News for Thursday 030118
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards calls the next 24 hours critical for the state House to get behind tax bills to address a looming one billion dollar deficit. With one week to go in the special session, the House has yet to pass any revenue generating proposals.
The special session called to address a looming one-billion budget shortfall is on the verge of getting nothing accomplished. The House overwhelming rejected a sales tax bill that would have generated an additional 300-million in revenues. The special session must end March 7th and it looks like there’s very little chance anything of substance can come out of this special session. There’s been some accusations that legislators were not willing to go along with substantial tax reform, because it would make Governor Edwards look good when he runs for re-election.
Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards joined Republican state senator Sharon Hewitt in calling for Secretary of State Tom Schedler to step down. An employee in the Secretary of State’s office has filed a harassment suit against the official who oversees elections in this state. Edwards says the alleged harassment casts doubt on the integrity of the Secretary of State’s office. Schedler has no comment on the calls for his resignation.
LSU President F. King Alexander announced Wednesday the adoption of recommendations made from the “LSU Task Force on Greek Life.” Alexander took a hard line by adopting the policies and adding some of his own. There will be no more grey areas, any hazing means mandatory expulsion. Alexander says the implementation could be as soon as immediate or wait until the fall semester.
Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries will build a state of the art 115-million-dollar mill in the LaSalle Parish town of Urania. heart of the state’s 11-billion-dollar forest products industry. Mayor Terri Corley Corley says the sawmill will employee 110 people. Hunt is getting a performance based forgivable loan of one-million-dollars under the Economic Development Award Program. The proceeds will be used to construct a rail spur to the mill. Construction is expected to begin in April and operations will begin next year.
A Mason Dixon Polling and Strategy poll finds that Democrat Governor Edwards has a 55 percent approval rating. 31 percent disapprove and 14 percent answered they were unsure. But Pollster Brad Coker says the high approval rating doesn’t mean he’ll be re-elected in 2019, if his opponents are either House Majority Whip Steve Scalise or Republican Senator John Kennedy. Republican Ralph Abraham has been weighing whether or not he will make a run for the state’s highest office. Coker says his poll finds the U-S Representative would not do well in a head-to-head matchup with Governor Edwards…
Republican U-S Senator John Kennedy says he doesn’t plan on voting for any of the gun control bills that may come before the Senate in reaction to the deadly mass shooting at a Florida school two weeks ago. Kennedy says statistically gun owners are not the problem. Kennedy says if we enforced the laws on the books many of the shootings, including the one in Florida would not have happened.
Walmart joined another national chain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, yesterday in announcing that they would no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21. The decision comes amid billowing pressure on political leaders and business executives to take action to stem gun violence. Walmart said it would make the policy change "as quickly as possible".
State Senator Troy Carter has filed a bill for the regular session that raises the age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21. Carter says this is in response to the Florida school shooting which killed 17. The New Orleans Democrat says he believes in the Second Amendment rights, but he doesn’t believe the founding fathers could have imagined semi-automatic rifles.
The consequences for getting caught smoking pot in Baton Rouge could soon become less drastic. Police and city prosecutors would have the option of treating people they find with marijuana similar to those they catch speeding, with summonses and fines instead of jail time. The East Baton Rouge Metro Council voted Wednesday night to overhaul its marijuana penalties to make them essentially mirror a New Orleans law adopted in 2016.
The Mississippi River is rising because of heavy rains to the north, with forecasts suggesting that it might swell enough to require opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway later in March. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local levee authorities have already begun twice-weekly inspections of the levees in the New Orleans area as they brace for a river that could crest at about 17 feet in New Orleans by the third or fourth week of March.
Last night, LSU rallied in regulation, but couldn’t pull it out in OT against South Carolina; The tigers lost 83-74 upnext, LSU plays host to Mississippi state Saturday..
LSU Baseball.. the tigers lost last night to South Eastern Louisiana 5 to 4
Good night last night for the Pelicans. The defeated San Antonio 121 to 116
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