Wallis Watkins

Reporter

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 politics for Capitol Access.

Ways to Connect

CC0 Creative Commons

After more than two years of an economic slump in Louisiana, a recent report published by the LSU Economics and Policy Research Group shows the number of jobs in Louisiana could reach record numbers by 2020. 

Jennifer Martin / Wikimedia Commons CCA 4.0

It’s been three years since the Louisiana Legislature approved medical marijuana as a treatment option for certain health conditions. The drug is expected to become available to patients this year, and the number of people who could qualify has grown to about 100,000, after the Legislature expanded the program to include medical conditions like chronic pain and PTSD. 

Creative Commons

Teachers across the country, including Washington, Arizona, and West Virginia, are calling for higher pay and in some cases, going on strike.  According to a recent IPSOS/USA Today poll, a majority of Americans don’t think that public school teachers are compensated fairly. The issue is resonating in Louisiana.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Louisiana’s casinos and gaming laws got a lot of attention from the Legislature this year. Lawmakers approved a bill to let riverboat casinos move onto land, but a bill that could have paved the way for legal sports betting in the state failed to gain traction. 

Wallis Watkins

The cost of printing a newspaper has grown by more than 20% this year, in part because of a tariff the Trump administration placed on imported newsprint - the paper that newspapers are printed on. But the industry could soon be seeing some relief. Last week, the United States International Trade Commission voted to lift the newsprint tariff. 

National Hurricane Center

4 p.m.

Latest forecasts show Louisiana could be spared from the worst of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is projected to become a category 1 hurricane before making landfall Tuesday night along Mississippi's Gulf coast. 

Wallis Watkins

Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Gordon continues making its way into the Gulf Coast.

The storm is expected to become a hurricane before it makes landfall Tuesday. Its projected path moved further east on Monday, putting Mississippi and Alabama under a hurricane warning. A tropical storm warning is in effect for much of Louisiana’s southeastern coast.

Wallis Watkins

When Governor John Bel Edwards came into office in 2016, one of the first steps he took was signing an executive order expanding Medicaid in Louisiana. Under the new rules, more people qualified for the health insurance plan. A recent survey by LSU shows since then, the number of uninsured in the state has been cut in half.

Wallis Watkins

Soybeans are a $700-million dollar industry in Louisiana.  It’s the second largest row crop industry, just behind sugar cane. So when China imposed a tax on imported soybeans, it put a financial strain on farmers across the state. 

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Two years ago, tens of thousands of homes in southeast Louisiana were flooded by historic rainfall. Recovery continues, but fewer homeowners than anticipated are applying for financial assistance from the state. Capitol Access caught up with Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, to discuss what’s been done and what’s left to do.

Pages