Congressman-elect Jeff Landry won’t officially represent his share of Acadiana on Capitol Hill for another couple of weeks, but he already knows where he’ll be spending a considerable amount of his legislative time. Fitting almost perfectly with his top campaign issues from the past year, Landry, R-New Iberia, has been tapped to serve on both the Transportation Committee and Natural Resources Committee in 2011 and 2012.
Landry will take on these responsibilities as the GOP takes control of the lower chamber. “These critical committee posts allow me the opportunity to fight Washington’s job-killing agenda crippling our oil and gas industry, the economic engine of coastal Louisiana,” Landry says. “These assignments are also a tremendous opportunity to push for coastal restoration and flood protection.”
Drilling down his newfound strengths, the rookie lawmaker already has an ally on the House Transportation Committee in the form of Rep. Bill Shuster, a fellow Republican committee member from Pennsylvania. Landry gave Shuster a tour of sections of U.S. Hwy. 90, also known as the future I-49, earlier this year and explained to him how it could become a “great partner” for La. 1 and Port Fourchon.
The House Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over maritime and waterborne transportation, roads, bridges and the activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He said his assignment to the panel will “prove invaluable in advancing the interests of south Louisiana and its industries.”
As for the importance of Landry’s coming position on the House Natural Resources Committee, he pointed to the fact that more than 100,000 residents in the 3rd Congressional District work in either the seafood or oil and gas industries. “My assignment to the Natural Resources Committee will not only allow us to safeguard our fisheries and wildlife, but also dramatically improve our local economic climate by impacting the drilling permit process,” Landry says.
With vast oversight of energy resources, water, public lands and coastal management, Landry hopes the committee will give him an opportunity to weigh in on many of President Barack Obama’s energy policies. “The Obama administration fails to understand how deeply their out-of-touch policies have devastated the livelihoods of south Louisiana’s working families,” Landry says. “We must change the tone in Washington and restore a responsible and responsive government that will help put our people back to work.”
Landry will start his assignments when he is sworn in Jan. 5 and takes the place of outgoing Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, who relinquished his seat this past fall to make an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. Melancon has served the 3rd Congressional District since 2005.
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.