News for Tuesday 041613
By Dave Graichen
Attempts to repeal the state income tax in Louisiana could be dead for this legislative session. The Ways and Means Committee was set to hear several income tax repeal proposals Monday, but Chairman Joel Robideaux of Lafayette asked all bills that would get rid of the state's income tax to be deferred. As of right now, there are no plans to reschedule them. During the short committee hearing, Robideaux read off cards in opposition to proposed legislation to repeal income taxes.
A large running group from Baton Rouge says all of their members are safe and accounted for after yesterday's bombing at the Boston Marathon. Chase Batty with Varsity Sports in the Capitol City says they sent 18 runners to the race. He says there was a scare at first but thankfully most had already finished the race. Batty says the Baton Rouge group was celebrating at a local pub when the bombs went off.
A Baton Rouge man pleaded guilty Monday to calling in a bomb threat that closed LSU’s main campus for more than 12 hours on Sept. 17th of last year. 43 year old William Bouvay Jr. faces a prison term of 13 to 28 years under the terms of a plea agreement.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is on alert as a result of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis says their "fusion" center is receiving intelligence information from Boston and they are disseminating that info to local law enforcement throughout the state. Davis says there are no plans for extra security personnel at large public areas in Louisiana, like airports the state capitol or Wednesday night's LSU baseball game. But he says that could change based on the intelligence information they receive from their federal partners.
Now that a House committee has deferred all discussion of bills to repeal state incomes taxes, where does that leave Governor Jindal's top agenda item? Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Mr. Jindal's tax reforms are "on life support". Pinsonat says ending personal and corporate income taxes was at the top of the Governor's legislative wish list. However, he says House and Senate members generally feel that a balanced, fiscally responsible state budget is MOST important. Pinsonat feels the rest of the legislative session will focus on the state budget, and how to balance it without using large amounts of one time revenues for recurring expenses.
State Police say a teenager from Many is dead after crashing an ATV. They say 16-year-old Justin Brevelle was traveling on a road Sunday in Sabine Parish when he lost control of his ATV, ran off the road and hit a ditch embankment. He was ejected from his ATV and killed instantly.
State Police say an Opelousas Police Officer is dead following a Sunday morning crash on Highway 31. Trooper Stephen Hammons says 50-year-old Assistant Warden Peggy Sylvester was not restrained as she was driving her Ford police unit and attempted to pass a car. Hammons says it was raining at the time of the crash which may have been a factor.
A Haynesville man is dead after leading police on a high speed chase through Webster Parish Sunday night. Minden Police were trying to pull 44-year-old Tony Burns for reckless driving. He ran. They chased. He lost control, ran into an embankment and rolling his vehicle several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The House Transportation Committee met yesterday, on the agenda a bill aimed at accommodating Shreveport's Elio Motors, which will build three-wheeled autocycles". The bill, by Shreveport Rep. Barbara Norton would exempt drivers of these autocycles from the state's mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Elio Motors' autocycle will have a completely enclosed cabin, with a roll cage and airbags.
The U-S Senate could vote as early as today on legislation that would expand background checks for gun buyers. Republican Senator David Vitter has already said he opposes the proposal, but it's unclear how Democratic Senator Landrieu will vote. U-L at Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says it's a difficult vote for Landrieu. Landrieu recently released a statement that says she supports the Second
Amendment, however the country is plagued by gun violence and our state sadly has the nation's highest death rate per capital by gunfire. Cross says a vote for legislation to expand background checks will be used by republicans, who seek to defeat Landrieu in next year's election.
Authorities arrested a 15-year-old East Baton Rouge High School student on campus Monday after finding a loaded gun in his sock. The eighth-grade student was booked into the Juvenile Detention Center on one count of illegal carrying of a weapon on school property. The student gave no reason for having the weapon.