News for Monday 020816
By Dave Graichen
If you didn’t attend a parade this past weekend, you certainly can’t use the weather as an excuse. Cenla say near perfect parade weather Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Crowds were some of the largest we’ve seen in years. Forecasters are saying this great weather should stay with us through the end of the week.
Governor John Bel Edwards has issued the call for a special legislative session to deal with a 750-million dollar budget shortfall for this fiscal year. During the session, which starts February 14th and ends March 9th, lawmakers will debate budget cuts and tax increases. Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s listened to legislators and has drafted a call allow flexibility to consider both cuts and raising money for the state.
Jeremy Alford of La-politics-com says to expect the unexpected during a special session that will start Sunday. Legislators will meet for 3 and half weeks looking at proposed cuts and tax increases to fix the state’s massive budget issues. Alford says Governor Edwards has released a broad call when it comes to taxes and to no one’s surprise, Republicans aren’t pleased. Alford anticipates Governor Edwards will work with Republicans to try to find a balance between budget cuts and tax increases. He says Republicans will go into the session looking for ways to reduce spending.
Chevron North America notified the Louisiana Workforce Commission of layoffs at five office locations in Covington and Lafayette. Eric Smith, Associate Director at the Tulane Energy Institute, says the low oil prices originally impacted independent oil producers, but now big companies are feeling the effects…The company says they’ll work to help laid-off employees find jobs in other Chevron locations and offer severance packages to those unable to find one. Smith believes even more layoffs are coming.
Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham introduces legislation aimed at stimulating agribusiness. The proposed FAME act changes the depreciation schedule for farm equipment. Abraham says it makes a simple adjustment to the tax code to shorten the depreciation schedule on farm equipment to five years rather than seven. Abraham says other businesses typically have a five year depreciation schedule for their durable equipment. He says this will help put money in the farmers’ pockets.
The preservationists have lost another step in their fight to keep the Confederate monuments up in New Orleans as a civil district court judge rules against an effort to stop the removal of the statues. A similar challenge was shot down in federal court last month. The preservationists say they would appeal.
KPLC in Lake Chares is reporting a former Catholic priest in Calcasieu Parish has been found guilty of molesting and raping altar boys. 60-year-old Mark Anthony Broussard was convicted of aggravated rape, molestation of a juvenile, aggravated oral sexual battery and aggravated rape. Broussard was accused of sexually abusing two boys while a priest in the 1980s and 90s.
New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard is the first Democrat to enter Louisiana’s US Senate race. Fayard has never held political office, but did run for Lt. Governor in 2010. Fayard says she’s running for the Senate because she doesn’t want the rest of the country to take Louisiana for granted and that starts in Washington, D.C. A release from her campaign describes Fayard as a “pro-life, pro-business Democrat.” She believes there are too many career politicians in Congress and voters are upset with the level of service they’re getting from their government.
Negotiations have begun about forming another high school athletic association. This is in response to a vote by member principals of the LHSAA who chose to expand the championship split to basketball, baseball and softball. Former commissioner of administration, Paul Rainwater, planned a meeting with several high school principals and A-D’s to address what it would take to form a new organization.
The LSU Tigers are in first place in the SEC after beating Mississippi State 88-77 on Saturday. Antonio Blakeney led the way with a career-high 31 points, Keith Hornsby had 25 points and Ben Simmons chipped in with 16 points. Coach Johnny Jones liked that the Tigers had 25 assists to go along with 32 made field goals. After a rough go during the nonconference schedule, the Tigers are now 8-2 in the SEC, one game ahead of three other teams in the league.