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
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.