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.

The House Appropriations Committee met at the Capitol Tuesday to begin discussing the Governor's proposal for next fiscal year's budget.

“Because of the limitations on dollars available from the Revenue Estimating Conference," explained Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, "we’re not able to show you a budget that does everything the Governor feels it ought to do.” 


Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health announced a behavioral health program for youth would be eliminated effective April 1st.

Senator Fred Mills called Wednesday’s Health and Welfare committee meeting to discuss that action. 


Even before the March and August floods hit Louisiana, the state faced a shortage of affordable rental housing. That shortage grew as homes flooded and became uninhabitable. On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an initiative to help fill that need. Wallis Watkins reports.

In September 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded East Baton Rouge Parish an $11 million grant to assist with flood recovery. Thursday night, Mayor Sharon West Broome's office proposed a new plan on how to spend it. Wallis Watkins reports.

State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson announced his retirement Wednesday.

“I’m not bigger than State Police and I think that what’s most important is the men and women that make up public safety and the men and women that make up State Police. They need to continue forward. We certainly don’t need any distractions,” he explained.


Thirty years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled against Louisiana requiring teaching of both evolution and creationism in public schools. But debate over the role of the two theories in education continues. 


At a recent America’s Wetland Foundation Coastal Summit, Governor John Bel Edwards looked ahead to the Legislature’s next regular session, which starts April 10th. During that session, the Legislature will vote on the state’s newest Coastal Master Plan. 


As the Special Session must end Wednesday at midnight, the House and Senate appear on their way to implementing a deal. 


Louisiana's backlog of needed roadwork is $13 billion. But now the House is looking to tap the Transportation Trust Fund in order to help pay down state debt. 


The full House will consider two plans for resolving the $304-million budget shortfall Friday, and neither of them is the Governor's proposal. 


Pages