News for Wednesday 051816
By Dave Graichen
Spirited debate took place in a Senate committee over the sanctuary city bill that would punish cities who refuse to enforce the federal immigration law. Attorney General Jeff Landry is a strong supporter of the bill. But Senators expressed concern that the proposal would give Landry too much power. If the attorney general determined a jurisdiction operated as a sanctuary city, the state could then prohibit that city or parish from borrowing money for large construction projects. The legislation has already been approved by the House, and a vote by the Senate Judiciary A committee is expected next week.
The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the firearm requirement for a charge of aggravated assault of a police officer. In a separate action, it also made attacks against police, firefighters and EMT personnel hate crimes.
There have been significant changes to the three different sales tax holidays that Louisiana consumers have enjoyed over the last several years. Louisiana Department of Revenue spokesperson Kizzy Payton says the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, when people can but things like generators without paying sales taxes has been discontinued. Payton says the back to school sales tax holiday, during the first weekend in August, and the 2nd amendment holiday, during the first weekend in September, will offer partial sales tax breaks this year and next. This is a result of the resent special legislative session.
The Louisiana House killed a bill that would have allowed wide open public school choice within each district after members expressed concern about capacity of premier schools.
House Bill 1101. Sponsored by Rep. Stuart Bishop of Lafayette, would have allow parents to send their children to any school within the public district in which they live beginning in the 2017 academic year, expanding current school choice law that allows only children who attend failing schools, those listed as “D” or “F” schools, a choice to move.
A house-approved abortion bill has also stalled in a senate committee. This legislation would prohibit abortions if the parents learn that the fetus has a genetic abnormality. Members of the Senate health committee expressed concerns over whether this proposed law violates the constitution.
A bill to expand the number of diseases that could use medical marijuana in Louisiana is sitting on the governor’s desk. The measure by state senator Fred Mills received final legislative approval and Mills says those with cancer, epilepsy or HIV/AIDS will benefit. Governor Edwards is expected to sign the bill, but Mills says it will probably be another year or two before the public has access to medical marijuana.
Students in public and charter schools would be required to learn cursive under a measure nearing final legislative approval. The Senate-approved measure won unanimous approval in the House Education Committee and heads to the House floor.
Two coaches and three students from Plaisance Elementary School have been arrested for “questionable disciplinary actions” against three students, according to St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputies. They say PE teachers Kendrick Owens and Mona Wilson are accused instructing three older students to take at least three younger students into the back of the locker room and whip the younger students with belts.
Youtube sensation and law enforcement officer, Captain Clay Higgins, is expected to announce tonight he will run for political office. Higgins recently told a Lafayette TV station he’s considering a run for either Congress or US Senate. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross believes Higgins will run for the seat being vacated by Senator David Vitter. He says Higgins has a big personality and is looking for the biggest stage.
A new study by LSU, UCLA and NASA finds New Orleans and surrounding cities are sinking at high rates because of natural and human processes. Lead Scientist Dr. Cathleen Jones says they used hot spot radar to determine which areas were sinking the fastest. She says Norco and Michoud are sinking at a rate of two inches a year. Jones says these new numbers can help with flood modeling and prevention.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office has charged a 17-year-old with murder in the stabbing death of a 69-year-old man. Sheriff Tony Mancuso says this was a burglary that turned violent. He is also booked with attempted murder in the injuring of the victim’s wife. The boy is being held on several charges including murder and attempted murder with $2 million dollars bond.
Two Alabama football players have been arrested in Monroe after they were found smoking weed in a vehicle at Forsythe Park with two guns in the car, one of which was stolen. Cam Robinson played at West Monroe High School and has started at Alabama at left tackle the last two seasons. Hottie Jones, a former Neville Tiger, has been a backup safety for the Tide. KTVE sports director Gene Ponti says this arrest took everyone by surprise because the boys have never been trouble makers.
A measure headed to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards would ban the ticketing of lemonade stands set up in neighborhoods. The bill exempts minors who make less than $500 year from a law requiring businesses to pay an occupational license tax. The new law goes into effect in August.
Wendy’s’ announces they’ll put kiosks in six-thousand restaurants around the country by the end of the year to take customers’ orders. It’s to combat the push to increase minimum wage for fast food workers. Tulane Business Professor Mark Rosa doesn’t think customers will mind.
Rosa anticipates the kiosks will go in restaurants in states where minimum wage is the highest.
LSU Football Coach Les Miles announces his coaching staff will hold “Satellite Camps” in north and south Louisiana during the first week of June. The first camp takes place June 2nd in Bossier City and they’ll also have a kicking and specialist camp on June third at the Saints practice facility. Those camps will cost 20-bucks and Miles says there will be a free youth camp on June 7th at Joe Brown Park in New Orleans. Miles says the new NCAA rule on satellite camps allow LSU to partner with instate schools to host these camps, which should benefit the likes of UL Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Southeastern and other Louisiana schools.