(Photo: Jon Bel Edwards)
LA State Treasurer John Kennedy released a statement Thursday commending Governor Bobby Jindal's commitment to fully funding TOPS in the upcoming state fiscal year.
"TOPS is a success story in Louisiana. It ensures that our young people can go to college, regardless of their ability to pay," said Treasurer Kennedy. "I commend the Governor for vowing to fully fund TOPS despite the budget constraints. TOPS deserves to be a priority."
According to news reports, Governor Jindal will increase funding for TOPS by $34 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
Some across Louisiana feel the TOPS programs is funding education for those who are not in financial need, and is too expensive, given the enormous budget deficit facing Louisiana. TOPS originated as a way to assist underprivileged students to obtain education.
Jon Bel Edwards, the only Democratic candidate for Louisiana Governor has created this three-minute get-to-know-me video
Edwards has polled in single digits in a recent poll conducted by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s PR firm. However, he also fared much better, in the mid-twenties, in a 3rd-party poll conducted by SMOR
The big issue is whether New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will run for governor. In most polls, Landrieu defeats or is second in the polls against David Vitter.
JINDAL AND FOX
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will once again be a guest on his favorite TV network, Fox News. In a tweet this morning, Jindal announced he will be appearing at 8:40 on Megyn Kelly’s program. While some might believe the governor is auditioning to replace former Fox News host and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who left on a quasi-book tour-presidential-run, the Louisiana governor is not. Instead, he is still thinking and praying about running for US President, himself
US Senator Bill Cassidy has promoted a video on his Facebook page marking his frustration over the Obama budget plan that takes oil and gas money dedicated to Louisiana and other gulf coast states and distributes it nationally to promote “green energy”
The controversy might be particularly important to Cassidy. During the recent election against Mary Landrieu, the Republicans emphasized his presence on the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, a spot formerly chaired by his opponent Landrieu. Landrieu made a major part of her re-election platform, her “stroke”. The Republicans denounced her "supposed" stroke because she failed to gain sufficient democratic support on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. With the Republicans taking over the Senate, then-minority leader, Mitch McConnell announced Cassidy’s presence on the committee (should he be elected Senator), a direct jolt to Landrieu’s campaign.
Now that Cassidy beat Landrieu, has been appointed a seat on that important committee, the question becomes whether Cassidy can deliver the goods on a very critical issue impacting Louisiana. Senator Mary Landrieu received much credit and to a large extent, was instrumental in getting the US congress and President Bush to approve hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing for Louisiana.
STATE POLICE RETIREMENT
The issue over the Louisiana State Police retirement that favored the Superintendent of Louisiana State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson is back on the table. This time, however, not like last year, the legislation is in plain view with the pre-filed bills.
Pending Senate Retirement more...
STATE POLICE RET FUND: Repeals provisions for payment to certain DROP participants of a retirement benefit calculated as if the persons had not participated in DROP. (gov sig)
Pending Senate and Governmental Affairs more...
BEFORE THE FLOOD (From the Pelican Institute)
Louisiana’s unique coastal vulnerabilities will require the state to pursue sensible free-market reforms to its insurance markets and built environment to avoid catastrophic costs in the decades ahead, according to a new Pelican Institute report authored by R Street Institute Senior Fellow Ian Adams.
Projections from state and federal officials estimate the state can expect 30 to 40 hurricanes over the next century with annual flood-related losses of between $7.7 and $23.4 billion. Due to a variety of trends – including natural tectonic subsidence, human development and rising sea levels, it is estimated that Louisiana’s Southeast corner may be submerged beneath at least 4.3 feet of water by the end of the century.
Given that backdrop, unless steps are taken to stem the development of vulnerable residential and industrial sites, losses could be overwhelming, Adams argues. He points in particular to distortions in the state’s insurance market that encourage building in risky areas, including rules limiting insurers ability to cancel policies; the sheer size of the state-run insurance authority, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.; excessive controls on insurers’ ability to raise rates to reflect risk; and the impact of the subsidized coverage offered by the federal National Flood Insurance Program.
Among the solutions outlined in the paper are reforms to move the state to a modified flex-rating system of insurance rate controls; expansion of tax credits and abatements for property owners that invest in risk mitigation; and plans to invest funds the state expects to receive through the federal RESTORE Act in wetlands restoration and other durable projects to reduce Louisiana’s vulnerability.
Click here to view Before the Flood.