News for Thursday 041014
By Dave Graichen
The House Labor Committee is scheduled to hear several bills today that would raise the state's minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. One of the items of legislation would raise it to $10.10 which opponents say would force businesses to hire fewer people. Proponents say it would give workers a livable wage.
Gas prices keep climbing. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular jumped two pennies last night to $3.41. That's also up 17 cents from last month.
The Colorado State University Forecast team will issue its initial forecast for the 2014 season today. State Climatologist Barry Keim anticipates Doctor William Gray and Phil Klotzbach will call for an
average season, because there's a 50 percent chance an El Nino will form later this year. Keim says an average season would be 10 to 12 named storms. He says an El Nino makes it less conducive for storms to form in the Atlantic.
The office of Vance McAllister says they are backing off their request that the FBI investigate whether or not the leaking of the surveillance kissing video was a federal breach in security. Legal analyst Tim Meche doesn't think a crime took place. He says this video came from a surveillance camera at the office and everyone knew it was there. Word is now, the state’s GOP Executive Committee, may today ask McAllister to resign.
The pending closure of Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville is moving ahead, with the latest step coming with Senate approval. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 48 was adopted by a 26-11 vote on Tuesday. It next goes to the House for consideration. HPL was the last of the state’s public hospitals to have its services transferred to private partners. A cooperative endeavor agreement between the state, Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center is transferring those services to clinics operated by the two hospitals and the hospitals themselves.
A plan that would create a $40 million pot of money that Louisiana’s colleges and universities would then compete over, sailed through the state House overwhelmingly Wednesday on a 100-0 vote. The plan would set aside 80 percent of the funding for workforce development. Every public college or university in the state would get a shot to collect a share of the money depending on how many graduates they produce in high-demand fields such as computer science and engineering. In order to draw down the funds, schools would have to come up with a 20 percent match in private investments. It now heads to the Senate for a vote.
The House Health and Welfare committee approved a bill Wednesday that would require abortion clinics to provide information to the patient about possible psychological effects associated with ending a pregnancy. Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says this info will be contained in a pamphlet that women seeking abortions would receive. The measure passed without objection and now heads to the House floor.
The House Criminal Justice Committee agreed with a bill today that would remove the state's anti-sodomy law from the state's books. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith says she authored this bill, because the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the law violates the constitution. The bill now heads to the house floor.
A bill that would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring their gun into certain places that sell alcohol passed Wednesday afternoon on the House Floor. The bill now heads to the Senate for
A bill that would ban motorists from using certain hand held cell phones in school zones got approval from the full House Wednesday. House Bill 370 received unanimous approval and now heads to the Senate.
Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres has suspended three of his deputies for allegedly giving special treatment to a New Roads police officer who was involved in a crash, while off-duty. The
officer, Captain Mark Munson, was suspected of driving while drunk and he's been suspended too.