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Questioning the Vision

“I hear nothing from the governor’s office on where he wants to take this state,” Senator Conrad Appel of Metairie complains. “Where is the guiding light? Where is the direction that this state is going in these big policy areas that have long-term implications?” Appel’s criticism is perhaps understandable, since he was one of Governor Bobby Jindal’s legislative lieutenants, spearheading education reforms in 2012. I asked Governor John Bel Edwards to respond. “You know, I spent two years...
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Questioning the Vision

15 hours ago
commons.wikimedia.org

“I hear nothing from the governor’s office on where he wants to take this state,” Senator Conrad Appel of Metairie complains. “Where is the guiding light? Where is the direction that this state is going in these big policy areas that have long-term implications?”

Appel’s criticism is perhaps understandable, since he was one of Governor Bobby Jindal’s legislative lieutenants, spearheading education reforms in 2012.

I asked Governor John Bel Edwards to respond.

Much Ado About Vouchers

Apr 29, 2016
Sue Lincoln

“We’ve got a special interest group from out of state that’s currently misleading the public about this voucher program,” Governor John Bel Edwards said at the start of his weekly press conference.

He was referring to an ad that’s been getting heavy play in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

“John Bel Edwards broke his word,” the ad begins. Then another woman says, “He lied.” A third woman claims, “He lied to me. He lied to my child.”

Dr. Brian Salvatore

The House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment was packed on Wednesday as Representative Gene Reynolds (D-Minden) presented House Bill 11, which Reynolds filed "strictly to stop the open burn of munitions in the state of Louisiana.” 


Mark Carroll

A constitutional amendment seeks more cuts to deal with state budget shortfalls – cuts to state worker paychecks.

“This adds a level of personal responsibility on every employee of the state and every division head, which is: if you don’t help us balance the budget, it’s a one-percent cut to the end of that fiscal year,” Ascension Parish Rep. Tony Bacala said, explaining his bill to the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday.

He said he expects this would give lawmakers some leverage with department heads who claim there’s nothing more they can cut.

S. Lincoln

Although we’re past the halfway point of the legislative session, House leaders say they are still about three weeks away from moving the budget bill, HB 1. So Senate Finance Committee members got an update on the budget proposal Monday.

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver asked about rumors the House is trying to make big changes.

“We hear they’re talking about cutting other things to fully fund TOPS.”

pbs.org

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? Let’s check out how the Legislature is doing with clearing their closets, and deciding what things to keep or toss, or which to donate or sell.

Things you can sell are sometimes the easiest to let go of. Alexandria Rep. Lance Harris says there’s a piece of state land the Archdiocese would like to purchase.

“The Diocese runs a school called St. Mary’s, and it’s been around since 1954. They’ve been leasing the land since then and this lets them go into negotiations to buy it.”

There’s also a tract Northwestern State inherited.

etsy.com

It’s been discussed and studied, more than once.

“I got a nice report, plenty of paper. Nothing’s happened.”

So Senator Conrad Appel  of Metairie says it’s time to consolidate governance of Louisiana higher education.

“My bill is to go with one board – one single board.”

Appel says lawmakers have tried to help Higher Ed do more with less, but, “I don’t see any progress. I don’t see any possibility of progress. And I don’t see any mo’ money.”

courtesy Louisiana Family Forum

There was never any doubt which way members of the House Health & Welfare committee would vote on bills seeking to further restrict abortions.

“Today is actually ‘Pro Life Day’ in the Legislature,” committee chair Frank Hoffman began.

First up was Hoffman’s bill prohibiting any state or federal funds going to healthcare providers -- for exams, contraception or even pap smears -- if that provider does abortions.

Wallis Watkins

It may seem this Governor is trying to separate church and state a bit more. However, Tuesday told a different story. 


Where's the Honey?

Apr 19, 2016
Rex Fortenberry

As week five of the 11-week legislative session began, the Capitol was a hive of activity. Governor John Bel Edwards testified about Medicaid expansion in the Senate Health committee.

“In the first year alone, expansion’s going to save the state more than 180-million dollars,” the governor said.

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