Governor Bobby Jindal, on Thursday issued an executive proclamation declaring a state of emergency as a result of the forecasted conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. A major purpose of the declaration is to trigger federal funding due to the impending storm.
However, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and Jeff Landry support a Republican push for offsets to meet what is likely to be a request from the Obama administration for substantial new emergency money for FEMA's disaster fund after a year that included not only Hurricane Irene, but also deadly tornadoes, floods, ice storms, wildfires and a rare East Coast earthquake.
Question: In the battle over very limited money from FEMA and other federal funds due to disaster, will Scalise and Landry be impaired by their positions on budget offsets?
Vitter Endorses Nungesser
On Thursday, Louisiana U.S. Senator David Vitter endorsed Billy Nungesser for Lieutenant Governor. He cited these three reason for the endorsement:
Billy is a strong, bold fighter for Louisiana. I've worked with Billy shoulder to shoulder through recovery efforts on four hurricanes, the devastating BP oil spill, the subsequent Obama moratorium, and on crucial Corps of Engineers and other projects. So I've seen Billy in action. And he is a relentless fighter for all of us.
Billy is the true conservative in this race. He's not an imposter or RINO in any way. Billy has never supported a tax increase, and he won't in the future. Billy is 1000 percent pro-life, and he'll always be solidly for life. And he has a concrete record of building jobs and saving taxpayer dollars. Billy is clearly the candidate with our conservative Louisiana values.
Billy is also a proven business leader and job creator. He took an idea about how to improve housing for offshore workers and turned it into a multi-million dollar business creating 250 jobs. As Plaquemines Parish President, he's attracted 700 new companies into the parish, creating thousands of jobs. And he's protected taxpayer dollars, returning $15 million to the parish this year.
His opponent, current Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne responded by saying that Nungesser is not as conservative as claimed citing a contribution to California Senator Barbara Boxer.
Elections will be held October 22.
New statewide poll
Temperature of Louisiana
SMOR has just announced a new poll, paid for by the Louisiana Republican Party. The poll examines the popularity of current Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the legislature and various issues raised during this upcoming election season. Read the entire poll
So What Does "Reform" Really Mean in Public Education?
Qualifying for state elections begins next week, so it's not too early to begin thinking about major state issues this year and where the candidates stand on them. A good place to start is education and some key principles for continued education reform. Click to read more.
- 32.2% of Louisiana's population lacks access to primary care , the second-highest rate in the nation in 2011.
- Due to various reasons, the New Orleans region now has only 30,000 more jobs than it did during 1987. Get more from the latest report from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.
New Louisiana House Speaker
Speculation is in the air now that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal met with newly minted Republican member of the House of Representatives Joel Robideaux. The talk is that Jindal is likely to support Robideaux for the next Speaker of the House. Robideaux, from Lafayette was an independent.
Jindal announces $ for highway
On Thursday,, Governor Bobby Jindal was joined by Dept. of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. Lebas and state and local officials to announce approximately $6.2 million in I-20 overlay improvements and he also highlighted his administration’s more than $27.1 million investment to improve the transportation infrastructure in Richland Parish.
Governor Jindal said, “Investing in the infrastructure of North Louisiana has been a top priority of my administration. Today, we’re highlighting $6.2 million in I-20 overlay projects that will improve safety for motorists in this region and further boost economic growth in North Louisiana. I-20 is a critical corridor that gives businesses and families access to our ports, waterways, airports and railroads. Since taking office in 2008, we’ve made transportation and infrastructure projects a top priority by investing $3.9 billion in road projects, even while working to make government smaller all across the state.”
One of the investments Governor Jindal highlighted today is a $3.5 million project to resurface 3.9 miles of I-20 from Holly Ridge to Dunn. This project will improve the quality of the interstate, making I-20 a better and safer commute for residents, businesses and travelers. Secondly, Governor Jindal said DOTD recently accepted bids on a $2.7 million project to overlay 3.7 miles of I-20 from the Bee Bayou Bridge to Holly Ridge in Rayville. The Governor said these two road projects are part of a $97.7 million total investment in I-20 made over the last three and a half years.
These 7.6 miles of overlay improvements are estimated to be complete by the summer of 2012. Resurfacing the I-20 east-west corridor will create a safer, smoother flow of traffic for the more than 17,600 people who travel this area each day.
Interstate 20 also supports major rail operations, such as the Kansas City Southern Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad.
The KCS Meridian Speedway parallels I-20 connecting Dallas to Meridian, Mississippi, and is a major rail artery connecting the northeast United States to Mexico. The railroad is currently being upgraded, and the expanded route will operate as many as 48 trains a day along this section through Rayville, carrying the equivalent of 100 boxcars every half hour.
Union Pacific Connects to the KCS in Monroe and operates through Bastrop north of Rayville - providing this area with even more access for moving crops and other goods.
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