut 5 (07) “…impaired driving”

A new report says felons in Louisiana face more employment obstacles that any other state. The average number of job restrictions for felons in the US is 123, but Louisiana has 389. Allyson Fredericksen, with the Alliance for a Just Society, says many of the restrictions are state laws that prevent convicted felons from being hired for certain positions in fields like health care and government offices…
cut 12 (11) “…into society”
Fredericksen says this problem can often lead ex-felons returning to a life of crime to make money.