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Fiscal Hawks
5:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Proposals Offered to Fix Holes in State Budget Process

A coalition of state representatives is pushing a slew of bills and amendments to reform Louisiana’s budget process. The lawmakers are fed up with rushed legislation, cutting higher education and healthcare year after year, and procedural tomfoolery.

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State Pensions
6:34 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Pension Actuaries Make Quick Return to Capitol

The state employee retirement reforms Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed last session were overturned in court last week. Monday, a state committee heard testimony about changes to the firefighters' retirement system that could be considered by the legislature this spring.

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Road to 2016
6:05 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Dollars will Show Success of Jindal's National Stumping

FILE: Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
Credit Gage Skidmore

Gov. Bobby Jindal spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., attracting widespread attention with a set of speeches. Many national pundits think Jindal is laying groundwork for a presidential bid in 2016.

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Grading Teachers
5:49 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

State Supt. Disputes Mass Exodus of Teachers

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana reported earlier this month that the number of its members retiring from jobs in K-12 education jumped by more than 25 percent last year. The spike came after the legislature passed changes to the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and awarded tenure.  

The retirement system’s figures include people retiring from food service, and other non-classroom jobs. And State Superintendent John White says the figures are misleading.

He says the number of teachers leaving the classroom for any reason – including promotion to administrative positions – has in fact remained steady at around 12 percent over the past three years.

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High School Athletics
1:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

State High School Football Playoffs To Be Split

Starting this fall high school football teams in Louisiana will compete in separate playoff divisions: one for select admission schools – such as private and parochial schools – and another for non-select public schools.

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State Pensions
5:19 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Changes to State Employee Retirement Unconstitutional

Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed the 401K-style retirement plan for future rank-and-file state workers last year. Thursday, a state judge struck it down.

Judge William Morvant called his ruling, “purely procedural.”

He said the law that swaps out monthly retirement payments for a “cash-balance” plan for new hires needed a two-thirds majority to pass since it raises the cost of the retirement plan.

Throughout the hearing Thursday, the opposing sides attacked the credibility of each other’s auditor.

Keystone XL Pipeline
1:09 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Senators Push Again For Pipeline Permit

On Tuesday, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved an adjusted route for the Keystone XL Pipeline that avoids that state’s fragile Sand Hills. Soon after, 53 senators – including both from Louisiana – wrote a letter to President Obama supporting the project.

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Education
11:26 am
Thu January 24, 2013

LSU Cuts Ties with Truancy Intervention Program

Louisiana State University will end its affiliation with the Truancy Assessment and Service Center because of mid-year budget cuts.

Last year after Cecile Guin, the head of TASC, convinced the Legislature to preserve funding for the program.

TASC intervenes in elementary school students’ lives when it’s reported that they’ve missed school.

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Environment
11:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Coastal Group Leader's Interest Questioned

The state-affiliated Water Institute, founded in 2011, touts itself as an independent organization that’s bringing the best scientists in the nation together to conduct research and recommend policies to the state on how to preserve the eroding coast.

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High School Athletics
12:54 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

State High Schools to Vote on Playoff Changes

2009 Football Jamboree
Credit Kevin Domingue / Kiwanis Club of Lafayette

The issue as to whether public and private high schools should compete in separate playoffs is a major topic at the annual Louisiana High School Athletic Association conference in Baton Rouge this week.

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