Jindal and Criminal Law
Also today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced he signed five Louisiana Sentencing Commission bills into law, which will reform and improve the state’s criminal justice system. These bills include SB 202 by Sen. Guillory, which enhances the pardon and parole process, HB 106 by Rep. Moreno, which improves oversight of home incarceration and electronic monitoring services, HB 414 by Rep. Lopinto, which revises and consolidates provisions governing “good time”, HB 415 by Rep. Lopinto, which authorizes probation and parole officers to impose administrative sanctions and HB 416 by Rep. Lopinto, which allows certain offenders to gain parole eligibility quicker.
Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Stuller Inc. founder and Chairman Matt Stuller at the company's Lafayette headquarters to sign SB 135 by Sen. Dan Claitor into law, part of the Governor's 2011 legislative package, which extends Louisiana's Research and Development Tax Credit for another six years. According to the Governor, the state's R&D tax credit has spurred growth at more than 200 companies in the past three fiscal years alone.
Governor Bobby Jindal announced he signed three bills into law relating to charter schools, including SB 43 by Sen. Donahue that encourages the expansion of high-performing charter operators by enabling long-term planning, SB 142 by Sen. Quinn that saves charter authorizers time and money by allowing charter school applicants to revise and resubmit their applications and HB 360 by Rep. Stiaes, which adds residential charter schools to Louisiana’s current charter school law.
Governor Jindal said, “Since taking office, we’ve worked to give Louisiana families more opportunities to give their children a quality education. These new laws will strengthen the education system by cutting down on red tape and providing our kids more tools to succeed and achieve their dreams here in Louisiana.”
SB 43 by Senator Jack Donahue, a Governor’s Package Bill, encourages the expansion of high-performing charter operators by enabling long-term planning. It allows a charter authorizer to waive technical restrictions on when a charter may open following approval, allowing charter operators to receive authorization for multiple charter schools at the same time to be opened over a number of years. This allows high-quality operators to plan long-term and benefit from economies of scale. These same technical changes also prevent mid-year disruption of services to students should a school need to change operators during the school year due to unforeseen problems.
SB 142 by Senator Julie Quinn restructures the charter school application process to provide applicants feedback and the opportunity to revise their applications before a final decision is made. Current law requires charter authorizers to use a third-party evaluation when reviewing charter applications, but the application process was not structured in a way that feedback from these evaluators was provided early enough so applicants could respond to their preliminary review or revise the application before the final decision. The bill requires that these evaluators provide feedback to the charter applicants in a timely manner so that the applicant can improve the application before a final decision is made. This will save charter authorizers time and money by increasing the quality of applications and give charter applicants a fairer opportunity to win approval for their charter school application.
HB 360 by Representative Charmaine Stiaes adds residential charter schools to Louisiana’s current charter school law. These are boarding-school style charter schools where students live at the school in dormitories during the week and receive 24-hour support and service. This model has been successful in Washington, DC at the SEED School.
Twenty-four people have been arrested so far in the New Orleans area since the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and Attorney General’s (AG’s) Office began a crackdown on unemployment insurance fraud in April.
The total amount alleged to have been defrauded from the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund by those arrested as part of “Operation Spring Cleaning” stands at $237,268, according to the LWC. Additional arrests are pending.
Landrieu and Methodist Hospital
In keeping with his promise to build a new full-service hospital in New Orleans East, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that two buildings at the former Methodist Hospital site will be demolished.
The demolition of these two blighted buildings moves site preparation forward for the new hospital.
Urgent care services will begin at the end of this month on the hospital campus as a first step towards building a full hospital, which will reopen in 2013. The Landrieu Administration and Hospital Service District A are moving quickly to build a full-service hospital with emergency care in New Orleans East.
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