News for Monday 050415
By Dave Graichen
Despite Very low voter turnout, Central Louisiana voters approved all eight tax referendums in Saturday's elections, including two Rapides Parish school tax renewals. In all, voters approved four tax propositions in Rapides Parish, two in Vernon Parish, and one each in Grant and Winn parishes.
The full Senate has approved a measure that would require public school systems to promote the online homework assistance service which is offered through state and local libraries. The bill is by Napoleonville Senator Troy Brown who says under this proposal, schools would have to include information about the HomeworkLA-dot-org program in their handbooks. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.
Baton Rouge Police say the infant child of murder victim Brittney Mills has died. Authorities say Brenton Mills passed away at a local hospital Friday. Doctors rushed to deliver the baby after Brittney Mills, who was 8 months pregnant, was shot and killed on April 24th. It is reported that former LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins plans to take a paternity test to learn if he was the father of the child. Collins, who has not been named a suspect, is scheduled to meet with police Monday about the case.
Planned Parenthood supporters from across the state plan to gather at the Capitol Monday morning to support reproductive health care access in Louisiana. Spokeswoman Raegan Carter says the plan is to talk to our elected officials about the importance of women having access to high quality healthcare they provide in Louisiana. Carter says the Jindal administration has made it clear they plan to launch a full-blown attack on the true needs of the people of Louisiana.
A federal judge in Washington has ruled the US Government is liable for some of the Hurricane Katrina flooding. A 2005 lawsuit points the blame in the direction of a now-closed Mississippi River Gulf Outlet or Mr. Go, that has been blamed for flooding in St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. It’s still not clear how much money the feds are on the hook for, but many observers speculate mediation will be involved. Judge Susan Braden has set a hearing for next Wednesday.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office arrests three in connection with a tragic drug overdose death and cover up. Lt. Clay Higgins says a woman allegedly gave some sort of drug cock tail to 26-year-old Lance Gordon who got extremely ill. He says instead of calling cops, 29-year-old Jessica Stelly brought Gordon to his house with the help of 27-year-old Stephan Godeaux and 34-year-old Gene Dunbar, who all face serious charges. The trio left Gordon on the sofa of his home where he later died.
This is National Tourism Week and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will tour the state to commemorate the event. The purpose of this trip is to celebrate the tourism industry state wide. Stops include Lake Charles, Bossier City, Alexandria, and Lafayette. The tour runs through Saturday. Dardenne says almost 29 million people visited Louisiana last year, which is over a million more people than the previous record. He says those tourists spent over $11 billion in the state.
According to a recent InsuranceQuotes-dot-com study, Louisiana is the fifth most expensive state for car insurance. They say rates in Louisiana are 33-percent higher than the national average. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says high insurance premiums have been a problem in Louisiana for quite a while. The biggest reason for the state’s high auto insurance rates, according to Donelon, is the state’s litigation rate…
Three weeks are in the books for the current legislative session and many say lawmakers are still not close to finding a solution to the state’s $1.6 billion dollar budget shortfall. Jeremy Alford of Lapolitics.com says there is just as much uncertainty today as there was in January.
Alford predicts it’ll be 15 days out of the end of the session before any real plan starts to take shape. He says legislators could go with an inventory tax repeal which business is in favor of and local governments are opposed to or make certain tax credits non-refundable which the administration is pushing but business is against.