Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
"There is no place like Louisiana on this earth, and I think that when my days are over, I’ll find heaven to be no different from Louisiana – maybe a little bit cooler in the summer. "
Governor Mike Foster
Governor Foster passed away last week, leaving a legacy of numerous positive accomplishments during his time in public life. I worked closely with the governor on a number of important issues during the time I served as Insurance Commissioner.
<h2>Louisiana students on wrong side of digital divide<h2
Our illustrious state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in Louisiana has just released a startling report. Over 25% of students, some 179,000 throughout the state, have no internet access. Yet the vast majority of school districts teach a good part of the week virtually over the internet. There are some 403,000 househ0lds that have NO internet connection.
Say what? I’m sure I’m not hearing this right. After spending millions of dollars in lobbying for so called tort reform, and promising that limiting policyholders’ legal rights will cause a major reduction in the cost of automobile insurance, the industry seems to be taking an “about-face”. Here’s what the Morning Advocate reported this week:
“Louisiana drivers will pay the highest prices for auto insurance in the nation next year despite having passed a sweeping tort reform law that was sold as a way to dramatically lower premiums by as much as 25%, an insurance industry executive, who was one of the primary forces behind the legislation, told a panel of primarily Republican businessmen and legislators, who helped pass the new law.”
Is Louisiana a judicial hellhole where decisions by state judges are influenced by campaign contributions? Apparently, the Louisiana legislature and business lobbying groups think so. In the recent legislative session, laws were passed taking away the authority of state judges to make decisions involving small claims above $10,000. Evidently elected judges often do not make fair decisions. Or at least that what insurance companies and other business groups want you to believe.
If you’re a book publisher like me, and want to sell a lot of books, there’s no better time than during a pandemic. Book sales have been high for months, particularly the big box stores like Walmart, Target, Costco, as well as bookstores nationwide. Some of the titles published by The Lisburn Press have sales that have tripled in recent months. If you’re stuck inside, what better way to pass time by reading a book.
Cajun cuisine has always been unique, delightfully spicy, and thoroughly enjoyable for those that live or visit South Louisiana. But for many years, it was always a local thing. That all changed with the arrival of Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s. He became an internationally known superstar chef who brought the taste of Cajun and creole cooking worldwide.
Did you hear the news? The Louisiana legislature has passed new laws that will dramatically reduce your automobile insurance rates. By 25% says the insurance commissioner. And by the end of the year. Wow! I can hardly wait to spend my savings. Well, don’t hold your breath.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am confused about all this current debate over gender equity, gay rights, and transgenders, especially with new rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. I keep reading in the newspaper about LGBT. I had to look up the lettering to even know what the abbreviation means. Being “politically correct” has become an obsession with much of the country as well as right here at home in Louisiana.
Republicans just a few weeks ago were scouring major cities across the country to find a new location for their national convention, scheduled for mid-August. The GOP had originally planned to congregate in Charlotte North Carolina, but the governor set extremely strict standards for any type of large gathering. President Trump seems dead set on going to a more friendly environment. New Orleans was initially in the running.
There is a huge financial stake involved, with some 40,000 conventioneers projected to be attendance at wherever the location may be. The economic impact is estimated to be well over $200 million. Such conventions prove to be a huge financial generator for hotels, restaurants, cab drivers, bars and a whole host of local of entertainment options the fuel the local economy of any convention city.
It looks like it’s time to get out the soap powder in Louisiana and the rest of the nation. In protests all over the country, there is a growing call for the banishment of whatever tattered remnants are left from the aftermath of the Civil War. Not just flags, but monuments, names, Dukes of Hazzard, Aunt Jemima syrup, Uncle Ben’s rice, Gone with the Wind, they all gotta go. The cultural cleansing in the Bayou state has begun.