Figuring out how to pay for retirement plans might not be the most scintillating topic, but it’s a growing issue for Louisiana lawmakers. Here’s why:
Just as with Social Security, active workers pay into the system while retirees take money out. The difference between the pension plan’s cash on hand and how much will be paid out over time is known as the unfunded accrued liability, or UAL. In Louisiana’s state retirement systems, the UALs have grown a lot lately.
The word of the day in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday was “empowerment”, with bills giving more authority to school principals and local districts moving forward.
The “Empowered Community Schools” bill, SB 385, by Sen. Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte) would allow principals rated “highly effective” to basically declare themselves in charge — of hiring and firing and over school service and repair contracts.
On the first real business day of the new session Tuesday, the House Appropriations jumped right in with heavy lifting, as they began combing through the governor’s 329-page budget proposal. Lawmakers didn’t hesitate to ask for detailed explanations about the line items.
The 2014 Louisiana legislative session is under way, with Governor Bobby Jindal delivering his “State of the State” speech to a joint meeting of the House and Senate. Compared to previous years, the governor offered an abbreviated slate of measures he wants to be able to sign into law.
“Our first and most important priority must be to make sure that we have got the best-trained, most skilled, most productive workers anywhere in the world,” Jindal says, regarding his initiatives to improve workforce development.
In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"
That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.
Friday is the deadline for pre-filing bills for the Louisiana legislative session that starts March 10. So far, the proposals include renewed attempts at state retirement reform, constitutional amendments to expand Medicaid, and the return of the electric chair.
As reporters and analysts dug deeper into the state budget proposal this week, the plan was scrutinized for it's creative financing, including using the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund as a pass-through account.