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 scalise flagNo Speaker of the House has come from Louisiana, although we have been close. There was Hale Boggs, who was pegged for that position before being killed in an airplane crash. Then, a casualty from the Monica Lewinsky days, Bob Livingston opted not to take the seat and instead, abruptly retired from Congress.

trump media credentials tweet 5A new report by the Media Research Center showed that during the first four months of 2018, the mainstream broadcast networks continued to display their hatred of President Trump as 90% of their coverage was negative. This continues the trend from the final quarter of 2017, when 91% of the Trump coverage was negative.  

mitch free 3I know that in some communities and in some circles, it is not politically-correct to say anything positive about now ex-New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Ever since he fought the battle of the confederate monuments, to a large block of Louisiana voters, he has crossed the wrong side of the proverbial Mason Dixon line.  Even worse, he spent time at the Aspen Institute the weekend that the water pumps failed, causing significant damage to innocent people who entrusted him and city government to protect their properties from the wet.

gun schoolby Tom Aswell, Publisher of Louisianavoice.com   My post last week about HB 607 that would allow anyone with a concealed permit enter a public school got the expected response, both from those in favor of the bill by Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath) and Sen. Neil Riser (R-Columbia) and those opposed.

landrieu mayors usFormer New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu finally has no political office to hold for the first time in three decades. Look for him to want to change that as soon as possible.

It all begins with a run for president in 2020, now that today he turned over the reins of city government. Keep in mind that Landrieu has worked outside of government for just a few years, right out of law school, and knows nothing else but politics, especially growing up in the household of a former legislator, mayor, U.S. Cabinet member, and state judge.

alarioLouisiana legislature elections are approaching. A large segment of those legislators who have served the state will be term limited. Is that program, started by David Vitter when he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, really a good idea, albeit, its popularity?  Do legislators vote their conscience or the the positions of their constituency?

Also, what role does polling play during the Louisiana legislative session?

senate crazy 6by Tom Aswell, Publisher of LouisianaVoice.com
My longtime friend and confidant Harley Purvis, he of the booth in the back in the corner in the dark at John Wayne Culpepper’s Lip-Smackin’ Bar-B-Que House of Prayer and Used Light Bulb Emporium in Watson, had a term for the Louisiana House of Representatives passage of HB 602 yesterday:

we accuse witchOn Friday there was more good economic news as the jobs report showed the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, the lowest since 2000. For African Americans and Hispanics, the unemployment rate is now the lowest ever recorded. In April, 164,000 nonfarm jobs were added to payrolls surpassing a 135,000 increase in employment in March. Among the sectors to perform well in April were construction which added 17,000 new jobs and manufacturing employment which surged by 24,000 jobs.

term limitsYesterday, we posted part one of an interview of lobbyist Mary Patricia Wray. In that segment, she talked about the difficulties legislators are having this session. They are overworked and underpaid. They are stressed and combative. In fact, things are so bad that according to other sources, the legislators might not pass a budget until after the fiscal year begins. For Louisiana, that would be an extraordinary non-accomplishment, never been done. But, this is the Louisiana legislature, one year from elections.

tops turveyAn issue the Louisiana Legislature continues to address poorly a House of Representatives panel this week kept that pattern going.   Yesterday, the House Education Committee passed along HB 399 by state Rep. Gary Carter. It would alter, whenever the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students did not receive full appropriation, the present across-the-board reduction algorithm. Instead, higher-achieving students, defined as those earning the top two categories, would receive no cuts although losing their extra stipends while the remainder would keep theirs only if their families had annual incomes below around $50,000, although they could recoup some from Pell Grants.

dopes capitol 3Is medical marijuana the next Louisiana boondoggle?  The current Louisiana legislature seems bent on pushing through extended legislation that enlarges the number of medical conditions marijuana is supposed to treat.  And even though the use of marijuana for any purpose, medical or recreational, is specifically prohibited under federal law, the legislature seems hell-bent on opening up the floodgates for any number of medical conditions.

mp wray 4The 2018 vintage of the Louisiana legislature has been in session now since February 19 2018.  Initially, it met in an extraordinary fiscal session called by Governor John Bel Edwards to grapple with the then-one billion dollar budget shortfall.   That two week endeavor ended in failure. Essentially nothing was passed.

Legislators being in session for essentially the first half of each year for the past series of springs has become a regular occurence, primarily due to major budgetary issues.  The individual lawmakers are tired. Nerves are frayed. The everyday grind focuses upon minutia. They are underpaid. And perhaps worse of all, nothing seems to be getting done. Bills are getting killed.

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