KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 04/17/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 041712
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S PLAN TO COORDINATE LOUISIANA'S PATCHWORK SYSTEM OF PREKINDERGARTEN AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS NEARED FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE, WITH A UNANIMOUS HOUSE VOTE MONDAY. THE PROPOSAL (SENATE BILL 581) WOULD REQUIRE THE STATE EDUCATION BOARD TO DEVISE AN INTEGRATED NETWORK OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND CHILD CARE CENTERS THAT RECEIVE PUBLIC FUNDING, WITH SPECIFIC STANDARDS, PERFORMANCE TARGETS AND LETTER GRADES. BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE HAVE BACKED THE BILL, WHICH RETURNS TO THE SENATE FOR APPROVAL OF MINOR HOUSE CHANGES. THE GRADING STANDARDS AND PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE PUT IN PLACE BY THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR.

A JINDAL ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL TO GIVE A DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR STATE TAX REBATE TO PEOPLE WHO DONATE MONEY TO NONPROFITS THAT GIVE SCHOLARSHIPS TO HELP STUDENTS ATTEND PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS IS NEARING FINAL PASSAGE, AFTER GETTING A 9-2 VOTE FROM THE SENATE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE. THE HOUSE-APPROVED MEASURE (HOUSE BILL 969) GOES TO THE FULL SENATE. THE PROPOSAL WOULD BEGIN WITH DONATIONS FOR TUITION IN THE 2013-14 SCHOOL YEAR.

IT WAS A BATTLE OF LEGAL OPINIONS AS THE SENATE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE COMBED THROUGH GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S PROPOSALS TO PUSH BACK THE RETIREMENT AGE FOR ABOUT 50,000 RANK-AND-FILE STATE WORKERS AND PUBLIC COLLEGE EMPLOYEES AND TO CHARGE THEM MORE FOR THEIR PENSIONS. WITHOUT OBJECTION MONDAY, THE COMMITTEE APPROVED THE PACKAGE OF BILLS AFTER HOURS OF LEGAL DISAGREEMENTS AND PROMISES THAT IF ANY OF THESE CHANGES GET FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE, THEY WILL BE CHALLENGED IN COURT.[] AS HEADED TO THE FULL SENATE FOR DEBATE, ONE MEASURE WOULD INCREASE THE AMOUNT STATE WORKERS PAY TOWARD THEIR RETIREMENT FROM 8 PERCENT OF THEIR SALARY TO 11 PERCENT. ANOTHER BILL WOULD REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO WORK LONGER TO GET THEIR FULL RETIREMENT BENEFITS, TO AS MUCH AS 67 YEARS OLD, DEPENDING ON HOW MANY YEARS THEY'VE BEEN IN THE SYSTEM AND THEIR CURRENT AGE.
OTHER PROPOSALS WOULD MAKE IT MUCH TOUGHER FOR RETIREMENT SYSTEMS TO PASS COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS FOR RETIREES AND WOULD CALCULATE THE MONTHLY RETIREMENT PAYMENT ON AN EMPLOYEE'S TOP FIVE YEARS OF SALARY INSTEAD OF THREE YEARS.

THE LOUISIANA HOUSE BACKED A MEASURE THAT CALLS ON CONGRESS TO STOP FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD. THE LEGISLATION BY REP. FRANK HOFFMANN, R-WEST MONROE, HEADS NEXT TO THE SENATE FOR DEBATE, WHERE A SIMILAR PROPOSAL FAILED TO GAIN FINAL PASSAGE LAST YEAR. HOFFMANN SAID HE SPONSORED THE PROPOSAL (HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 11) BECAUSE HE WANTS PLANNED PARENTHOOD TO STOP RECEIVING TAX DOLLARS UNTIL THEY STOP PROVIDING ABORTIONS, EVEN THOUGH TAX MONEY ISN'T USED FOR THE PROCEDURE. OPPONENTS OF HOFFMANN'S LEGISLATION SAID REMOVAL OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE ORGANIZATION WOULD THREATEN HEALTH CARE FOR MILLIONS OF WOMEN WHO RELY ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER SCREENINGS, HIV TESTING AND PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE.

