Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The state House committee tasked with spending Louisiana’s money got an extra voice from Lafayette last week when Speaker Jim Tucker named Rep. Rickey Hardy to the House Appropriations Committee. Hardy had to resign from the House Commerce Committee to accept the assignment, which he happily did; widely regarded as the most powerful committee in the House, Appropriations deals with the state budget and other fiscal matters. The north Lafayette Democrat joins south-side Republican Page Cortez on the committee. (Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, rounds out an Acadiana trifecta.) This newspaper has given Hardy the business in the past over his sponsorship and co-sponsorship of some questionable legislation — barring senior citizens from seeking office, for one; forcing welfare recipients to pass drug tests, for another — but we’ve never doubted that Hardy is a straight shooter with the best interests of his district at heart.
Louisiana lawmakers proved yet again that deference to industry lobbyists over protecting public health is de rigueur in state politics. A bill that would have banned smoking in bars in Louisiana went up in smoke in the state Senate last week by a 22-15 vote, with Acadiana Sens. Elbert Guillory and Fred Mills joining the pro-carcinogen contingent. (Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, was absent for the vote.) It was the third such attempt to ban smoking in bars by state Sen. Rob Marionneaux Jr., D-Livonia. The bill originally included casinos in the ban — the legislation aimed to protect bartenders, waitresses, musicians and others who work in bars and casinos from the deleterious effects of second-hand smoke — but that component was stripped from the bill in a House committee. The ban on smoking in bars, however, did clear the full House. Opponents of the bill argued it would drive smokers and their tax revenue to other states. There may be a tendril of truth to that argument for establishments skirting state lines, although the ban on smoking in restaurants in Lafayette Parish doesn’t seem to have driven diners away. They adapted. The net result of this stupid failure by the Senate is that employees in Louisiana bars and casinos are virtually the only workers not protected by law from a proven environmental carcinogen.
We get the feeling Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, is just trying too hard to out-conservative Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, Landry’s presumptive opponent in the election next year for the new 3rd Congressional District. Landry’s D.C. press hack, the curiously named Millard Mulé, has been firing off chest-thumping press releases on the freshman congressman’s behalf since Landry took the oath of office in January. One of the most recent, however, raised eyebrows across the political spectrum: a braggadocios bulletin announcing the rep’s refusal to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the budget impasse. Roughly 200 House Republicans, it’s worth noting, did accept the president’s invitation. The Times-Picayune reported the story last Wednesday, quoting Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who pursed his lips at Landry’s petty posturing: “It is more than a little arrogant,” Ornstein told the Times-Pic. “It belittles the office of the presidency and shows that Landry has little understanding of the political process, the role of the constitutional institutions, much less basic politeness.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
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The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.