Melancon has filed legislation that offers "commonsense measures" to address the nation's continuing challenges with illegal immigration. The Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act, also known as SAVE, is a three-part plan to drastically reduce illegal immigration through stricter border security, employer verification and interior enforcement. "Illegal immigration is a threat to our communities and a burden on our local governments," says Melancon. "We must do something to solve this problem."
Melancon says it's estimated that more than 12 million people are in the country illegally, and thousands more are coming in every week. "Americans are demanding a solution," he adds. Specifically, the SAVE Act would add 8,000 new patrol agents to the nation's border, require employers to verify legal status and further enforce existing laws that the congressman says lack any real bite. ... VITTER'S TESTIMONY CANCELED U.S. Sen. David Vitter was scheduled to testify this week about his involvement with an escort service ran by the "D.C. Madam." Deborah Jeane Palfrey had subpoenaed Vitter, but last week, a federal judge canceled the hearing. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that Palfrey was attempting "an end run" around evidentiary rules to get an advance look at the government's case.
Palfrey has been indicted for running a prostitution ring in D.C. Her attorneys were expected to question Vitter about his involvement with the escorts. ... WILL BOUSTANY/VITTER/GIULANI ALLIANCE HOLD? Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice, pro-gay rights and pro-gun control. So it came as no surprise when many people scratched their heads wondering why bedrock conservatives like U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany and U.S. Sen. David Vitter endorsed him earlier this year.
Will the state's GOP base stand for it as the election draws closer? There are already indications that the Christian Right is turning up the heat. Most recently, the former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has 15 million members nationwide, called for a boycott of CBN and The 700 Club after Pat Robertson made his own Giuliani endorsement.
Additionally, Campaign for Children and Families, a leading West Coast pro-family organization, is condemning the "selling out of family values" in leaders, like Robertson, endorsing the former New York mayor. CCF President Randy Thomasson offered up a scathing quote, one that could possibly cross over to Lafayette's Boustany or Metairie's Vitter in coming months. "Pat Robertson is casting a blind eye to Rudy Giuliani's big-time advocacy of the transsexual, bisexual and homosexual agenda ' an intolerant agenda that harms children, religious freedom, parental rights, the institution of marriage and the Boy Scouts," he says. ... LWV URGES ACTION ON AILING SCHOOL FACILITIES Lafayette's public school buildings are "old, overcrowded, and underfunded" and in dire need of a major face lift in order to provide local students a quality education. That's the synopsis of a study published last week by the Lafayette League of Women Voters. Other highlights, er, lowlights, include: 60 percent of Lafayette Parish's public schools are at least 40 years old, and almost 40 percent are at least 50 years old; 25 percent of the school system's total classrooms are now portable. Although Lafayette Parish has the third highest per capita income in the state, 26 other parishes have a higher millage rate for their schools, 13 parishes have a higher sales tax rate, and 15 parishes spend more per pupil; St. Tammany Parish raises almost double what Lafayette Parish does for its schools in total ad valorem revenue (property tax).
School Board members have been invited to attend the league's next meeting on Dec. 3 to address the study. The league, which is experiencing a renaissance of sorts with new membership, also plans to be involved when the board holds an upcoming workshop devoted to adopting a long-term, comprehensive facilities plan. The school facilities report is one of two studies the local LWV plans to release. Another study on the potential of Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home project is already under way.
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, R. Reese Fuller and
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”