News for Monday 012615
By Dave Graichen
The Revenue Estimating Conference meets today to determine the budget shortfall the state faces this fiscal year and next. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says it’s likely mid-year cuts will be needed to offset the deficit. Though state officials say the reason for the shortfall is falling oil prices, Erwin says that’s not the only reason we’re in this situation. He says the structure of the budget has never really been repaired since 2008-2009. He says we’ve just been borrowing money from ourselves over and over and then that ran out.
Senate President John Alario plans to meet with Governor Jindal this week to discuss ways to reduce a potential budget cut of up to $380 million dollars to Louisiana’s public colleges. He says that kind of cut would completely devastate higher education not only to the universities but to the children who are seeking it. Alario says one of the items of discussion that’s on the table is trying to increase revenue
The state labor department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Jan. 17 decreased to 2,987 from the previous week's total of 3,601. The
Industries with the biggest over-the-week decrease in initial claims were construction, accommodation and food services, administrative and waste services, and retail trade.
It appears state Treasurer John Kennedy is testing the waters for a few races in this year’s upcoming election. It’s reported Kennedy has hired Virginia-based North Star Opinion Research to poll the races for governor, attorney general, and if there was a special US Senate election in 2016. Kennedy says, at this time, he’s keeping his options open.
The survey shows the Treasurer topping a possible attorney general’s race and the leading Republican in a US Senate race should David Vitter become governor.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has seen a slight uptick in Louisianans who view him favorably, according to a new poll of likely Louisiana voters. The poll, conducted by Jindal’s campaign pollster Wes Anderson of OnMessage Inc., found 46 percent approve of Jindal’s job performance heading into the final year of his final term, while 45 percent view him unfavorably. Among respondents 45 and younger, Jindal’s numbers were 55 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable.
Gov. Bobby Jindal told Christian evangelicals gathered at an all-day prayer rally Saturday that the nation needs a “spiritual revival,” as he continued to court religious conservatives for a possible presidential campaign. The rally attracted thousands to the basketball arena on LSU’s campus but drew controversy both because of the group hosting it, the American Family Association, and Jindal’s well-advertised headlining appearance.
Gov. Bobby Jindal took a hard-line stance against same-sex marriage during a five-minute interview on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" Sunday morning. The governor added that he hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately let states like Louisiana keep their bans on same-sex marriage in place. If it doesn't, he said he will support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to guarantee that states would be able to define marriage themselves.
State police report a Port Barre man died Saturday night as a result of an ATV accident. 28 year old Lance Lomas was on U.S. 190 in St. Landry Parish, driving on the westbound shoulder of the road, when for some unknown reason he veered right, crossed a driveway and drove into the ditch, flipping the ATV. Lomas was not wearing a helmet and suffered critical injuries. He died later at a hospital. Alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor in the crash.
The trial for a man accused of tying up and abandoning a baby pit-bull in a storage building in October 2013 begins in Caddo District Court today, and there are plenty of angry citizens expected to be in attendance. 32-year-old Gabriel Lee, charged with cruelty to an animal after he allegedly left the dog without food and water for several days. When the dog was discovered, he was barely alive. He has since made a full recovery.
LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri says sophomore left-hander Jared Poche will start opening day on February 13th against Kansas, but he’s not sure on what the rest of his starting rotation will look like. Mainieri says he has several freshmen to choose from and the situation will play itself out during the non-conference portion of the schedule