Gov. Bobby Jindal

Robert Travis Scott
Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana

The first week of the 2015 state legislative session is in the books.

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana recently put out a guide to the budget crisis lawmakers are grappling with. And PAR President, Robert Travis Scott, is following along as the budgeting process unfolds.


With three whacks of the gavel, Speaker Chuck Kleckley called the Louisiana House to order, starting the 2015 legislative session. The main event of day one was Governor Bobby Jindal’s address.

“Here we are—the moment so many of us have been waiting for: my last state-of-the-state speech,” Jindal began, to appreciative laughter from senators and representatives alike.

Joking aside, the governor made several claims regarding the state of Louisiana’s economy. Democrats, led by Amite Rep. John Bel Edwards, challenged several of those statements. Let’s check both for spin.

Bobby Jindal addresses the Louisiana legislature one last time as governor, kicking off the 2015 legislative session.

It’s a fiscal session, so lawmakers will be focused on finding solutions to close a $1.6 billion budget gap, with the future of higher education and healthcare services at stake. The governor has already made his “guardrails” clear: he won’t accept any tax increases.

Beyond the budget, Jindal is aiming to yank Common Core education standards from Louisiana’s public schools. And he’s looking to frame the debate around a religious freedom bill filed in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling on the marriage of same-sex couples.

With host Amy Jeffries, Michael Henderson, director of LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab, and political scientist Robert Hogan provide context and analysis as Gov. Bobby Jindal lays out his agenda for the 2015 legislative session.
 


State officials have been burning up the phone lines between Baton Rouge and New York City this week, trying to stave off the threatened downgrade of Louisiana’s credit rating. State Treasurer John Kennedy says it’s been intense.

“We’re in trouble. I don’t want to overstate that, but I don’t want to sugarcoat it, either,” Kennedy says. “We’re in trouble with two of the three rating agencies. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have told us unless we get our fiscal affairs in order, they’re going to downgrade us.”


Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.


Sue Lincoln

Embattled Congressman Vance McAllister  made quite a splash when he appeared at the Secretary of State’s office first thing Friday, signing up to run again.  Even after facing down calls for his resignation earlier this year McAllister was quite gracious about the nine challengers seeking to unseat him.

“C’mon! More! The more the merrier!” McAllister said, adding by way of explanation, “When you have more ideas, more people, more views, you learn from it.”

Competing lawsuits were filed over the Common Core state standards in Louisiana this week, and specifically over the contracts for testing related to those standards.

Melinda Deslatte, capitol correspondent for the Associated Press, has been following the back and forth.


The Politics Of The Common Core

Jun 24, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that he wants to cut ties with the Common Core State Standards, the benchmarks in reading and math that he helped bring to the state four years ago, and replace them with new, Louisiana-specific standards.

"We won't let the federal government take over Louisiana's education standards," Jindal said in a statement. "We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators."

Political Consultant Gus Weill joins Jim for the better part of today's show to discuss the last few days in Louisiana Politics. He and Jim touch on Rep. Steve Scalise becoming the U.S. House Majority Whip and what that means for the GOP and Congress; the love/hate relationship between Governor Bobby Jindal and Superintendent of Education John White over their Common Core dispute; and much, much more.

Susan Mizruchi joins Jim for the last segment of today's show to talk about her new biography of Marlon Brando titled Brando's Smile. At 19 years old Brando left Nebraska for New York, and by the age of 23 he was one of the worlds greatest actors.


State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion. 


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