06:30 Newscast March 23, 2015

A Shreveport lawmaker feels the state legislature should look at different options in trying to shrink the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit. Democratic Representative Patrick Williams says it’s clear that the state needs to generate additional revenue. The House Ways and Means Committee member says a hike on cigarette and alcohol taxes is one way the state can raise funds quickly…

cut 7 (04) “point in time”

The representative also feels that lawmakers should take a closer look at tax incentives offered by the state to shrink the budget gap.

Republican State Senator Fred Mills is sponsoring legislation this session that looks at ways to change the way public school teachers are evaluated. Currently educator effectiveness is determined by students’ standardized test results. Mills says his bill seeks to make a teacher’s job performance more accurately measured…

cut 13 (06) “quantitative measurement”

Mills says he is speaking for this bill on behalf of constituents in his area who tell him that the value added assessment model is not a valid measurement tool.

The state Department of Transportation and Development is taking part in National Work Zone Awareness Week which runs through Friday. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett says this is about bringing attention to the fact that safety should be a top priority through road construction areas.

cut 10 (11) “rules of the road”

Mallett says since 2013 in Louisiana there’s been about 580 people who have lost their lives in work zones. He says there are so many things inside vehicles these days that it’s more important than ever to put distractions aside when you’re behind the wheel.