News for Friday 081514
By Dave Graichen
A lawsuit filed by 17 lawmakers who claim the department of education and BESE did not follow the state’s laws when it adopted Common Core will be heard in a Baton Rouge courtroom today. This is one of two Common Core-related suits that are moving through the legal system. There’s also a pro Common Core lawsuit against Governor Jindal. It will have a full hearing on Monday.
The Jindal administration told lawmakers who sit on budget committees that next year’s budget is one-point-two billion dollars short. Publisher of Lapolitics-dot-com, Jeremy Alford, says the news is not a surprise to legislators and some have already discussed rolling back some tax exemptions as a way to raise revenues. Jindal will propose a budget for next fiscal year to lawmakers early next year.
Today begins the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign across the country, with hundreds of law enforcement agencies participating here in Louisiana. With alcohol being a factor in as many as 40 percent of all fatal vehicular crashes, cops are keen to get out and lock up drunk drivers. Executive Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Lt. Col. John Leblanc says drunk driving has become too prevalent on state roads.
State police report 62 year year old Gaylon Bolton of Flatwoods was killed Wednesday night in a single-vehicle crash on La. Highway 8 in Vernon Parish. Bolton was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected in the crash. Troopers believe Bolton was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when the crash occurred.
A recent study of the housing market in Louisiana finds nearly 45 percent of renters are rent stressed. Rent stress is defined as paying more than 35 percent of your monthly income in rent. LSU Economist Jim Richardson says the stress comes in when you have limited resources left over to provide other necessities. The percentage of rent stressed Louisianans has grown by nearly 15 percentage points since 2000.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Republican Jim McCrery from Shrevepor,t has been appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to fill a vacant seat on the LSU Board of Supervisors. McCrery served over twenty years in the House, and he was also the man given credit for introducing Jindal to Louisiana politics.
LSU Alumni Association President, Charlie Roberts, has resigned as he faces a lawsuit from a former employee, Kay Heath, who claims there was financial arrangement to keep their sexual relationship secret. Roberts attorney, Mary Olive Pierson, says Roberts now looks forward to telling his side of the story in court.
Some lawmakers are getting a lot of complaints about wait times at the Office of Motor Vehicles; this on the heels of Governor Bobby Jindal reducing staffs there. The Legislative Fiscal Office says the waits have gone up as much as an hour and a half. The Legislative Budget Committe announced today that they want to meet with leaders of the OMV to answer those questions being raised.
Almost 900 violations have been cited to various Louisiana establishments for selling alcohol to minors during the Alcohol and Tobacco Control’s 2014 Summer Crackdown. ATC also reports that almost 400 citations were issued for selling tobacco to minors.
Senator Mary Landrieu is facing accusations that she used Senate money to pay for chartered flights to attend campaign events. Her two Republican opponents in the upcoming Senate race have criticized Landrieu on this issue in recent days. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan doesn’t see this as a big campaign issue. The Landrieu campaign office says her Senate office was incorrectly billed for one of the flights. The campaign says they will reimburse the Senate for both flights that have been questioned. The conservative group Keep Louisiana Working has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the Senator over this issue.
26-year-old Diondre Jones of Slidell has been charged with medicaid fraud after allegedly using her dead sister’s name to receive medical treatment at Slidell Memorial Hospital. Slidell police officials say in a bizarre twist, Diondre was wearing a memorial T-shirt in honor of her deceased sister when a police officer caught up to her in the hospital parking lot.
A Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola maintenance worker has been arrested on a felony count of malfeasance in office. The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office says 64-year-old Danny Daniel of St. Francisville is accused of inappropriate behavior with an inmate. Authorities are not releasing any details of the inappropriate behavior.
A Monroe couple is accused of leaving their 2-week-old child on the hood of a vehicle, unattended, while they went fishing in Vidalia. Marcella Watson and David Ramey, both 33, were arrested on cruelty to a juvenile and improper supervision of a juvenile. The child was taken to a local hospital to check for sunburn and dehydration.
The Saints return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome tonight to take on the Tennessee Titans in NFL preseason action. Saints color commentator Hokie Gajan says he’s keeping his eye on the running game and the defense. Gajan hopes the running game has another strong showing like they had last week against the Rams. Quarterback Drew Brees is not expected to play in tonight’s game, as he continues to nurse an oblique injury.