Cajundome Director Greg Davis is cautiously optimistic, noting that the bill still has "two more big hurdles" in passing the U.S. Senate and being signed by the President. The bill also aims to increase the federal government's share of the cost of relocating public buildings and other damaged infrastructure from 75 to 90 percent. All provisions would apply retroactively to areas affected by the 2005 storms. ... WRDA ON TRACK FOR VETO OVERRIDE Late last week, President Bush made good on his threat to veto the $23 billion Water Resources Development Act, which contains up to $7 billion in flood control and navigation projects for Louisiana. Within minutes, responses from the Louisiana delegation as well as legislators from all over the country, called for an override of the veto. Sens. Landrieu and Vitter and U.S. Reps. Boustany, Melancon, Baker, Alexander and Governor-elect Jindal all went on the record pledging to vote to pass the bill. Jindal says he will return to Washington this week to vote for the override.
The WRDA bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 381-40 and approved by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 81-12. This is the fifth bill the president has vetoed and will be the first one overridden, if the vote in Congress passes. Currently the bill is scheduled to be voted on Tuesday in the House and Wednesday in the Senate. ... VITTER COULD TESTIFY ABOUT SCANDAL The Times-Picayune reports that Sen. David Vitter could be subpoenaed to testify about his involvement with the "D.C. Madam." After Vitter's association with Pamela Martin & Associates was made public, he stated at a press conference that he committed a "very serious sin" and that God and his family had forgiven him. He's said little else about it since then. The Picayune noted:
"The subpoena puts Vitter, especially, in an awkward and politically damaging position. The Senate Republican caucus welcomed Vitter back into the fold after his public confession in July, but it remains to be seen how much patience Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will show if Vitter's troubles remain in the news. McConnell acted swiftly to condemn Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, after it became public that he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges after being arrested in a gay-sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Craig has faced intense pressure from his own caucus to resign from the Senate but has refused and has sought to withdraw the guilty plea.
"Legal experts say Vitter has little grounds to avoid testifying, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court said former President Bill Clinton had to provide testimony in Paula Jones' civil lawsuit." ... LAFAYETTE IN THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal has tapped Melissa Sellers, a 25-year-old Houston native who grew up in Lafayette, as his administration's press secretary. Sellers recently served as Jindal's campaign communications director and attended elementary and middle school in Lafayette at Broadmoor and Edgar Martin before moving back to Texas for high school. She has a bachelor's of journalism from the University of Texas and has also worked as press secretary for U.S. Congressman Jim Nussle of Iowa and as a media coordinator on President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. In other area appointments, Lafayette native, UL Lafayette graduate and Tsunami visionary Michelle Ezell has been named vice chairwoman of Jindal's small business and entrepreneurship team. Ezell will work with chairman Kevin Langley of New Orleans' Ellis Construction and make policy and hiring recommendations to Jindal before his January inauguration. ... YEAR OF THE WOMEN? The Louisiana Women's Legislative Caucus is poised to have its largest membership in state history. If every woman candidate wins her race in the runoff, there will be 31 female legislators in the House and Senate. Right now, 18 seats are guaranteed for women, while another 13 are in runoffs for Nov. 17. For the term that ends this year, the LWLC enjoyed a membership of 25, which was likewise a historic number when it flipped four years ago. The group's present chair, Rep. Nita Hutter, a Republican from St. Bernard Parish, brought a bit of extra sway to the LWLC this year through her role of state director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators. No word yet on who might be vying to lead the legislative caucus next year, but Sen. Sherri Smith-Cheek, a Keithville Republican, currently serves as LWLC's vice-chair.
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, R. Reese Fuller, Scott Jordan, Nathan Stubbs, Mary Tutwiler
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
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.