A group of high school aged kids will rally on the state Capitol steps in support of legislation to prosecute 17-year-olds in juvenile court. Emelie Gunn has more…
A Senate committee approved a proposed bill that would prohibit selling organs collected from aborted fetuses. Jeff Palermo has the story…
Today the House Education Committee will discuss several proposed changes to the TOPS Scholarship Program. Halen Doughty has more…
US Representative Ralph Abraham arrives in Cuba today seeking to make Louisiana a trade partner with the island once the U.S. lifts the trade embargo. The Richland Parish Republican says exporting Louisiana rice to Cuba would make a lot of sense for both sides and the Port of New Orleans is only 36 hours away…
Abraham says beef, poultry, corn, and soybeans will hopefully follow shortly after they secure a deal to send Louisiana rice to Cuba. He says right now Cuba is getting their rice and other imported goods from Vietnam and Taiwan.
Abraham says it’s time to empower the Cuban people and help their economy grow. He says that can happen once the trade embargo is lifted…
The House Education Committee meets today to discuss a variety of proposals that would change the TOPS Scholarship Program as we know it. Kenner Representative Julie Stokes has a bill that would make the scholarship a loan that students would have to pay back if they drop out or fail classes. She says when you offer something for free, there will always be people who will abuse the system.
Stokes says many students who drop out of college do it in their freshman year. She says lawmakers will look at an amendment so student would not be penalized if they are able to graduate later.
Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey has a proposal that would raise the GPA requirement to retain the scholarship once a recipient is in college. The bill would raise the minimum GPA from a 2.3 to a 2.5 for the first year, and from a 2.5 to a 2.75 for the last three years. Ivey says it’s a very small increase to the minimum GPA.
Ivey says the TOPS program was always intended to be performance-based. He says these small changes to TOPS will keep the program intact for more students in the future.
A rally in support of legislation to have 17-year-olds charged as juveniles rather than adults takes place on the State Capitol steps today. Meg Garvey with the Youth Justice Coalition says Louisiana is one of only 9 states that routinely prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults… with a law like this.
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to speak at the rally. Garvey says a 17-year-old in the juvenile justice system could help kids get back on the right track, as studies show convicted teens are 34 percent less likely to reoffend.
Garvey says this bill allows 17-year-olds the opportunity to be in a system that’s rehabilitative and that addresses their needs. She says passing this legislation is simply the right thing to do.
A Senate Committee has unanimously approved a proposal that would ban the sale of aborted fetal tissue. The bill would create a $5-thousand fine and mandatory 10 year prison sentence for people who sell or transfer organs or other body parts from aborted fetuses. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says he doesn’t want abortion doctors to profit from selling “baby parts.”
Before heading to the Senate floor, the bill was amended so mothers would not be criminalized for donating stem cells or umbilical cord blood. Gatti says his main emphasis is to make sure people can’t profit from the selling of parts of an aborted fetus.
This bill comes as a response to allegations that Planned Parenthood sold organs from aborted fetuses. Gatti says there are already laws in place about killing babies in the womb or immediately after birth. He hopes this bill fills a gap in the law about selling organs.