News for Wednesday 042314
By Dave Graichen
A survey released by two pro-voucher groups shows 92-percent of the parents who have children participating in the state's voucher program are satisfied and happy with their child's academic progress. The state's voucher program, also called the Louisiana Scholarship program, uses state funding to send children, from low income families attending poorly performing public schools, to an approved private school. 87-hundred students have already been awarded a scholarship for next school year.
The town of Washington in St. Landry Parish has been called out on the high number of tickets they've been writing on I-49. So, in response, a bill was introduced authored by Shreveport Rep Alan Seabaugh that only allows cities to write speeding tickets on an interstate if more than a half-mile of the interstate is in town limits. That bill passed on an 11-to-5 vote. It now goes to the House floor.
The hot button bill by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell that would lessen marijuana penalties in Louisiana is no more. SB 323, which says anyone charged with pot possession could get no more than 6 months in jail and a $100 fine on every offense, was deferred in committee. The matter is essentially dead for the session.
A bill that would ban employers from discriminating who they hire based on sexual orientation or gender identity is also done for the session. Representative Karen St. Germain from Pierre Part pulled the legislation because she knew there wouldn't be enough votes to pass it.
Legislation that would increase the maximum sentence to 99 years for those individuals who are convicted of manufacturing, distribution or possessing heroin is heading to the House. The full senate approved the measure on a 34-2 vote.
A bill requiring dogs to be restrained in the beds of pickup trucks passes on the House floor and heads to Senate. The measure by Kenner Representative Tom Willmott got a close 53-34 go-ahead vote. He says a dog loose in the back of a truck that's going 70 on an interstate is extremely unsafe.
The massive 5 day Festival International which brings in music and art lovers from all over the world, kicks off today in Lafayette. Kelly Strenge with the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Bureau says this is a multicultural festival that draws thousands. Strenge says they are expecting between 300 to 350 thousand people to attend the festival through the weekend. You can get more information at festivalinternational.com.
Supporters to expand Medicaid coverage will rally on the state capitol steps this morning. Alma Stewart, Louisiana Center for Health Equity, says the rally will urge legislators to vote for a bill that would allow voters to decide if the state should accept federal dollars to expand health care coverage for an estimated 240-thousand low-income Louisiana adults....
The man from Bossier accused of murdering his wife in November has been found competent to stand trial. That word came down yesterday about the case where fifty-three year-od Robert Bond allegedly killed his wife Annie, dumped her body in Webster Parish, then left the state.
Two police officers from Eunice who chose not to assist another officer involved in a fight have been arrested. Officers Tayla Fruge and Jade Weaver were charged with malfeasance, and were place on administrative leave, this is pending an investigation by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's