During the last legislative session, state Sen. Ben Nevers fought hard for the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana under the Affordable Care Act. But ultimately, a bill to put the issue on the ballot didn’t even make it out of committee.
But the legislature did pass another bill from Nevers, compelling the state Department of Health and Hospitals to come up with a plan for Louisiana to pilot “America Next” — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s alternative to Obamacare.
DHH put out their initial report in response a few weeks ago.
The nominating committee for the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has made its selection to fill a slot on the levee board. They voted 7-3 a week ago to renominate Paul Kemp — a geologist in the Coastal Ecology Institute at LSU — who’s current term is expiring.
The ball is back in Gov. Jindal’s court — he can accept or reject Kemp’s nomination or ask the state Senate to consider it — and the fate of the levee board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands hangs in the balance.
Bob Marshall, reporter with The Lens in New Orleans, has been following all this.
Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.
Carlos Roldan came to Baton Rouge from Argentina more than ten years ago. He started playing tennis at the age of nine, and started competing by age 13. By the time he was 18 he was competing semi-pro and coaching on the side, which took away from his training time. He loved to coach so much that he decided to stop competing and coach full time. In 1998, after coaching for many years, it turns out he had something new to learn.
"By accident I received a flier for something called wheelchair tennis that I’ve never seen before, even though I’ve played tennis all my life, never seen before. So I approached the person who gave me the flier and that’s how it started," Roldan says. "I went there one time to see their practice and I really was impressed with what they do and how they do it, and the coach told me 'Would you be interested in coaching some players?' and I said 'Well, absolutely, but I don’t know much about this, and he told me 'If you know how to coach tennis you can start' and that’s how it started."
Now, Roldan coaches wheelchair tennis every Saturday at BREC’s Highland Park. He’s also helped kickstart similar programs elsewhere in the state. He teaches beginners, intermediate and advanced, with students as young as six, and as old as 65.
Louisiana's legislature passed a law in 2013 prompting all state colleges and universities to go tobacco-free by Aug. 1 of this year. It's been almost two months now since tobacco products have officially been banned on LSU's Baton Rouge campus.
UPDATE: The state Office of Group Benefits announced on Oct. 1 -- the first day of the enrollment period for the new health insurance plans -- that the enrollment period will extend until Nov. 30 and the changes will take effect March 1, instead of Jan. 1. In a statement, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said, “Shifting our timeline will give people the chance to get accurate information and better understand their options.”
The state House Appropriations Committee spent all day Thursday taking testimony about changes to health insurance plans offered for 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members through the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits.
Jobs that require only a two-year degree are the fastest growing in the healthcare sector. That’s especially true in the Baton Rouge area, according to the Brookings Institute. Roughly half of healthcare workers here have less than a bachelor’s degree, ranking Baton Rouge 17th among the top U.S. metros.
The Louisiana Board of Regents unleashed a 500-plus page report earlier this week about sexual assault. The report shows wide variation in how sexual assault is dealt with on state college and university campuses.
State Sen. JP Morrell requested the report and is now putting together a working group that may wind up crafting legislation to make campus responses to the problem more uniform.