At first, it seemed as though everyone was breathing a sigh of relief, as the 2016 executive budget proposal unveiled last week did not slash higher education as deeply as expected.
“The true reduction to higher education is $211.3 million,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the Joint Budget Committee last Friday.
But Nichols went on to admit that number is built on “ifs” and “maybes” that include capping the business inventory tax credit, as well as asking college students to pay what the administration is calling an “excellence fee”.
One component of the Jindal administration’s 2016 budget proposal, revealed Friday, involves holding the line on spending in the public-private hospital partnerships. The private partners in the LSU hospital deals had asked for an additional $142-million in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
“What we funded these hospitals for was level funding, effectively,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols detailed to the Joint Budget Committee. “And some of the hospitals are projecting growth above level funding. That’s the point of discussion that we are going to have to work through in this process.”
On this week's Le Show, Harry Shearer shares a new episode of Karzai Talk, plus News of the Olympic Movement, Just Say So, News of the Atom, Our Freedom-Loving Friends, News of AfPAC, The Apologies of the Week, and more!
Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:45 am
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry will push lawmakers to lower the state’s uniquely high threshold for civil jury trials in the upcoming session. LABI president Stephen Waguespack says current law violates your constitutional right to trial by jury.
“You — as a citizen — can’t get a jury unless you’re sued above $50,000,” Waguespack explains. “If you’re sued for $35-, $40-, $45-thousand, then you better hope you’re going to get assigned to the right judge, because it’s the only choice you’re going to get here.”
Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 9:13 am
The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has announced it will honor New Orleans native Cokie Roberts as its Humanist of the Year. Over the past 30 years, the award has been given out annually by the state’s humanities council as part of an effort to recognize the artists, authors and organizations making valuable contributions to the culture of the state.
The LEH’s Brian Boyles says NPR’s senior news analyst and ABC News’ political commentator was a perfect fit for the award.
We know their public personas, but what do Louisiana’s statewide elected officials do when they’re off the clock?
“Collecting sports memorabilia and Louisiana history stories have been my passions, as of late,” says Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. He loves to recount those stories he’s learned of the characters and quirks that have made the Bayou State both strange and wonderful. One of his favorite tales involves former state Senator Dudley LeBlanc of Abbeville.
“It’s horrible. It’s as bad as we’ve seen, for sure.”
Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, says the budget cuts looming ahead for Louisiana’s public colleges and universities are nothing short of brutal.
“We’re talking about three, four, five hundred million—they’re saying—in one year? That is an insurmountable obstacle for these schools.”
Erwin attended Monday’s meeting between governing board members for all of the state’s higher education systems, and some influential lawmakers. With the governor’s budget proposal due to be unveiled Friday, all are asking the same question: How bad will it be?