"I'm honored to be part of the leadership team in the Senate and Gov.-elect Jindal's leadership team," says Michot. "The process of putting leadership committees is like putting together a complicated jigsaw puzzle. When Jindal tapped Chiasson, he did tell me, 'You're going to get Finance; I'm committed to that.' And he really tried to balance it geographically and across party lines, racial lines, years of service ' a lot of factors play into this."
Michot landed the biggest appointment in a list that bodes well for Acadiana. In addition to Michot, other area Senate Chairman appointments include: Opelousas' Don Cravins for Insurance; Jeanerette's Troy Hebert for Environmental Quality; Lake Charles' Willie Mount for Health & Welfare; Montegut's Reggie DuprÃ© for Natural Resources; and Morgan City's Butch Gautreaux for Retirement.
"We fared very well, in Acadiana to Lake Charles and down the bayou," says Michot. "Nick [Gautreaux] will also be serving with me on Finance, and when you put all that together, it's extremely influential representation for Acadiana."
Michot says his three top priorities and infrastructure repair and improvement, with I-49 South at the top of that list; doing more with less in government and taking a hard look at agency budgets; and paying down debt in the state retirement system to free up cash flow for other projects. ... ENERGY BILL PASSES SENATE AFTER OIL TAXES CUT Last Thursday morning, the national energy bill, already passed by the House, remained stuck in the Senate by a Republican-led filibuster. When the vote to end the filibuster was counted 59 to 40, the total was one vote shy of the two-thirds majority needed to end debate and clear the way to actually vote on the measure. That single vote came from U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, the only Democrat to break ranks with her party. Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois told the Washington Post, "The future just failed by one vote. The past was preserved. The oil companies are now celebrating in their boardrooms."
The bill included tax breaks for wind and solar projects while reducing breaks for the biggest oil and gas companies. Landrieu explained her "no" vote in a press release: "One-sided policymaking solves few problems, and America's path forward depends on a comprehensive, balanced approach to energy conservation and domestic production. We must invest in smart energy solutions for the future, but not at the expense of the states that strengthen our energy security today.
While this package included positive steps towards energy independence and efficiency, it still left Louisiana and America's Energy Coast holding the bill. Our energy producers would be severely disadvantaged against foreign competitors, and our timber, pulp and paper industries would be restricted from fully participating in the move to innovative renewable fuels."
By Thursday evening, the taxes on big oil and the breaks for alternative energy sources lay on the Senate cutting room floor. What remained were increases in fuel energy standards for automobiles, heightened energy standards for appliances and buildings, and mandated use of ethanol and biofuels. At that point, the bill passed with a large bipartisan vote of 86 to 8. It will return to the House, and if passed, President Bush has indicated he will sign it into law. ... ANGELLE STAYING PUT AT DNR Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal is keeping at least one holdover department head from Gov. Blanco's administration. Jindal announced that Scott Angelle, the former St. Martin Parish president whom Blanco tapped in 2004 to run the state's Department of Natural Resources, will remain in the post for the next four years. Angelle has been widely credited with leading the effort to pass a constitutional amendment dedicating future Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues to finance the coastal restoration and hurricane protection plan. He also recently helped push through legislation that gives DNR oversight of environmental remediation from legacy lawsuit settlements for oilfield pollution.
Hailing from Breaux Bridge, Angelle was elected as the first president of St. Martin Parish in 2000. From 1998 to 2000, he served as the Vice President of the Huval Companies in Lafayette, managing the company's insurance risk management and overseeing the budget and strategic planning. Angelle also previously served as a St. Martin Parish Police Juror and as a petroleum landman in Lafayette from 1983 to 1989. ... VITTER TOUGHS IT OUT Sin or not, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter still has the support of the national Republican Party ' Vitter has again been named as deputy whip in the Senate Republican leadership. Vitter previously filled the role on the team of Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who recently announced his retirement. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona is the new Republican whip and he has tapped Vitter to continue serving. Vitter was also appointed last week as ranking member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences. With this new committee assignment, Vitter will play an important role in determining space policy. His appointment also places Louisiana in a unique and highly-favorable position on matters related to NASA, aeronautics and related sciences. "NASA has a long history and significant presence in Louisiana," Vitter says. "Thousands of Louisianans are employed by the Michoud Assembly Facility and Stennis Space Center, and the impact of the space program on Louisiana cannot be overstated."
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, Scott Jordan, Nathan Stubbs and Mary Tutwiler
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.