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
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.