KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 04/24/14

News for Thursday 042414

By Dave Graichen


The Senate Health and Welfare  Committee  overwhelmingly  rejected a push  to  expand Louisiana's Medicaid program.  Governor Jindal  has opposed the  expansion  because  he  thinks  it's a bad idea to move people from private insurance onto a government-run  program and the state should be more interested in reducing the number  of people on public  assistance.  The six to two vote, along party lines,  likely ends debate on the issue in the Senate this session.


Legislation that would require doctors and hospitals to keep brain-dead  pregnant women on life support until they give birth, regardless of the  family's wishes, is heading to the House floor. It passed out of the  House Health and Welfare Committee. New Orleans Representative Austin Badon says his bill gives an unborn child a voice.


According to a report based on 2012 Census data, Louisiana ranked 49th  in the nation for lowest percentage of people who graduate from  college. The document from the Lumina Foundation indicated The Bayou  State graduates only 29% of the population.  Basically only 3 out of every 10 adults in Louisiana have an associate  or bachelor's degree according to the study. The study found that the only state with a lower percentage of people  who had a college degree was West Virginia.


A  bill  that  would expand the "Equal Pay for Women Act" to include men and apply to private sector employers passed in Senate Committee today.  SB 334 is  by  New  Orleans  Senator  Karen Carter Peterson. There  are  certain  exceptions  to  her measure when  it  comes  to senority  or  merit  based  pay systems.   Peterson  says  in  2010, Louisiana ranked 46th in the nation for lowest paid women.


Louisiana's government services are providing the third worst return in  investment based on the amount taxes Louisiana residents pay.  That's  according to Wallethub.com. Senior analyst John Kiernan says  Louisiana's tax rate is the 17th best in the country, which  is good. But he says the state ranks poorly in the areas of education  and infrastructure and health care, which leads to a poor return on  investment for taxpayers. Kiernan says only Arkansas and Mississippi received a lower ranking.


The Louisiana House advanced legislation Wednesday that would put Louisiana in compliance with post-911 federal rules. House Bill 907 would give the state’s residents the option of getting a Real ID. The IDs are identification cards and driver’s licenses whose authenticity is verifiable. Louisiana was one of 16 states not in compliant with federal Real ID standards.


Without debate, the state House on Wednesday rejected a proposal to require the election of the state superintendent of education. The vote was 40 in favor and 56 opposed. The constitutional amendment required 70 votes to pass.


The House Ag Committee will meet today to discuss a bill that would  allow the sale of raw milk from farmers to consumers. Carencro  representative Stephen Ortego says raw milk has the same health risks as  eating a hamburger or a raw oyster and can be beneficial to people that  are lactose intolerant. Ortego says the sale of raw milk is currently illegal because some  diseases in the turn of the century were found in it but those diseases  have now been eradicated in the United States.


In Lafayette Parish, no charges will be filed against a man who shot a  suspect  accused  of  abducting  his  cousin.  Assistant District Attorney  Pat  Magee says the grand jury declared  the  shooting  of Scott  Thomas by  Marcus  Arcenaux  was  a  "justifiable  homicide". Police say  that  in November, Thomas abducted Bethany Arceneaux and held her for 2 days  before  relatives  found  her.   Witnesses  say Thomas was shot while attacking Arceneaux during her rescue.


First  is was rejected, then it was brought back to the legislature, and this time it passes.  Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor decided to bring  back  his  bill  to  prohibit  flying  drones  --  with  some exceptions  for  agriculture,  security,  and  film  production.  He said he wanted to better explain it. Well, those  explanations  from Claitor worked, as the bill passed  22-16.It now heads to the House.


Two people were killed in a train  versus car accident in Caddo Parish after a train accident in Caddo Parish  yesterday afternoon.  Caddo Parish Sheriff's deputies report  that  the  railroad crossing  arms  were  down on Stage Coach Road when the unidentified elderly driver attempted to go  around  them.  Both the driver and passenger were killed in the impact.


Marathon Petroleum Corp. said it is taking the next step toward a potential $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion upgrade to the company’s Garyville refinery and expects to make a final decision on the project by early 2015. The St. John the Baptist Parish project would create 65 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $115,000 per year, plus benefits. The company plans to file permit applications for the potential project with Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality at the end of April, having completed feasibility studies on the project.


A state panel would recommend changes in how public school teachers are evaluated under a bill approved Wednesday in the House Education Committee. The proposal is House Bill 415 by state Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe. It next faces action on the House floor. Hoffmann was the key sponsor of a 2010 state law that links teacher job reviews to the growth of student achievement. A 2012 state law ties those evaluations to a form of job security called tenure. Backers say the changes will improve student achievement by improving teacher quality.


After qualifying to the postseason three times and appearing in the divisional round twice since winning Super Bowl XLIV a little more than four years ago, it was virtually a foregone conclusion that the New Orleans Saints would get their fair share of primetime games in 2014. The NFL’s schedule makers did not disappoint, revealing on Wednesday that they had given the Black and Gold at least five primetime games this season, which is more than usual.


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