The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana says it welcomes Gov. Bobby Jindal’s announcement that a legislative package is being produced to clarify the sweeping ethics reforms laws passed shortly after the governor began his first term — reforms that have since been widely criticized for making ethics enforcement toothless and creating confusion as to which agencies are responsible for investigating and enforcing ethics laws and penalizing scofflaws. “These proposals could be a productive step forward by adding clarity and better administration to the process of handling cases,” says Robert Travis Scott, left, president of the non-partisan policy group. PAR staff members are completing an examination of existing laws and will soon release a report with findings and recommendations. According to The Times-Picayune, the ethics-reform reforms will enhance enforcement of campaign finance laws by clearly delegating authority among the Board of Ethics and Ethics Adjudicatory Board.
The majority of state workers will not be impacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plans to reform the state’s indebted pension system, which leaves the 33 percent of state employees who would have to cut their benefits and wait longer to retire wondering why they’re the ones being targeted over others. Associated Press writer Melinda Deslatte notes in a recent analysis that lawmakers are largely to blame for the $18 billion debt within the pension system due to increased pensions for political allies and essentially rubber-stamping pension measures without looking at potential costs down the road. Under Jindal’s plan to reform the system, the past mistakes of former governors and legislators would be shifted to the backs of state workers — but not all state workers would be affected. Deslatte points out that teachers and public K-12 school employees, state troopers, prison guards and other law enforcement workers would be exempt from scaled back benefits and a push back in the age of retirement, leaving rank-and-file retirees to suffer the brunt of the cuts.
Nothing exhorts a team to victory like fans in the stands, so it’s a wonder the Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team is within sniffing distance of first place in the Sun Belt Conference’s Western Division. Head coach Bob Marlin has publicly expressed his frustration and mystification with the lackluster attendance, especially during the home stretch to the Sun Belt tournament. The Cajuns averaged 6,100 fans per game during last February’s sizzling win streak — and that’s as the team battled to get to .500 — but have fallen way off that pace. In fact, the Cajuns haven’t drawn as many fans this season as Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky (8-16 and on its second coach this year), North Texas and Denver. Yes, Denver, a school with almost zero basketball tradition and one that’s leaving the Sun Belt after this year, is outdrawing UL by nearly 2,000 fans a night. So who’s the couillon? All of us who are sitting home on our rumps while the players are busting theirs.
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