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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.


Following Ladies of Liberty and Founding Mothers, NPR and ABC News regular Cokie Roberts has written another book giving women in American history credit where credit is due.

The latest, Capital Dames, looks at the Civil War and the Women of Washington, D.C. from 1848-1868.


As lawmakers wrap up week two of the fiscal session, their efforts to steer the budget bus keep hitting curbs. Now they’re starting to exhibit some road rage.

In the Senate Education Committee Wednesday, a bill that would uncouple TOPS scholarship amounts from future college tuition hikes — in order to contain the cost to the state — drew opposition from the administration.

“This legislation would negatively impact the program,” Jindal policy advisor Stafford Palmieri stated, “Because we’ve broken our promise to fully pay for their tuition to go to college.”

“You oppose this plan?” Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor asked. “Then show us your plan. How do you propose to support higher education?”


In the worry over a potential 82 percent state funding cut for higher education, there has been a recurrent theme: more autonomy.

“One of the things we’ve asked for are autonomies,” Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo has said on several occasions. They would allow us — whether it’s audits or procurements — to go out there in the marketplace and get some competitive bids.”

A bill that would grant some of those autonomies, HB 766 by Gretna Rep. Bryan Adams, was heard in House Education Tuesday afternoon.


The House Appropriations Committee has advanced a bill that would keep highway dollars committed to road work by limiting how much can be shifted to State Police.

“Throughout this state, the common theme is that the legislators have raided the Transportation Trust Fund for other needs,” said New Iberia Rep. Terry Landry, in explaining reasons for authoring HB 208.

Landry said one of those reasons is not any kind of problem with the Department of Public Safety or Louisiana State Police.

Tax bills are on the agenda this week, in both the House and the Senate, and Governor Bobby Jindal says he’ll have his Secretary of Revenue and Commissioner of Administration watching the process closely.

“Tim Barfield and Kristy (Nichols) absolutely will be in committee and available to provide our perspective on these bills,” Jindal told reporters late last week.


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.


Gov. Bobby Jindal called members of the capitol press corps into his office Thursday, sitting down with them to give his impressions of the first week of the session. He spent much of the time speaking of his support for Rep. Mike Johnson’s HB 707.

“This bill simply prevents the state from discriminating against Christians and others with traditional views of marriage,” Jindal stated. “It’s hard for me to see why anybody would be opposed to that.”


“Even if we are challenging the governor, we are asking you to inspire us with leadership, and come up with a solution that will solve this problem,” UNO student government president David Teagle told the House Appropriations committee Wednesday.

Teagle was one of several hundred college students from around the state who showed up at the capitol to protest proposed cuts to higher education.

courtesy LA OJJ

While the Senate Finance Committee began working through the budget Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee was taking public testimony on it.

“Thank you for coming today for this testimony,” Appropriations chair Jim Fannin said in welcome, noting the weather made it more difficult than usual for many who turned up to add their input to the process. “We are appreciative for that,” he said.

Much of the public testimony went as expected: requests for higher allocations to cover jobs and services.

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