WELFARE RECIPIENTS WOULD BE PROHIBITED FROM SPENDING THEIR CASH ASSISTANCE ON LIQUOR, CIGARETTES, GAMBLING AND SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESSES LIKE STRIP CLUBS, IF THE SENATE AGREES TO A BILL PASSED IN THE HOUSE YESTERDAY. REP. CAMERON HENRY, R-METAIRIE SAYS THE STATE RISKS LOSING FEDERAL FUNDS WITHOUT A PROHIBITION. THE STATE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT WOULD HAVE TO ENACT THE MEASURE BY FEBRUARY 2013, IF LAWMAKERS PASS THE BILL. THE LEGISLATIVE FISCAL OFFICE SAID THE BILL WOULD REQUIRE THE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT TO REWORK ITS EXISTING CONTRACT AND SOFTWARE SYSTEM AT AN ESTIMATED $454,000 COST IN THE FIRST YEAR AND $228,000 ANNUAL COST EACH YEAR AFTER THAT. NO MONEY HAS BEEN EARMARKED FOR THE EXPENSES.

THE LOUISIANA HOUSE HAS AGREED TO PROHIBIT SMOKING WITHIN 25 FEET OF THE ENTRANCE TO ANY BUILDING WHERE SMOKING ALREADY IS BANNED. REPUBLICAN REP. FRANK HOFFMANN, OF WEST MONROE, SAYS HE'S PUSHING THE PROPOSAL BECAUSE OF THE DANGERS OF SECONDHAND CIGARETTE SMOKE. LOUISIANA PROHIBITS SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS, PUBLIC PLACES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND MANY PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT.
HOFFMANN'S PROPOSAL WOULD EXTEND THE BAN TO WITHIN 25 FEET OF THOSE BUILDINGS' ENTRANCES AND TO THEIR WHEELCHAIR RAMPS. IT WOULDN'T APPLY TO PLACES LIKE CASINOS, BARS AND PRIVATE RESIDENCES, WHICH ARE EXEMPT FROM THE STATE'S SMOKING BAN. THE HOUSE VOTED 81-12 MONDAY FOR THE MEASURE, SENDING IT TO THE SENATE FOR DEBATE.

THE LOUISIANA HOUSE IS GETTING READY TO DECIDE WHETHER THE STATE BOARD OF ETHICS SHOULD HAVE A BIT MORE POWER IN ENFORCEMENT OF THE STATE ETHICS CODE.
THE BOARD OF ETHICS INVESTIGATES AND ACTS AS A PROSECUTOR WHEN A PUBLIC OFFICIAL IS ACCUSED OF AN ETHICAL VIOLATION. BUT A BOARD OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES DECIDES WHETHER A VIOLATION HAS ACTUALLY OCCURRED. CURRENTLY, THE BOARD OF ETHICS CANNOT APPEAL THE ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL'S DECISIONS. BUT THE HOUSE ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON COULD VOTE TO GIVE THE BOARD THE RIGHT TO APPEAL IN COURT. EVEN IF THE BILL IS APPROVED, IT COULD BE DIFFICULT FOR THE BOARD TO REVIVE A CASE AGAINST A PUBLIC OFFICIAL: IT WOULD TAKE A UNANIMOUS VOTE OF THE 11-MEMBER BOARD TO PURSUE AN APPEAL.

THE STATE'S FILM TAX CREDITS WOULDN'T BE AVAILABLE TO THE MAKERS OF PORNOGRAPHIC FILMS, UNDER A BILL THAT RECEIVED PASSAGE FROM THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE YESTERDAY. IT HEADS NEXT TO THE FULL SENATE FOR DEBATE. THE STATE'S DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SAID NO TAX CREDITS HAVE BEEN SOUGHT FOR PORNOGRAPHIC FILMS SINCE THE START OF THE STATE'S TAX BREAK PROGRAM.

A PROPOSAL TO LET THE STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT BORROW $325 MILLION TO REPAIR AND UPGRADE RURAL ROADS ACROSS LOUISIANA RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM A SENATE COMMITTEE IN A 10-1 VOTE. ROADS IN ALL OF THE STATE'S PARISHES, EXCEPT ORLEANS PARISH, WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR MONEY, WHICH WOULD PAY FOR WORK ON ROADS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL MATCHING DOLLARS IN THE HIGHWAY PROGRAM. THE HOUSE-BACKED MEASURE (HOUSE BILL 783) GOES TO THE FULL SENATE.

LANDOWNERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO HUNT NUISANCE FERAL HOGS ON THEIR PROPERTY YEAR-ROUND IF THE HUNTERS NOTIFY THE LOCAL SHERIFF, THE HOUSE DECIDED IN A 91-6 VOTE. THE PROPOSAL GOES NEXT TO THE SENATE FOR DEBATE.

THE LOUISIANA HOUSE WILL DEBATE WHETHER TO BAN THE USE OF HAND-HELD CELL PHONES WHILE DRIVING. SIMILAR PROPOSALS HAVE FAILED IN RECENT YEARS TO GAIN TRACTION WITH THE LEGISLATURE. BUT THE HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE VOTED 9-7 MONDAY TO ADVANCE THE BILL TO THE FULL HOUSE FOR ANOTHER DEBATE. LOUISIANA CURRENTLY HAS A BAN ON TEXTING WHILE DRIVING AND A PROHIBITION ON YOUNGER DRIVERS USING CELL PHONES.

