LOUISIANA SEN. SMITH EXPLAINS SEX TOYS Ask anyone in Louisiana to name the most pressing challenges facing the state, and you’ll get a laundry list of serious issues: our woeful public education system, battered infrastructure, rising health insurance and flood insurance costs, coastal erosion and a crucial, looming budget battle over how to best spend taxpayer dollars.
Democratic Louisiana state Sen. John Smith of Leesville, however, is thinking about sex. Smith’s Senate Bill No. 712 purports to “regulate sexually oriented businesses and their employees.” Smith’s concerned that, say, an adult video store could open next to a church or school, apparently unaware that no city council is going to let that happen anyway.
Smith sure sounds like he’s done a lot of research, as his bill reads like a lengthy clinical distillation of a Penthouse Forum letter. For example, “Nudity or state of nudity means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, vulva, anus, anal cleft or cleavage with less than a fully opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple or areola.” And for the unaware, Smith offers a helpful primer on sex toys: “Sexual device means any three-dimensional object designed and marketed for stimulation of the male or female genitals, anus, female breast, or for sadomasochistic use or abuse of oneself or others and shall include devices such as dildos, vibrators, penis pumps, and physical representations of the human genital organs.”
Elsewhere in his bill, Smith wants to prevent erotic dancers and patrons from having any physical contact. Because in a state where nearly three in 10 adults are illiterate and 84 percent of Louisiana public school students live at or below the poverty line, one of the biggest scourges Louisiana faces is the lapdance.
TUCKER BUMPS TRAHAN Republican State Rep. Don Trahan’s feathers were noticeably ruffled during a debate last week over a resolution that would request a reconfiguration of funding for Louisiana’s community and technical colleges. The change is needed due to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s workforce development plan, which places community and technical colleges on the frontlines of training Louisiana’s emerging labor market. “No one has been behind this push longer than I have,” Trahan said in one of a few high-handed mini-speeches he gave during the hearing.
Before the bill could be properly introduced, Trahan commandeered the microphone (among the many perks afforded to him as chairman) and explained how he was the true catalyst behind House Concurrent Resolution 65, “even though I was bumped down to a co-author,” he added. So who knocked Trahan off the top of the resolution and stole his glory? It was none other than GOP House Speaker Jim Tucker of Terrytown who wiggled his way to authorship (undoubtedly one of the many perks afforded to him as the elected leader of the lower chamber).
Even without Trahan’s name atop, the resolution was advanced by the committee without opposition. It heads next to the full House for further debate, where Trahan will have another opportunity to air his grievances — this time under the glare of Tucker, who appointed him chairman.
HARDY WANTS THIRD CIRCUIT APPEAL COURT IN LAFAYETTE Democratic State Rep. Rickey Hardy is pushing a bill to move the Third Circuit Court of Appeal from Lake Charles to Lafayette. The state already has $13 million budgeted to build a new Third Circuit Courthouse in Lake Charles but Hardy says it’s time to consider a different location. Last week, Hardy was distributing booklets his office created that make the case for moving the court to Acadiana’s hub city. Among his arguments: Lake Charles is more prone to hurricane damage and disruptions than Lafayette, and Lafayette offers a more centralized location. “It’s more efficient,” Hardy says. The Third Circuit, with 12 state appellate judges, covers 21 parishes from Cameron to St. Martin along the coast and Sabine to Catahoula in the northern region of the state. The court has been operating in Lake Charles since its establishment in 1960.
Hardy’s proposed bill, HB 659, is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee this week; Hardy hopes to have the support of Third Circuit judges as well as other state officials. “It’s going to be a challenge,” Hardy says, “but it’s nothing but a hill for a stepper.”
Contributors: Scott Jordan, Jeremy Alford and Nathan Stubbs
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, April 21, 2014:
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
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.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.