News for Monday 050619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just after saying last week it would be ready, word is now medical marijuana will not be available to eligible patients by the mid-May deadline. The LSU AgCenter says the first batch of therapeutic cannabis should be ready by the end of this month, but the ag department will still need to test it. So now it looks like sometime in June.
Governor Edwards is seeking 39 million dollars in new K-12 education funding, but House Republicans say the money is not there to do it. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says another battle is shaping up between the governor and the House. House Republican leaders say if they increase funding for public education, they’ll have to cut the budget somewhere else.
The House will hear a bill today that would allow minors to work eight hours without a break instead of the current five. The House Labor Committee has already unanimously approved the measure. Author of the bill, Shreveport Representative Raymond Crews says the current law discourages employers from hiring minors as the mandatory break can disrupt a fluid shift. The law also issues employers a 500 dollar fine for violating the break requirement. Julie Cherry with the Louisiana AFL-CIO is concerned the bill could lead to minors not receiving breaks at all…
Legislation that would require Louisiana businesses to provide employees with paid leave to deal with family or medical issues cleared its first legislative hurdle by getting out of the Senate Labor committee, but the proposal faces strong opposition. No big surprise her, the National Federation of Independent Business objects to the measure. The measure needs to go before Senate Finance because a small payroll tax paid by employers and employees is needed to create a fund that can provide for the paid leave.
Vice President Mike Pence visited St. Landry Parish on Friday to thank the parishioners of three African American churches for how they’ve handled the burning down of their places of worship by a suspected arsonist. Over two-million dollars have been raised to rebuild the churches.
U-S Senator John Kennedy is teaming up with Attorney General Jeff Landry to lead the Louisiana Committee for a Conservative Majority, a political action committee. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Kennedy brings his fundraising talents to an organization aimed at electing more conservative Republicans to the legislature. All 144 seats in the state legislature are up re-election this fall.
New Orleans’ historic newspaper, The Times Picayune has been purchased by their Baton Rouge based rival, The Advocate. Manship School Professor Len Apcar, a 40 years veteran journalist who’s worked at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, says the merger will increase the quality of reporting in the Crescent City. Employees of the Picayune and it’s online service, Nola.com, have been given 60 days’ notice that they will be fired. However, they can apply to work for the Advocate.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the NCAA has launched an investigation into the Arizona men’s basketball program, which just like LSU has been tied to the FBI’s college basketball corruption case. One of their former assistant coaches pleaded guilty in January to accepting 20-thousand dollars in bribes to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins.
Through the month of May, Louisiana residents can download the LA Wallet app and activate their license for free in an effort to get more people to use the service. OMV field administrator Paige Paxton says law enforcement will accept digital license as a valid I-D, but you should hang on to your physical I-D as well, especially if you plan to travel out of state. Louisiana is the first state to allow the use of a smartphone app as a picture ID.
The U.S. Coast Guard begins a week long public hearing today regarding the October 2018 barge wreck that resulted in damage to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. Legal analyst Tim Meche says anytime there is a major incident on a major waterway, there is an investigation followed up by a public hearing. In the wreck, a crane carried on a barge collided with the bridge, resulting in the closure of the bridge for repairs until it was fully reopened in January. Meche says if the final report finds that individuals are implicated as culprits in the cause, they may be liable civilly or even criminally.
40 year old Clayton Florane of Bogalusa was arrested Sunday morning when he was caught driving a Natchitoches Regional Medical Center ambulance In Gonzales. An officer with the Gonzales PD stopped the ambulance around 9 a.m. Sunday when he saw it had extensive damage to the front bumper, a broken windshield, and the driver was in civilian clothes. Florane got out and admitted he'd stolen the vehicle from the hospital because he needed a ride home. Natchitoches police told Gonzales authorities the ambulance was stolen from the hospital at approximately 5:30 a.m.
Motown Records legend Diana Ross, who performed in front of thousands of fans Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, says while fans at the Festival were wonderful, she was treated rudely an Louis Armstrong New Orleans International.
In a Tweet Sunday morning, Ross says she felt "violated" by what she described as an overly intimate and aggressive pat-down by a female TSA agent at an airport security checkpoint. Her tweet says It was not what was done but how.