18:30 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 Louisiana households are unable to afford their basic necessities. He says it’s not just high school and college students who are working for minimum wage.

CUT 9 (06) “monthly expenses”

Baton Rouge business owner Mark Johnson opposes the increase because he says this would leave business owners with difficult decisions about absorbing the new costs.

cut 12 (06) “your choices”

This bill, and a measure seeking equal pay for men and women, heads 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”

State and local officials broke ground on an 88 acre technology park in Monroe that will feature an IBM facility that will employ 400 workers. The IBM Client Innovation Center will provide software technology services to clients across the US and partner with CenturyLink on research.