"We are undaunted in our commitment to make certain that we strengthen CODOFIL and we strengthen what all of you have a tremendous interest in doing that is beneficial to the state of Louisiana on multiple fronts," says Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
|(From left) Rep. Vincent Pierre, Rep. Mike Huval, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Rep. Stephen Ortego, Rep. Jack Montoucet and Philippe Gustin, director of Le Centre International de Lafayette at CODOFIL's office Thursday morning.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne wants the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana to know he's got its back — and its future — with a plan that includes grants and the promotion and support of economic development outreach and tourism opportunities already in place with Francophone countries.
"We are undaunted in our commitment to make certain that we strengthen CODOFIL and we strengthen what all of you have a tremendous interest in doing that is beneficial to the State of Louisiana on multiple fronts," says Dardenne. In town for French Ambassador François Delattre's visit, Dardenne outlined his plan for CODOFIL Thursday in a press conference prior to a CODOFIL board meeting.
There's also another plan in place to utilize social media to help CODOFIL replenish its lost funding.
When Dardenne's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism felt a loss of $2 million two weeks ago at the swipe of Gov. Bobby Jindal's veto pen, CODOFIL had $100,000 lopped off in the process.
"This is not a political issue. This is something that's good for the economics of Louisiana. It's good for tourism in Louisiana," says Dardenne. "And tourism in this state means jobs and it means money coming from outside the borders of Louisiana, investing in Louisiana and it minimizes the burden that our taxpayers have to pay to make good things happen in government."
Dardenne says there's a tremendous untapped potential from a tourism standpoint to capitalize on the relationships "we're building now to convince those Francophone countries that this little slice of the world in the southern most part of America is a place that is welcoming to them and shares their culture and shares their language and shares many of their interests."
Jindal's cuts hurt the 2-year-old Escadrille Louisiane initiative that sends teachers to French universities to learn the language and teach it to Louisiana students.
"It was unexpected. It's very unfortunate. It was unnecessary," Dardenne says. "It is one of the programs in Louisiana that is working at a time when we're attempting to create jobs and create economic opportunity for Louisiana. CODOFIL is one of the agencies that makes that happen."
Dardenne says Louisiana needs to capitalize on the "incredible and intense interest on our state that exists in Francophone countries all over the world," something he saw in a trip to Quebec and one he plans to promote in France and Belgium when he goes to "reinstitute the accords that exist between Louisiana and those countries and to talk about the incredible opportunities that exist from an education and an economic development standpoint."Along with the grants, Dardenne's CRT plans to cover CODOFIL Director Joseph Dunn's expenses to Europe for what he calls "a very important trip and one of the most important international trips that the State of Louisiana has made in recent years to reach out to our business partners in France to thank them for what they do, encourage them to expand what they do in Louisiana and to create opportunities for Louisiana businesses to do business in France."
Mandy Migues, a teacher and president of FrancoJeunes, is on board to help through a campaign called 100,000 Cajuns and Creoles that is soliciting $1 from French-speaking Louisianans and those who support CODOFIL. Go here for more information.
"If we can do our part to help, that's what we're trying to do," says Migues. "I'm hoping once we get the word out, I'm very comfortable we'll reach our goal."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)