News for Tuesday 012318
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards presented a proposed spending plan to lawmakers Monday that reduces state funding for TOPS by 80-percent and slashes another 656-million dollars from the state health department’s budget. Edwards says the cuts are necessary, because the state is set lose about a billion dollars of revenue in July.
Edwards is considering a February special session so lawmakers can pass a tax reform plan to address the fiscal cliff. But Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says before raising taxes, the state should consider lowering state expenditures. It’s unclear if a February special session will happen.
A study finds the military has an economic impact in Louisiana totaling over seven billion dollars. The Trump Administration has made it know they want to build up the nation’s military. State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says that would be huge for Louisiana. Pierson says there’s 77-thousand military related jobs in the state.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol yesterday following surgery related to a shooting which injured him last summer shattering bone and striking internal organs. He says he feels great following the January 10th procedure which was quote “very successful, but it took a long recovery.
Gas prices have seen a big jump throughout the nation and the state over the past few weeks. The current average in Louisiana is $2.36 a gallon, which is up 6 cents from the prior week.
LSU crawfish researcher Doctor Greg Lutz is hopeful last year’s deep freeze in south Louisiana will not have a huge impact on this year’s mudbug harvest. However, Lutz says to help improve the crawfish supply for the days leading up to Mardi Gras a long stretch of sunny, mild days is needed to warm up the ponds.
Entergy Louisiana has broken ground on a new 872-million dollar plant near Lake Charles. The natural gas fired plant is expected to be operational in June of 2020. Entergy spokesperson Michael Burns the state-of-the-art plant is expected to run much cleaner than previous plants. Entergy projects the project will directly employ over 700 people during peak construction. Entergy says they selected Lake Charles due to the region’s rapid growth.
The U.S. is pumping out over ten-million barrels of oil per day, topping a nearly 50-year record. And forecasts show production could climb to eleven-million barrels a day by the end of 2019. President of the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, Chris John, says markets such as China are hungry for more fuel and Louisiana’s 170 offshore operators are showing they can keep up with demand. Crude oil topped $60.00 a barrel for the first time in over two years. John says the cost of oil could top $70.00 per barrel before long.
A nationwide non-profit to help veteran’s in their post military transition to the workplace is coming to New Orleans. NextOp represents veterans by placing them in jobs in industries and companies throughout the region. Louisiana Regional Manager Ben Armstrong says the challenge for veterans is not in obtaining work, but getting the type of jobs they need to support their families. Following their launch on February 1st, they are looking at expanding statewide.
The LSU men’s basketball team will look to snap a three-game losing streak tonight when they host Texas A-and-M at the PMAC. Airtime 7:30 on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD3
Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson is the first person with ties to Louisiana to serve as a head coach in the Super Bowl. Pederson was a head coach at Calvary Baptist in Shreveport from 2004 to 2008, and is also a former ULM quarterback.