09:30 Newscast, March 28th, 2017

A bill filed for the regular session seeks to fully fund TOPS by using a portion of riverboat gaming revenue. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says, under the measure, TOPS would have to be fully funded, before riverboat gaming revenues can be used on other items in budget…:
Cut 9 (09) “off the top”
For the first time ever, the popular taxpayer funded scholarship didn’t cover all of a student’s tuition costs this year.

The Department of Education says a recent survey finds most families are happy with their kid’s daycare. Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood, Jenna Conway, says they want to improve the programs further by figuring out ways to engage families in the learning process…:
Cut 6 (10) “that work”
The survey indicates 90 percent of respondents are likely to choose their program again.

Louisiana’s revised coastal restoration master plan will be taken up by lawmakers in the regular session, as part of the governor’s legislative package to protect and restore the state’s coast. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish co-authored the legislation. The master plan costs $50 billion and Morrish says some state dollars are used, but most of the funding comes from outside sources….:
Cut 14 (09) “settlement money”
The bill contains 120 projects to be completed in the next fifty years that will maintain over 800 square miles of coastal land.

The Orleans Parish Coroner released a report Monday highlighting accidental drug-related deaths last year. It said there were more than double the number of ODs than in 2015, and it is likely the first time that drug-related deaths have surpassed homicides in New Orleans history. The report said there were 211 drug-related deaths in 2016 as compared to 92 drug-related deaths in 2015.