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Wednesday, 18 May 2011 22:11

Louisiana Black Caucus Head, Smith Discusses Tucker’s UNO-SUNO Merger Halt

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The decision by Speaker Jim Tucker to stop pursuing an ambitious attempt to merge University of New Orleans (UNO) and Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO) was a momentous day for many in the state.  One of the voices speaking strong against the merger came from Democrat Representative Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge, the Chairperson of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. 
 

Bayoubuzz interviewed Rep. Smith about Tucker’s decision and its implications. 

Smith said that Speaker Tucker informed the black caucus on Wednesday that he would not continue his pursuit for the merger because he did not have the votes. She said the caucus and others were in favor of education reform and was appreciative of the efforts of those who opposed the merger. 

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Rep. Smith said that one of the major reasons the legislation did not make sense was financial.  She said it would have cost millions of dollars at this time of a 1.6 billion dollar deficit. 

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In response to a question about the politics behind the decision, Smith said the legislature exercised independence despite prodding by the Jindal administration and others.  
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Rep. Patricia Smith

 

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