LRN AM Newscall, March 30, 2016

Two bills on abortion will likely be heard today in the House Health and Welfare Committee. Emelie Gunn has more…

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Louisiana could see severe weather today and tomorrow. Jeff Palermo has the story…

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Governor John Bel Edwards’ approval rating is up to 52-percent in Louisiana, according to a recent poll paid for by Rebuild Louisiana. Halen Doughty has more…

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The national Storm Prediction Center says Louisiana is one of several states at risk for severe weather today and tomorrow. Forecasters say damaging wind, hail and tornadoes are possible. State Climatologist Barry Keim says heavy rainfall is also a concern…

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Keim says two large weather systems are moving through the state, bringing with them the treat for all sorts of severe weather.

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In late February, Louisiana experienced a tornado outbreak and earlier this month widespread historic flooding occurred, which is still impacting several parishes. Keim hopes this latest storm system is not a repeat of these two events…

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Two bills regarding abortion are expected to be heard in the House Health and Welfare Committee today. One of the measures would extend the waiting period for a person seeking an abortion from 24 to 72 hours. Deanna Wallace, Legislative Director for Louisiana Right to Life, says this proposed law is looking out for the well-being of the mother.

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Wallace says studies show there is a statistic drop in the suicide rate when states adopt a longer waiting period because abortion can effect a woman’s mental health. She says when a mother has more time to make an informed and cautious decision.

Cut 8  (10)  “that child”

Wallace says another bill would require all doctors performing abortions in Louisiana to be board eligible or certified. She says it ensures the doctors are committed to the safety of their patients and it’s a common sense bill.

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Beginning April 1, the state tax will increase on all types of alcohol by one to two cents per serving. Executive Director of the Beer Industry League of Louisiana John Williams says although the state tax on beer in Louisiana has not been increased since 1948, Louisiana has always had a relatively high alcohol tax.

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This tax hike is permanent, and it does not have an expiration date like other similar bills that were passed in the special session. Williams says someone will have to absorb these costs, either consumers or alcohol retailers.

cut 11 (05) “obviously”

The new tax is expected to bring in nearly $5 million between April 1 and June 30. Williams says the brewery industry is growing in the state, and this increased tax will hurt them…

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A new poll shows Governor John Bel Edwards’ approval rating is at 52-percent. The poll was paid for by Rebuild Louisiana, which is a pro-Edwards organization. ULM Political Science Professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says a previous poll found Edwards’ support at 42-percent, so these numbers are not outside the realm of possibility.

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The poll also asked respondents about issues the governor is supporting in the regular session. It found nearly 90-percent of respondents favor equal pay for men and women. Additionally, 73-percent support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. But Stockley says a republican-controlled legislature has a different stance.

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Stockley says the governor could use this poll to his advantage in showing legislators that their constituents support his proposals.

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A majority of those polled also favor investing in a passenger rail service that connects New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as accepting federal funding to expand the state Medicaid program.