LRN AM Newscall March 28

The House Health and Welfare committee is expected to hear legislation allowing medical marijuana to be used as a legal treatment for autistic patients. Kelley Ray has more.

Cut 1 (30) “I’m Kelley Ray.”


A bill seeking to make major changes to TOPS is facing opposition from LSU students.  Jeff Palermo has more

Cut 2 (33) “I’m Jeff Palermo.”


Minimum wage, equal pay for women, and pay secrecy laws were all struck down in the upper chamber last night. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 3 (32) “I’m Matt Doyle”


The House Health and Welfare committee is expected to hear legislation today that would allow medical marijuana to be used as a legal treatment for persons with autism. Louisiana Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana spokesperson Katelyn Castleberry says her two sons suffer from autism and they need better options made available for treatment…

Cut 4  (13) “to suicide.” 

Castleberry says even though marijuana has been used as a recreational drug for years, the medical benefits outweigh the stigma attached to it. Studies have shown that medical cannabis is quite effective for autism…

Cut 5  (10)  “to speak.”

A major difference between medical and recreational marijuana is the medicinal type don’t give patients a euphoric high. Castleberry says studies have found that medical cannabis could also help other medical conditions…

Cut 6 (11) “nervous system.”

Medical cannabis is expected to be available later this year for patients who have certain illnesses.


A bill to shorten the waiting period for getting married has advanced to the House floor. The legislation by Carencro Representative Julie Emerson would reduce the wait time from the time paperwork is filed to officially hitched to 24 hours from the current 72. Emerson says Louisiana has an abnormally long wait time.

Cut 7 (06)  “that regard”

The current 72 hour delay is in place to dissuade impulsive marriage decisions that may seem like a good idea at the time, but quickly lose their appeal with a full night’s sleep and a splitting headache the next morning. Emerson says the one day wait should still prevent those awkward situations.

Cut 8 (09)  “can do.”

Emerson says Louisiana’s long wait time is a rarity in state marriage laws.

Cut 9 (10)  “effect Louisiana.”


A bill seeking to make major changes to TOPS faced opposition from LSU students. The Senate Education Committee defeated the measure to make TOPS a flat four-thousand dollar annual award and provide additional stipends for students who perform well on the ACT. LSU Student Body Vice President Rachel Campbell says the proposed legislation would force some LSU students to leave the state…

Cut 10 (10) “looking back.”

Campbell says reducing TOPS award amounts for some students is not the way to build a strong economy……

Cut 11 (08) “and TOPS.”

52-hundred students receive the TOPS award and Student Government President Stuart Locket says this legislation would hurt a large majority of LSU students…

Cut 12 (07) “at LSU.”

Senator Blade Morrish proposed the legislation as a way to lower the cost of TOPS for the state. It costs an estimated 290-million dollars. He says if the legislature is unwilling to overhaul TOPS then it will continue to struggle paying for it every year..

Cut 13 (10)  “this program.”

It’s still unclear if TOPS will be fully funded next fall as a budget, possibly with a one-billion-dollar shortfall, has not been approved yet.


Minimum wage increase, pay secrecy, and equal pay for women legislation all died on the Senate floor last night. The bills were a major part of Governor John Bel Edwards agenda. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell’s equal pay for women bill died 20-18. He says the best and brightest women in Louisiana are flocking to states that won’t pay them less for the same work a man does.

Cut 14 (12) “the world”

The bill, which would have required contractors who work with the state to pay women the same as men in the same position, was defeated 20-18.

The Democrat went after his fellow legislators, accusing them of favoring businesses owners over workers. He says businesses keep wages low by preventing employees from discussing pay, while simultaneously being allowed to ask employees how much they used to be paid at other jobs.

Cut 15 (12) “somewhere else.”

The pay secrecy bill would have prevented employers from retaliating against workers who chose to discuss pay with each other. The bill died 23-15.

A minimum wage hike was also struck down. The bill would have increased the minimum wage to 8.50 by 2020. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says raising the minimum wage would have rewarded those who chose to work instead of living off of government assistance.

Cut 16 (12) “living wage.”

The wage hike was defeated 21-17.


Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis got a chance to talk about the state of the franchise at the owners meeting, and the first thing he was asked about was the Black and Gold’s failed pursuit of six time all pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh signed with the Rams on a one year 14 million dollar contract after a visit to New Orleans. Loomis says sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

Cut 17 (16) “you lose”

But Loomis did follow-up by saying the Saints didn’t lowball the defensive wrecking ball. The GM says the Rams just valued him differently.

Cut 18 (16)  “at that”

The big names are off the market and free agency has cooled off, so fan attention is turning to the draft. After crushing last year’s draft, expectations are high, but Loomis says they’re going into this year’s big event with less ammo.


Cut 19 (17) “the same” 

Sean Payton got asked for a hot take on the draft and didn’t hesitate to say there’s one quarterback he really admires, and that’s Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Jackson shredded records and grabbed a Heisman while captaining the Cardinals. Payton waxed poetic about the gunslinger who just happens to be slipping into the late first round in many mock drafts.

Cut 20 (17) “can lead”