As the state grapples with a $1.3 billion budget shortfall, agencies of every shape and form are bracing for possible reductions, even the Louisiana Center for Women and Government. Located at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, the center promotes public service by women through educational workshops, training seminars and outreach programs.
The center is also known for its hall of fame ceremony, which most recently hosted James Carville and Mary Matalin, and Statewide Leadership Institute for Women. This year, Executive Director Laura M. Badeaux says the center is requesting a simple restoration of its $300,000 operating plan that lawmakers approved in 2008.
The situation is so dire on the state level, however, and nerves are so frayed, that Badeaux says even the center’s relatively small budget could be susceptible to cuts. “What we’re assuming is everything in the state may be cut if it’s not academic,” Badeaux says. “So we’re fighting hard and proceeding with programs that are important to Louisiana.”
Specifically, Badeaux noted the Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy, scheduled for June, and the September debut of the National Women’s Leadership Summit, which is being co-chaired by U.S Sen. Mary Landrieu, a New Orleans Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine.