Wallis Watkins

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on health and health policy for Louisiana's Prescription.

With $350 million more to spend in next year’s budget, The House Appropriations committee voted Monday to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program. 

A Senate committee has approved abolishing the death penalty in Louisiana. The bill’s author, Sen. JP Morrell (D-New Orleans), says the death penalty is ineffective. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards appeared before the Senate Finance committee Sunday, once again reminding lawmakers of the looming budget problem the state faces and the impact it could have, especially in health care. 

Bills that would raise standards for TOPS scholarship students narrowly passed their first test Thursday in the House Education committee. 

The full House has approved a bill making hazing a felony in Louisiana when it results in serious bodily injury or death.

Right now, hazing is only a misdemeanor. 

Increasing the minimum wage, expanding equal pay for women, strengthening policies against sexual harassment — these are all goals Gov. John Bel Edwards wanted to achieve in the regular session. But last week, all three policies hit a wall. 

One police officer has been fired, and another suspended following the 2016 fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.

Two weeks into the regular legislative session, lawmakers continue to hear concerns from various departments over next year’s budget, like being unable to afford to house state inmates, or pay for Louisiana’s safety-net hospitals. 

Louisiana is one of only two states in the country where a 12-person jury doesn’t have to reach a unanimous decision in order to convict someone of a felony. 

Harrah's — by contract, the only land-based casino in New Orleans — is one step closer to extending its deal with the state of Louisiana.

The current contract is set to end in six years. But a bill brought by Speaker of the House Taylor Barras would give it another 30. In return, Harrah's has agreed to invest $350 million in its facility. 

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