"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
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.