A portion of the “racino” revenues that state Treasurer John Kennedy says “rightfully belongs” to the St. Landry Parish School System has been restored to the struggling district after Gov. Bobby Jindal unsuccessfully tried to funnel the money to the state’s Medical Assistance Trust Fund (read DHH).
According to a joint press release from Kennedy’s office and Democratic state Rep. Ledricka Thierry of Opelousas, $800,000 has been restored to the St. Landry Parish Excellence Fund, a state fund set up to support St. Landry Parish public education by dedicating 5 percent of taxes collected from the Evangeline Downs Racetrack and proceeds from the casino’s slot machines. According to The Daily World, the fund had somehow acquired a $1.8 million reserve, which Jindal tried to take from the local school district and move to state coffers.
Though Thierry is still working to recoup the rest of the money in the fund, the $800,000 is good news for a school board that, according to The Daily World, “would find itself $4 million in the red by July and with an $8 million deficit by December” without the cuts it has proposed to its roughly $100 million budget.
The school district’s finances are so dire that the system faced potential state takeover last week, but the state’s Fiscal Review Committee voted against the drastic move, according to the press release:
“This is not state money. This is money that rightfully belongs to St. Landry Parish,” says Kennedy. “We’re very happy to expedite this request and help ease some short-term budget pain to the St. Landry Parish school system.”
Treasurer Kennedy is a member of the state Fiscal Review Committee that voted last week to avoid a state takeover of the system. At the meeting, he was very critical of the Governor’s proposal in his Executive Budget to “sweep” the St. Landry School District’s “Racino” funds into the state budget.
“Our committee has reviewed the system’s finances, and while they most certainly have challenges to face in the short and long term, we are going to give the new board and new superintendent the time to execute a plan that works,” says Kennedy.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
NOV 24 Because of a town ordinance, the police will come to a disabled girl's home this week to take away her service dog and kill him. Sound like a bad Lifetime movie? Nope - it's real life in Moreauville, blogger Lamar White Jr. tells us in this post. The dog's crime? Being born a pit bull. What's the reason for this ordinance? Well, the town fathers are a little vague on that one. Maybe Obama?
NOV 24 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about Bobby Jindal's continuing refusal to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid. It's purely an attempt to benefit him politically, meaning the decision is "cruel, short-sighted and remarkably self-centered." Well, yeah. Have you met him?
NOV 24 The New York Times editorial board is writing about the 40 years that Albert Woodfox has spent in solitary confinement in this post, calling it "barbaric beyond measure." Since Richard Nixon was president, the man has been in solitary in Angola Plantation Penitentiary. How is that OK with us?
NOV 24 The GOP has a boogie-man for anybody thinking about voting for Mary Landrieu: President Obama. But the Dems have one for Bill Cassidy, too, Melinda Deslatte writes in this AP post on The Reading Eagle -- and his name is Governor Jindal.
NOV 24 Blogger Bob Mann is blogging about race and the Senate campaign in this post. Sure, everybody knows that Mary Landrieu doesn't do too well with white folks, but how come the GOP can't get arrested in the black community? Bob is asking.
NOV 24 Early voting for the December election began Saturday, and this post on NOLA Defender tells us what Mary and Bill were up to. The polls and the pundits have their opinions, but none of that can replace actual voting, NODEF says.
NOV 24 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about Bruce Greenstein's grand jury testimony in this post. The former state health secretary testified in an investigation into the lucrative contract Louisiana awarded to his former employer. Apparently, Mr. Greenstein has a bit of the C.R.S. disease.
NOV 24 Last week, an SUV carrying a blended Texas family overturned on the Interstate near Shreveport, killing the parents and three of their kids, and seriously injuring two other kids. According to this story in the Dallas Morning News, the DA has exercised some compassion and dismissed the ticket given to the teen who was driving.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly