Tensions were high Thursday as the Louisiana House voted 55-47 to pass a state budget that called for cutting TOPS funding by 20 percent and stripping most of the funding for partner hospitals and other health services for the poor.
This proposal came after state officials estimated that federal tax changes would bring in an extra $346 million in state revenue next year, lowering the projected budget deficit to $648 million.
The Department of Corrections has agreed to ease restrictions on prisoner interviews to settle a lawsuit filed by a student journalist and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
Christopher Lowery, a former project coordinator for the Wrongful Conviction Project at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, filed the suit last year after department officials denied his request to interview Angola inmate Darold Hines.
The Senate Education Committee on Thursday voted 4-2 to reject a bill that would have prevented schools from punishing students with lunch debt even though the bill had easily passed the House earlier this month.
The committee also voted 5-1 in favor of a bill allowing school employees to participate in student-initiated prayer during the work day if all of the students had obtained signed permission slips from their parents.
As anyone who watches the news can see, the White House press secretary is often in a tough spot.
“I’d liken the job to being a human piñata,” Mike McCurry, who was a press secretary for former President Bill Clinton, said Tuesday night at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. “The press corps just kind of whacks at you to see if anything will spill out.”