Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

Louisiana Unemployment Down To 4.4%

Apr 23, 2018
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Unemployment is down to 4.4 percent in Louisiana, capping a three month run of strong jobs numbers. According to the March employment figures, 46-thousand people have joined the workforce over the last 12 months and state Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie says that puts us number one in the nation for new jobs added.

 

One of Louisiana’s oil beds, Lafayette, is starting to recover jobs lost from last year’s oil bust. Dejoie says rising prices at the pump are paying dividends for the area.

 

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United States Senator John Kennedy is asking President Trump to put even higher tariffs on Chinese crawfish and shrimp. In a letter to the White House, Kennedy accused the Chinese of not trading fairly with the U-S.

 

Earlier this month, President Trump instructed the United States Trade Representative to consider whether 100-billion dollars in additional tariffs would be appropriate. Kennedy says he’s asked the Trump administration to give full consideration to the inclusion of Chinese crawfish and shrimp.

 

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The Senate Education committee moved a measure that allows public school teachers to pray with students. The bill would further existing law that allows school employees to volunteer to supervise voluntary student-initiated, student-led prayer. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti.

 

Gatti says the improved legislation will make it easier for the kids to do what they want to.

 

The measure moves to the Senate floor. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel thinks the bill will only get the state sued and he voted against it.

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The chairman of Senate Finance has no desire to approve the budget the House passed last Thursday. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur says he can’t support a spending plan that would kick 46-thousand elderly and disabled people from nursing homes.

 

LaFleur says, "I will never vote for this budget. I will not allow for a thousand people to be thrown out into the streets. I'd be embarrassed, and I'm not even running again for office."

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A bill that would allow riverboat casinos to expand onto land is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate today, after being pulled from consideration last week. The bill would remove restrictions for Louisiana’s 15 floating gambling halls. Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty says more profitable casinos means more revenue for the state.

 

Duty says, "Having these boats on the water does not necessarily lend itself to a good revenue base for the state and also for predictable jobs."

 

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A Lafayette man pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute multiple quantities of narcotics and illegal possession of a 9 mm handgun, last Thursday.

Jacob Glen Collett, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell.

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A new supplement wrapped up testing at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and claims it can help improve gut health that is lacking in most modern diets. “Biomebliss”, from LSU Medical School graduate and New Orleans Native Dr. Mark Heiman says there’s a lot of research showing Americans are lacking the proper bacteria in their stomachs.

 

Heiman says, "We were after pre-diabetics because most of us in this country are pre-diabetics, so this is for people who are healthy but probably don't get enough of these micronutrients."

 

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A House floor vote is scheduled today on a proposal to raise the cost of a basic resident hunting and fishing license by a few dollars. Wildlife and Fisheries officials say the increase is needed to offset a 65-million dollar loss in state funding since 2009. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the proposal is having a difficult time passing, because it needs 70 votes from the 105-member House.

 

Pinosnat says, "The problem is getting two-thirds of the legislative to vote for something." 

 

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Brett Favre is stepping up to be the voice of a distracted driving campaign in Louisiana. The Hall of Fame Quarterback will be featured in a new PSA speaking out against dangerous behavior behind the wheel that was responsible for the deaths of more than 700 Louisianans in 2016. Favre is using his NFL experience to make an impact.

 

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The state House approves legislation that supporters say will help the Cajun Navy and other volunteer groups have a greater impact during a disaster. Denham Springs Representative Valarie Hodges says her family was helped by volunteers after the 2016 flood. She says the legislation gives the Cajun Navy access to state equipment and training.

 

But New Iberia Representative Terry Landry, the former head of State Police, is skeptical about bringing volunteers into a disaster situation.

 

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