Taxpayers may be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars if the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has to withdraw its lawsuit against oil and gas companies.
SLFPA-E met opposition from the legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee Wednesday, as the committee gathered information from the authority on the suit, also hearing opposing testimony from Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority head Garret Graves.
As Hurricane Isaac was bearing down on Louisiana last August, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness bought 773 truckloads of bagged ice from Pelican Ice in Kenner for $17.4 million.
Only $2.4 million worth actually got distributed by the Louisiana National Guard to the public.
Some was given away for free to restaurants and other private businesses. One retailer even repackaged and sold some.
Nearly half of the ice was allowed to melt in an un-refrigerated warehouse in Lacombe.
Last week, the state Inspector General issued a scathing report about the blunder.
GOHSEP spokesman Mike Steele and the Guard’s public affairs officer Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak say they have revised supplier contracts and improved tracking to prevent so much ice from going to waste again.
Last month the Obama Administration pushed back the employee mandate under the Affordable Care Act by one year. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers now have until 2015 to either provide their workers with health insurance or face a penalty.
In states that are expanding Medicaid as part of the the new health law’s roll-out, businesses have more flexibility in deciding how to make sure their workers are covered. And though Louisiana is not participating, proponents of expanding Medicaid in the state see the delay of the employer mandate as a chance to rally some small business support.
Former Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana, who used the soft-spoken grace of a plantation lady to fight for civil rights during nearly 18 years in Congress, has died. She was 97.
Her daughter, ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts, says her mother died Saturday of natural causes at her home in Chevy Chase, Md.
Boggs' years in Congress started with a special election in 1973 to finish the term of her husband, Hale, whose plane disappeared over Alaska six months earlier. Between them, they served a half-century in the House.
Louisianians may find solace from impending increases in flood insurance rates as Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bill to prevent those hikes heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration at its Thursday meeting.
The measures are included in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for next fiscal year. Called the Strengthen, Modernize and Reform the National Flood Insurance Program, or SMART NFIP, the bill would postpone parts of last year’s Biggert-Waters Act.