LA Sen. Conrad Appel

Questioning the Vision

May 2, 2016
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.

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.”

S. Lincoln

Last June, John Bel Edwards promised fellow house members he’d be back as governor.

“Well, here we are,” he greeted them, at the opening of Sunday’s special legislative session.

Yet in June, he was undoubtedly envisioning something a bit more triumphal than the reason for this special session.

“Today we face the largest budget deficit in our state’s history,” Edwards said.

Got $80-Million?

Dec 21, 2015
Sue Lincoln

The Louisiana Legislature’s education committees met jointly last week to discuss distribution from the state’s Education Excellence Fund.

“The Education Excellence Fund is a component of the Tobacco Settlement Funds, which is available to provide funds for local school districts, for state-authorized charter schools, and for state-approved non-public schools,” Erin Bendily, assistant superintendent with the state Department of Education, explained. She said $53-million is being divvied out of the fund this year.

Senate Education Chairman Conrad Appel had questions about the portion going to pre-K programs.

“I’m not a communist.”

But Senator Conrad Appel isn’t a happy camper, either. He took to the floor of the Senate Thursday to deliver a tirade directed toward Governor Bobby Jindal.

“You can call me a communist. You can call me a socialist fascist—that’s a good one,” Appel declared forcefully. “Anything you want to call me? Do it!”