Of the 433 state-created boards, commissions or other entities that responded to requests for information from the legislative auditor’s office, 277 pay per diem, salaries and travel for board members at an annual cost of roughly $6.5 million.
Those are some of the findings of a recent report from the auditor’s office that lists 492 state-created commissions, up 45 percent over the past 20 years, according to The Advocate. In 1992, there were 338 of such groups, a number that has drastically increased despite attempts by the Legislature to weed out unnecessary boards.
The auditor’s report tried to detail the total spending of the nearly 500 entities, but 44 of those did not respond to requests for information as required by state law:
Among the groups [not responding] are the Interstate 10/12 Corridor Commission, the Interstate 49 North Extension Feasibility and Funding Task Force, the Interstate 49 South Feasibility and Funding Task Force, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act Implementation Commission, the Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee, the Naval War Memorial Commissioners, the Poverty Point Reservoir District Board of Commissioners and municipal employee, municipal police, registrar of voters’ employee and sheriffs’ pension fund boards.
At least five of the groups created during 2010 or earlier have never been fully organized or are not functioning and should be considered by the Legislature and/or Governor’s Office for elimination, the report from Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office found.
The five are Drug Free Schools and Communities, an arm of a governor’s advisory council; the Concordia Parish Port Commission; the Vidalia Port Commission; the Post Employment Benefits Trust Fund; and the North Bossier Levee and Drainage District Board of Commissioners.
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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