AM Newscall April 1st

A proposed law to be introduced during the upcoming session could see Louisiana drivers having to put down their cell phones in favor of a hands free device.  Kevin Barnhart has the story.

Cut 1 (31) “I’m Kevin Barnhart.”


The 2019 session kicks off seven days from now and legislators will tackle revenue questions, but as of now they will doing it without a budget. Matt Doyle has more…

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle”  


A Gonzales Representative is bringing legislation to capitalize on the Farm Bill’s new provision that allows states to regulate the production of industrial hemp. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 3 (30) “I’m Matt Doyle”


Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval has introduced legislation for the upcoming session that would see handheld cell phone use prohibited while driving.  Current law only sees that restriction in place while in a school zone.  Huval says the bill is meant to curb distracted driving.

Cut 4 (13) “…it’s about safety.”

Huval says the technology for hands-free use of a cell phone in a vehicle is more widespread, whether it is aftermarket accessories or vehicle manufacturer installed options.

Cut 5 (10) “…though your vehicle.”

Huval says the proposed law would carry a few exceptions for hand held phone use, including first responders.

Cut 6 (13) “…an exception also.”


We’re a week away from the start of the 2019 legislative session, and since it’s an odd numbered year legislators will be tasked with taking on tax and revenue issues from the start. publisher Jeremy Alford says there’s one problem though…

Cut 7 (09) “…officially”

Alford says that’s because the Revenue Estimating Conference cannot agree on just how much revenue the state will take in this year. Speaker Taylor Barras is opposing the other three members recommendation to raise the forecast from last year.

Alford says with tax and budget issues at the forefront, the more conservative of the two legislative chambers will take center-stage, at least to start the session.

Cut 8 (08) “…they go.”

And since the legislature will not need to enter a special session to tackle questions about money, Alford says expect two major state tax issues to dominate debates in the Capitol.

Cut 9 (09) “…next term″


What happens now with the LSU basketball program now that the season is over? Head Coach Will Wade could be dismissed in the wake of the FBI wiretap scandal that caught Wade in an alleged pay to play scheme. Tiger Rag Associate Editor Tyler Nunez says Athletic Director Joe Alleva likely has his eyes on a new head coach…

Cut 10 (12) “…will wade.”

Nunez says Head Coach of the University of Nevada Eric Musselman could be a target for Alleva.

Wade has been subpoenaed to testify in a college basketball corruption trial that begins April 22nd. LSU could wait for that trial to end to see if they can keep Wade around, but Nunez says LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva will likely look to move on…

cut 11 (12) “lawsuit.”

Some of LSU’s top players will likely head to the NBA, because they are talented enough to do so and also NCAA sanctions could be coming. Nunez says star point guard Tremont Waters and Naz Reid will  likely declare for the NBA draft. Kavell Bigby-Williams is also graduating. Nunez says Javonte Smart, whose name is mentioned in the purported FBI wire tap, might also leave…

Cut 12 (12) “…nukes his career.”


Gonzales Representative Clay Schexnayder is proposing to legalize hemp production in Louisiana. Last year’s federal farm bill permits states to regulate and grow hemp if they so choose. He says the crop is a cash cow that is perfectly suited to the Louisiana climate, much like sugarcane.

Cut 13 (09) “…one year.”

A hemp pilot program was launched in Kentucky in 2017, and it’s success was mentioned frequently as the feds contemplated allowing the plant to be regulated. Schexnayder says the program demonstrated just how profitable the plant could be.

Cut 14 (09) “…one year.”

According to PEW, 19 states harvested industrial hemp last year, but only 25,000 total acres.

But hemp is not without it’s detractors who have expressed concern about the plants genealogical links to marijuana. Schexnayder says it is true that the plant has some THC, but it’s really a completely different plant.

Cut 15 (09) “…chihuahua.”

Industrial hemp in many states is limited to .03 percent THC, a psychoactive substance. Recreational weed can have anywhere from 15 to 40 percent THC.