politics

Politics
12:30 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

State study panel looking at cost, benefit of tax breaks

Repeated rounds of budget shortfalls have prompted lawmakers to take an in-depth look at the long list of tax breaks that siphon billions of dollars from Louisiana's treasury each year.

A 14-member study panel of legislative leaders Monday launches a six-month review of the $4.4 billion in tax exemptions, rebates and credits on the books.

For years, when state coffers were flush, tax break bills sailed through the Louisiana Legislature. But with the economy struggling, Republicans and Democratic state lawmakers are questioning if they've been too generous.

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Higher Education
12:13 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

More criticism of ULL gay studies minor

Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills suggested Friday that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is drifting "into sexual politics."

The school's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies minor, which began in the spring, drew the ire of the Louisiana Family Forum last week as going against "Louisiana values."

Mills' email says ULL President Joseph Savoie is "fooling with fire" by allowing homosexual activists to influence university decision making, The Advocate reports. He urges the program's elimination.

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Budget Cuts
12:09 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Nicholls State, Southeastern lay off workers

Nicholls State University and the University of Southeastern Louisiana are laying off employees.

Louisiana State University, though, says it will cut its budget without firing employees.

The state's public colleges and universities are absorbing a fifth round of budget cuts since 2008. In the new budget, higher education was cut by $66 million, bringing total cuts since 2008 to $420 million.

Southeastern, in Hammond, says it will lay off 36 faculty and staff members and eliminate 80 vacant positions. The university says it's cutting $13 million overall.

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Education
6:23 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Ethics board postpones decision on Orange-Jones

The state ethics board has deferred a decision on whether state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Kira Orange-Jones can keep her elected seat and her job as executive director of the New Orleans branch of Teach for America.

Alainna Giacone, spokeswoman for the ethics board, said Friday that Orange-Jones' attorney asked for the postponement until the panel's August meeting.

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The Veepstakes
2:41 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Jindal's Story Intrigues, But Can It Get Him A VP Nod?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Mention Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and a lot of people still remember his 2009 Republican response to President Obama's first address to Congress. In a voice often compared to Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock, Jindal addressed viewers across the nation as if they were primary school students.

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Latest News
7:15 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

LSU chief: No decisions on where to make cuts

LSU System President William Jenkins says decisions haven't been made about how to strip $329 million from the university's hospital system. He offered no assurances to lawmakers that hospitals and clinics wouldn't be faced with closure.

A leader of Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration warned Thursday that hospital cuts could be worse if state income estimates don't improve to fill the remaining gap in the Medicaid budget.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein told House members any additional cuts would "fall primarily on the LSU hospitals."

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Budget Cuts
4:51 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

State lawmakers hold hearing on health care cuts

Lawmakers want more details about $523 million in health care cuts made by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration. The reductions fall largely on the LSU-run public hospital system.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley called a Thursday meeting of the House budget and health care committees for presentations from LSU officials and from Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, who made the decisions on funding cuts.

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Recall Petitions
4:28 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

State GOP pours $100,000 into fighting recalls

The Louisiana Republican Party has spent nearly $100,000 over the last two months to combat recall petitions aimed at Gov. Bobby Jindal, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and other lawmakers.

By comparison, the teachers leading the Jindal and Kleckley recall efforts report spending about $2,100.

That's according to campaign finance reports reviewed by The Advocate (http://bit.ly/NztEFQ).

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Politics
4:15 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Jindal heads to Ohio to stump for Mitt Romney

Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to Ohio to campaign for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, as speculation continues that the Louisiana governor is a possible vice presidential pick.

Jindal's office said the governor headed Tuesday to Columbus for the presidential campaign event and to attend a fundraiser for Republican state treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

Jindal was scheduled to return to Baton Rouge the same day as the events.

School Vouchers
4:10 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Lawyer defending voucher program to get up to $50K

The attorney general's office will pay up to $50,000 to Gov. Bobby Jindal's former executive counsel to defend the governor's signature education revamp in court.

Amanda Larkins, spokeswoman for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, said Tuesday that the contract with lawyer Jimmy Faircloth hasn't been completed. But she described its terms, saying Faircloth is being paid $195 an hour, with a cap of $50,000.

Larkins said the contract runs through the current budget year, which will end June 30.

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