THE ALEXANDRIA/PINEVILLE AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU HAS LAUNCHED A SMART PHONE ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE. VISITORS AND AREA RESIDENTS CAN ACCESS EVERYTHING TO SEE AND DO IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA VIA THEIR SMART PHONE.
WHEN WWW.THEHEARTOFLOUISIANA.COM IS ENTERED INTO A PHONE'S SEARCH ENGINE, THE SITE WILL AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDE EASY-TO-VIEW ACCESS TO RESTAURANTS, SHOPPING, LOCAL ATTRACTIONS, HOTELS AND MOTELS, AND EVENTS. THE NEW MOBILE SITE INCLUDES FEATURES SUCH AS GEO-LOCATION, AN ITINERARY BUILDER, AND QUICK ACCESS TO THE CVB'S TWITTER AND FACEBOOK PAGES.

THE ALEXANDRIA BEST BUY STORE IS NOT AMONG THE 50 STORES THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS COMPANY IS CLOSING. BEST BUY RELEASED THE LIST SATURDAY OF THE STORES IT WILL CLOSE THIS YEAR TO CUT COSTS. SEVEN OF THE STORES ON THE CLOSURE LIST ARE IN CALIFORNIA, SIX ARE IN ILLINOIS AND SIX ARE IN THE COMPANY'S HOME STATE OF MINNESOTA. NO STORES IN LOUISIANA ARE SLATED FOR CLOSURE. BEST BUY ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 29 THAT IT WOULD CLOSE SOME OF ITS LARGEST STORES, CUT 400 CORPORATE JOBS AND TRIM $800 MILLION IN COSTS IN RESPONSE TO SLOWING SALES.

A FEDERAL JUDGE ON MONDAY EXTENDED A DEADLINE FOR BP AND A TEAM OF PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEYS TO FILE DETAILS OF A PROPOSED SETTLEMENT DESIGNED TO RESOLVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ECONOMIC DAMAGE CLAIMS SPAWNED BY THE 2010 OIL SPILL IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE CARL BARBIER EXTENDED THE DEADLINE TO WEDNESDAY MORNING, SAYING THE PARTIES NEEDED MORE TIME TO FINISH COMPILING SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION AND EXHIBITS. LONDON-BASED BP PLC ESTIMATES IT WILL PAY ABOUT $7.8 BILLION TO RESOLVE PRIVATE PARTY CLAIMS, BUT THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT DOESN'T HAVE A CAP.

SPORTS..

THE NBA'S ALL-STARS WILL BE BACK IN THE BIG EASY TWO SEASONS FROM NOW. WHETHER NEW ORLEANS' NBA FRANCHISE WILL STILL BE KNOWN AS THE HORNETS BY THEN IS ANOTHER MATTER. THREE DAYS AFTER SAINTS OWNER TOM BENSON AGREED TO BUY THE HORNETS AND SIGN A LEASE EXTENSION AT NEW ORLEANS ARENA, NBA COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN CAME DOWN TO THE BAYOU AND ANNOUNCED THAT NEW ORLEANS WILL HOST THE 2014 ALL-STAR GAME AS "A REWARD TO THE GOOD CITIZENS OF THIS CITY AND THE SPONSORS AND TICKET HOLDERS" WHO HELPED SOLIDIFY THE TEAM'S FINANCIAL FOOTING BEFORE IT WAS SOLD.

God Bless America!

970 KSYL On Air Now
Bill Handel
Bill Handel
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Handel On The Law
iheart Radio

Talkradio 970

Now A Member Of The

I Heart Radio Family!

Click The Logo To Listen!

KSYL News

The KSYL Morning Report

Monday Thru Friday 7:10a

Host

Dave Graichen

Click Player To Listen


 

The CBS World News Roundup

Click The Logo to listen

 

State Wire
On Twitter
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Kim Komando, The "Weekend" Roundup, Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy!), Art Bell, The Real Estate Show, Bill Handel, Chef John Folse "Stirin' It Up" , Doug Stephan's Weekend, The Pet Show & When Radio Was!.

Chef John Folse

Chef John Folse & Company

"Stirin' It Up"

Saturday At Noon!

 

 

 

Leo LaPorte

LEO LAPORTE

THE TECH GUY

SATURDAY / SUNDAY

1 TO 5PM

Doug Stephan

Resources
LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services