In a legislative gambit House Speaker Jim Tucker referred to as “brilliant,” state Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, revived his 4-cent cigarette tax renewal Monday by tacking it onto a constitutional amendment championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who last week vetoed the renewal and survived a House override attempt by 12 votes.
Ritchie’s amendment to Senate Bill 53, which dedicates a share of tobacco settlement money to the TOPS scholarship program, passed the House by a 59-40 vote; it needed 53 to pass. Once the amendment was affixed to SB 53, the House voted overwhelmingly — 90-12 — to pass the bill. If SB 53 clears the Senate with Ritchie’s barnacle still attached, it will go to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has signalled he will sign it; Jindal cannot veto the amendment to the bill.
The governor expressed chagrin with Ritchie’s end run, but his support for the TOPS program via SB 53, according to a statement released by his office, trumps his distaste for the tax renewal: “While we are disappointed that the House amended the TOPS bill to include the cigarette tax, we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. TOPS is too important to our children and to the future of our state.”
News of Rep. Harold Ritchie's maneuver to revive the cigarette tax renewal comes on the same day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released nine new graphic images that cigarette manufacturers will be required to place on packs by mid-2013.
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.
AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly