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capitol access

Wallis Watkins

The call to rewrite Louisiana’s constitution, adopted in 1974, has been growing over the last few years. But inside the Capitol, lawmakers haven’t been able to get enough support to approve a constitutional convention. The non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) of Louisiana published a report recently, calling the state's constitution one of the major issues in this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races.

CC0 PUBLIC DOMAIN

A new law will take effect in August establishing a minimum age for marriage in Louisiana.

In order to get married, a person must be at least 16 years old — an age limit the state previously hasn’t had. Any 16 and 17-year-olds will have to have both parental and judicial consent and can’t marry anyone more than three years older.

On this week's Capitol Access, Morgan Lamandre, legal director with Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR), discusses the new law and how it moved through the Legislature.

Wallis Watkins

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Trump announced plans to eliminate the spread of new HIV cases in the U.S. by 2030. The initiative will focus on 48 areas across the country seeing the majority of new HIV cases, including East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes.

The first round of funding was recently announced and sends $1.5 million to East Baton Rouge Parish.

On this week's Capitol Access, Dr. Alexander Billioux, Assistant Secretary of Louisiana's Office of Public Health, talks about what the investment could mean for HIV care in the state. 

The Louisiana legislature debated a total of seven bills dealing with the issue of abortion during its 2019 session. The bill that got the most attention would make abortion illegal after about six weeks — before many women know they’re pregnant.

DAVID STANLEY / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Massive criminal justice reforms passed by the Legislature two years ago have shed the state’s title as the incarceration capital of the nation. Sentencing changes, including increased access to probation and parole, are also saving the state millions of dollars. 

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.