14:30 LRN Newscast, March 31, 2016

The bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.00 an hour beginning next year, and then to $8.50 in 2018 passed out of the Senate Labor Committee with a 4-3 vote. Governor John Bel Edwards testified in support of increasing the minimum wage today. Edwards says this is an investment in Louisiana families, which is an investment in our state as a whole. He says this slight increase in minimum wage would help solve the problem of childhood poverty in the state.

cut 10 (08)  “and raising”

Baton Rouge business owner Mark Johnson opposes the increase because he says it would impact small businesses production costs.

Cut 11 (09) “bottom line”

The bill, along with a measure seeking equal pay for men and women, now head to the Senate floor.

Lafayette’s own local celebrity, 23-year-old MacKenzie Bourg, will find out tonight if he’ll advance to the Top 3 on the final season of American Idol. Michelle Southern reports…:

CUT 1 (32)  “I’m Michelle Southern”

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal entered a plea of not guilty to charges he violated federal civil rights laws. Prosecutors accuse Ackal of ordering the beatings of at least three pre-trial inmates in 2011. Nine of Ackal’s former deputies have already pleaded guilty in the case.