17:30 LRN Newscast April 4, 2016

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser told lawmakers that further budget cuts to the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism could force him to close several state parks and historic sites. He says with all the money problems Louisiana is facing, the state needs tourism dollars.

cut 14 (10)  “the tracks”

Nungesser says they are looking into private-public partnerships, naming rights, increasing fees, and even using prison workers to save money. Leesville Representative James Armes voiced his concerns for our parks and historic sites, saying all the budget cuts put them at risk. He says lawmakers have cut the budget as much as they can, but tourism can’t take any more cuts.

cut 16 (10) “million dollars”

Nungesser says tourism is looking at a 30-percent cut in state funding.

Three proposed bills aim to help ex-prison inmates reintegrate into society are set to be heard on the House floor this week. One would create a certificate of employability that former-felons could show potential employers. Holly Harris, Executive Director for the US Justice Action Network, says people getting out of jail need opportunities to help reduce the recidivism rate.

CUT 23 (12)  “to prison”

A Senate committee will hear a proposal that would allow people to be buried next to their pets in cemeteries. Patrick McCausland, president of Heaven’s Pets in Metairie, says he knows this is something many pet owners would like to do for their pets.

Cut 24 (08) “…as well”

The proposal by Metairie Senator Conrad Appeal, specifies that pets would have to be interred with their owners in a specific area of the cemetery.