Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana

Sue Lincoln

“One thing about budget strife is it gets a lot more folks to the table, thinking a little bit more outside the box than we’ve ever thought before,” says House Speaker Taylor Barras.

But is Barras going to broker a solution or encourage continued strife?  A panel discussion put on by the Public Affairs Research Council last Friday last week gave some insight into the Speaker, and the conflicts between his House and the John Bel Edwards administration.

Hurry Up And Wait

Feb 22, 2016
Sue Lincoln

One week into the special session, here’s where things stand:

“The Senate has taken all the appropriate action that we constitutionally could do,” Senate President John Alario said Wednesday, after that chamber approved two bills; one to tap the Rainy Day Fund and the other to use BP money. Those measures are now awaiting a hearing in House Appropriations.

The full House has approved repealing the SAVE Act.

“The contents of it to me were a fiction,” Hammond Rep. Chris Broadwater said when urging his fellow lawmakers to approve the repeal.

That bill awaits assignment to a Senate committee.

The four major candidates for governor participated in a forum Thursday, put on by the Public Affairs Research Council in Baton Rouge. Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne and John Bel Edwards each appeared in person, while David Vitter participated via pre-recorded video.

Predictably, they sniped at Governor Bobby Jindal.

“You have to remember what you may be losing in the higher education system as you go into deeper cuts,” warns Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott.

Scott addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, focusing on PAR’s new report, “Innovation in Louisiana”, which analyzes state support for university research programs. Those programs bring in grant money up front, and licensing revenue from patents for years afterwards. Scott notes that continued state budget cuts to higher education are impacting the amounts and numbers of research grants Louisiana’s universities are able to access.

Jim discusses state politics with Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

And Jim talks with Leigh Fondakowski, who's new play Spill, revisits the Deepwater Horizon disaster.