News for Monday 041513
By Dave Graichen
The Internal Revenue Service has some useful tips for last-minute federal income tax filers. The deadline to file your taxes is today, and IRS spokesman Michael Dobinsky says you MUST have your taxes filed by midnight tonight. You can do that electronically online or by getting it postmarked at the post office. Keep in mind though, no all post offices are open late. Just dropping it in the box doesn’t count. Dobinsky says, if you're not finished with your 2012 return, you can file an extension and have more time to get your tax return together. However, he says you must send the IRS some money today, if you're going to owe.
Governor Bobby Jindal vows to veto any legislation that attempts to cap funding for the TOPS scholarship. Because of the growing cost associated with the state scholarship program, there's a senate bill that would cap how much tuition the state would pay for a TOPS recipient. TOPS will cost the state 168-million dollars this fiscal year. The House
Fiscal Division projects the program could cost as much as 340-milllion in 2017, if tuition keeps rising at the current pace.
The first week of the legislative session is in the books and Governor Jindal's message to lawmakers has not changed. The governor wants to see the legislature pass legislation to eliminate the state income tax. How to replace the revenue lost, if the income tax is repealed is a big question. Jindal say he's not putting any limitations on legislators.
The House Ways & Means Committee starts hearing state lawmakers' proposals for eliminating the state income tax today. Baton Rouge Rep. Hunter Greene says his House Bill 272 would slowly phase income taxes out over a ten-year span. Greene says lawmakers will need to look for ways to offset the revenues lost, even with an incremental phase-out of income taxes. Greene says he and other conservatives at the Capitol felt the Governor's plan was too much, too fast.
The Department of the Army is in Leesville today as it decides whether to add or reduce troops at Fort Polk. Mayor Robert Rose says a meeting will be held at 5 this evening for the department to gather additional information from the community concerning the Army 2020 Force Restructure decision. The meeting is being held at the United Pentecostal Church in Leesville and Rose says they are encouraging concerned citizens to line the streets with flags and signs of support that show just how far Fort Polk's impact is felt.
Lafayette Rep. Nancy Landry has dropped from consideration this session legislation that would have established a voucher program for children with disabilities to attend regional schools where they could receive specialized care. HB642 sought to identify and designate schools that offer the best special education or to create new ones. These schools would be allowed to charge tuition to offset the high cost of educating disabled students but parents , not just those with low incomes, could apply for vouchers. Numerous private schools participate in the state-funded voucher program but many don’t have the necessary staffing or facilities to properly educate disabled students who need the most attention.
State employee and teacher retirement systems are opposing bills filed in the current legislative session that would require their members to pay more and others that would reduce benefits. The boards of the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana cite constitutional problems that plagued Jindal administration efforts last year. Unlike last year’s push, the retirement revamp legislation is sponsored by individual legislators, not the administration.
Authorities are investigating an apparent child abuse case that led to the death of a two-year-old girl from Oberlin. Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert says the little girl suffered from third-degree burns. Hebert says they believe the mother's boyfriend, 29-year-old Bobby Davis Junior is responsible for the child's death. Davis has been arrested. Hebert calls it the worst child abuse case he's ever seen. Hebert says for some reason Davis burned the little girl with an electric heater.
Baton Rouge area Manda Fine Meats has expanded its tainted meat recall from a little more than 20,000 pounds to about 468,000 pounds. The products that may be affected are roast beef, ham, turkey breast, tasso pork, ham shanks, hog-head cheese, corned beef and pastrami. The suspected tainted meats were all produced at the company’s Baker facility. No illnesses have been reported associated with the tainted meats
The Louisiana Department of Transportation broke ground Friday in Shreveport on another segment of Interstate-49 north. DOTD spokesperson Susan Stafford says they are getting closer to finishing this much anticipated transportation project. which will extend I-49 from Shreveport to Arkansas State line. The ground breaking ceremony on Friday is for segment J, which is about four miles long and it will cost nearly 50-million dollars.
Right fielder Sean McMullen delivered a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning for the go-ahead run as top-ranked LSU recorded a 5-3 victory over No. 10 Arkansas at Baum Stadium. LSU improved to 34-3 overall and 13-2 in the SEC as the Tigers won two of three of the three games played over the weekend. LSU plays host to Grambling State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium. You can hear that game on 970 KSYL.