News for Monday 060815
By Dave Graichen
The red river continues to rise, Sunday the stage was 33.5 feet. Minor flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast. Flood stage is 32.0 feet. However, the NWS Forecasts the river will continue rising to near 38.0 feet by Next Sunday June 14 then begin falling. The Weather Service on Sunday revised the Red River's crest in Shreveport projection to 37 feet, up from the previous projection of 36.5 feet. It is expected to crest in Shreveport / Bossier today.
The LSU Tigers are headed back to the College World Series as they defeated UL Lafayette six to three to clinch a Super Regional series victory over the Ragin Cajuns. This is LSU’s 17th trip to the College World Series and first since 2013.
The state senate has been busy passing bills. The upper chamber approved a key Common Core comprise legislation that sets up a review process of the academic standards. The Senate also approved a 72-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarette, which is much higher than what the House approved. And the Senate has agreed to raise title fees when you purchase a vehicle by 50-dollars.
The Louisiana House could vote on a resolution to hold a veto override session. Governor Jindal said he’ll veto revenue generating bills, if the legislature doesn’t pass a tax offset, so he can keep his “no tax” pledge. Alexandria Representative Lance Harris, chairs the House Republican Legislative Delegation, and he says there’s a desire in the House for an override session, if it gets to that point. So far house members have yet to support a higher education tax credit that is needed to provide the offset Jindal needs to sign the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax measures the legislature is poised to approve.
With a few days left in the legislative session, it looks like Louisiana businesses are the big losers. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says business lobbyist groups are not happy the legislature is pushing to reduce hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits and rebates many companies enjoy. Pinsonat says legislators who voted to take away some of the tax exemptions from businesses, will not get the endorsement of the Louisiana Association of Business Industry in the fall election.
The state Senate voted to increase the cigarette tax by 72 cents which would bring it up to $1.08 and match the Southern regional average. Lawmakers are trying to raise revenue to plug the budget hole and prevent massive cuts to higher ed and health care. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell authored the amendment to raise the tax higher than the House approved 32 cent cigarette tax increase. It’s not likely the lower chamber will go along with what the Senate approved. The session ends Thursday.
The Louisiana Legislature is on its way to sending marijuana reform proposals to Governor Bobby Jindal who gives every indication he will sign them. One bill drastically reduces the penalties for pot possession under 14 grams and another allows for the dispensing of medical marijuana.
Two day care workers In Baton Rouge are booked with homicide charges accused in the death of a 22 month old little girl they allegedly forgot and left inside a vehicle. Apparently the owner of the unlicensed daycare told employee to lie to cops about where the child was found. They are both booked with negligent homicide and Newman also faces an obstruction of justice charge. Authorities believe the child was left inside the hot car for about 2 hours on a day when the heat index in Baton Rouge was 96 degrees.
With a $600,000 annual salary, LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander ranks in the top 10 percent of public university presidents in the nation in base pay. The Chronicle of Higher Education released its annual national report on college presidents’ pay on Sunday. According to the Chronicle’s analysis, Presidents made, on average, nearly 3.8 times more than their average full-time professors. According to the data, Alexander was by far the highest-paid public higher-education leader in Louisiana.
If opinion polls of Republican voters are to be believed, Gov. Bobby Jindal faces long odds in his all-but-official quest for the 2016 Republican nomination. Jindal, who has formed an exploratory committee and disclosed last week that he’ll make a formal announcement June 24 in New Orleans, consistently rates near the bottom of the crowded Republican field in the surveys, registering in the low single digits. Jindal belittles those results and points to his success in rising from obscurity to lead the open-primary field in the 2003 governor’s race. He lost the runoff, but his strong showing launched his political career.