politics

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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Latest News
6:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Two Seats Now Open in New Orleans Council Special Election After Johnson's Plea

The New Orleans City Council will have two open seats on the November 6 ballot. The second vacancy comes after District E Councilman Jon Johnson’s guilty plea to federal corruption charges.

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Legislative Fiscal Officer Retires
2:14 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Legislature's top budget adviser retiring in Aug.

The Louisiana Legislature's top financial adviser is retiring.

Legislative Fiscal Officer Gordon Monk has worked in state government for 33 years. His last day will be Aug. 8. Monk told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/NztEFS) a contentious legislative session convinced him it was time to go.

The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget plans to name a temporary replacement on Monday. Lawmakers will pick a permanent fiscal officer when they are next in session, likely not until 2013.

Veterans
12:48 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Landrieu: $1.4M for Louisiana homeless vets

U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu says $1.4 million in grants has been set aside for Louisiana organizations to prevent homelessness among veterans.

Landrieu said Tuesday the money was awarded through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program, which is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' initiative to end homelessness among military veterans.

Budget Cuts
12:43 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Jindal hoping for more revenue to fill budget gap

Even with $523 million in announced health care cuts, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has slashed only two-thirds of the spending needed to close the entire gap in Louisiana's Medicaid budget.

The administration is banking on better-than-expected revenue projections to close the remaining budget hole.

If that doesn't pan out in the next few months, more reductions are on the horizon. And even if the funding does show up, there could be legal hurdles to accessing the cash to fill the Medicaid budget.

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School Vouchers
12:26 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Voucher lawsuit set for Oct. 15 hearing date

An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program.

Judge Tim Kelley chose the hearing date Tuesday in a meeting with lawyers for both sides in the case.

Attorneys for two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.

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School Vouchers
12:21 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

PAR: Hold legislative hearing on voucher standards

A nonpartisan government watchdog group is asking Superintendent of Education John White to seek legislative guidance as he designs the accountability standards required of schools participating in Louisiana's new voucher program.

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana sent a letter Tuesday to White, urging him to present his draft accountability policies to the House and Senate education committees for the program that will use tax dollars to send students to private schools.

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Office of Motor Vehicles
12:19 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Motor vehicles commissioner resigning in August

Louisiana's motor vehicles commissioner, Nick Gautreaux, is leaving the job in August.

Gautreaux told The Advocate that he is planning a career in corporate development and governmental work, a move that will keep him closer to home and his five children in Youngsville.

A former state senator, Gautreaux took the position as commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles in December 2010. His last day will be Aug. 5, according to a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, which oversees the office.

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