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.”
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.