Media Sources

Media Sources

Metairie, Louisiana

 

Supreme court colored

The US Supreme Court has now become a major November election issue now that Justice Kennedy is retiring which will go into effect July 31.  Trump surprised the nation in 2016 with his victory and one of the major issues was the Supreme Court. To the Democrats disadvantage, that topic appeared to be more important to Republicans than Democrats as the battle cry for conservatives was "Remember the Supreme Court"

trump poison fruit 7If there’s “fruit of the poisonous tree” tainting the Mueller probe, it comes from a tree planted by president Donald Trump. The phrase is catchy, however, even if it’s completely inapplicable during the course of an investigation. Once a trial, or proceeding, has commenced, and evidence introduced, a defendant, then, may object that any proffered evidence was illegally, or improperly, obtained. Until evidence is introduced admissibility isn’t an issue. It’s no surprise, though, that Trump will say, or do, anything to impede the investigation into Russia that may touch him, personally.


FISCALL CLIFF FIXED 7Finally, after three special sessions and a regular one, it's time to relax, do the things that hard-working legislators (and governors) long to do after a long grueling hard-fought battle over the budget--pick up the pieces of one's life and, if at all possible, spend quality time with family, check out those hires burning at the office and hopefully take a moment of leisure.

The fiscal cliff, that seemingly insurmountable object in front of every legislative session since Bobby Jindal took his shot at taming the budget, is fixed. Yes, fixed. At least, on paper and hopefully, in reality, until perhaps, the next mid-decade.

The Louisiana legislators and governor, who have spent almost every day in session since mid-February of this year, have settled upon a budget deal that reduces the sales tax from five cents to 4.45 cents. Today, The Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges, who has been there with the legislators as each tick has tocked on the capitol clock, took a few moments to discuss with me--the session and the budget agreement. The interview occured via Facebook and Twitter Live.

Below is the video transcript of the relevant portions of the interview with Bridges, who will also soon post a "behind the budget deal scene" article for The Advocate.

edwards jindal 6Is there some way that Louisiana can gets its budgetary house in order? What is the problem? Did it begin under current Governor John Bel Edwards?  Is Medicaid the culprit? Can we reform higher ed?

On Tuesday, I discussed the budget with former State Representative Brett Geymann, a budget hawk, who was term-limited and who left the legislature after the 2015 election.  Geymann believes that the state budget should be tied to the economy and we will publish his thoughts on this tomorrow, as we went more into detail on that issue in the latter part of the Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Live discussion.

lsu 7Today, the chairs of Louisiana's four public postsecondary systems - the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the LSU System, the Southern University System Board of Supervisors, and the UL System, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Regents, sent a joint letter to seek funding for higher education and for TOPS.. 


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Governor John Bel Edwards and his administration claims that the state needs to raise the sales tax to 4.5 cents this legislative session beginning Monday. If the legislature, particularly the House do not produce enough votes to hit that supermajority needed to raise taxes, Edwards and others are claiming that fiscal hell will break loose. They claim that University kids and parents will have to fork over 30 percent of the TOPS scholarship plus the colleges would be in the hole close to over 100 million dollars. They claim that homes for the aged will close, food stamps disappear, 10,000 non-violent criminals will hit the streets.

 

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Would Louisiana taxpayers really be hurt if the legislature toed the line and failed to raise the sales tax of $4.33 upward to $4.50? Or, is there enough waste, fraud, and abuse in state government spending and more efficiencies to consider before raising another .17 cents or less, when the Louisiana State Legislature meets in the third fiscal session this year? The special session starts Monday June 18, the government players must talk turkey and a budget and revenues must be determined before the new fiscal year begins, July 1.

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We all know that the Louisiana legislature and Governor John Bel Edwards have failed in trying to solve the chronic mystery of the Louisiana fiscal cliff.

During a Facebook-Twitter Live interview, this week, I discussed this failure with the radio talk show host and Political Editor for the African American newspaper, The Louisiana Weekly, Christopher Tidmore.

blossmanLouisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced changes in the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Today,  Edwards announced the following appointments: Jack A. “Jay” Blossman, B. Wayne Brown; Robert S. Dampf; Chester Lee Mallett; Rémy Voisin Starns and Mary Leach Werner.  They will each serve a six year term set to expire on June 1, 2024


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It is difficult to fathom how Louisiana legislature and our Governor John Bel Edwards have gotten us in the situation where fiscal matters dealing with the budget are more chaotic now than they were after the traumas and horrors of Hurricane Katrina. But they are. 

Last night, the House Republicans ran out the clock, preventing any further opportunities to emerge for a late, last-minute deal. They were adamant that they were not going to budge on the revenues increase. Nor were the Governor and others willing to toe the line on spending and on raising taxes. 

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