Courtesy: Texans Care For Children

TEXAS TEEN PREGNANCY - According to a new study released today, teenagers in foster care in Texas are FIVE times more likely to become pregnant than other teens in the state.  Kate Murphy with the group Texans Care for Children, the group that conducted the study. Murphy says her research found state lawmakers have a lot of work to do to prevent pregnancy among teens in foster care. Murphy says caseworkers could also be better about telling foster teens – who are all on Medicaid – that they have access to birth control.

Courtesy: LSU Manship School News Services

TOPS GETS SUPPORT- HOSPITALS DON'T -  Louisiana’s House Appropriations Committee met in Baton Rouge yesterday to address funding the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students,  the  popular scholarship program known as TOPS. The committee voted to fully fund TOPS given a recent revelation that the state’s budget shortfall will be lower than first anticipated as it’s been projected some $350 million dollars more in the budget due to Federal Tax reform, a better state economy,  and higher oil prices. 

Courtesy: TOPS

LA. BUDGET REVISION-   Louisiana’s  state  law required  Gov. John Bel Edwards  to  submit  a  balanced budget  to  the  Legislature  which  he  did  this  past January.   At  the  time  the  fiscal cliff/ budget shortfall was  estimated  to  be  around  $1 billion dollars…due  to temporary  sales  taxes  expiring  in  July.   Edwards’  proposal  removed  all  of  the  state’s  funding  to  the TOPS  scholarship  program - that’s  80  percent  of  the program’s  total  budget.