News for Thursday 031413
By Dave Graichen
Two legislative budget committees meet together today, to hear the first details of Governor Jindal's proposed tax reforms. The basic plan is to eliminate income taxes, while raising some sales taxes and enacting taxes where none existed before. The House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Committee will get some much-anticipated information on how the Governor proposes
to eliminate income taxes, while staying "revenue neutral". Mr. Jindal says today's meeting is the first step in a lengthy process.
The Coast Guard says a burning oil pipeline in Bayou Perot, that was struck by a barge and tugboat, may keep burning another day or more before the oil inside burns itself out. The collision is under
investigation. Four members of the tugboat crew were injured.
Authorities in New Iberia are investigating the stabbing death of a 34 year-old woman. She was stabbed repeatedly and allegedly by her 13 year old step-son. The woman's body and was discovered by a
family friend. The teen was arrested without incident.
Barksdale Air Force Base reports that defense cuts brought about by the federal budget sequestration mean the annual Defenders of Liberty Air show has been cancelled. The show was scheduled for the
first weekend in May. The cancellation of the air show could result in the loss of some $5-million in economic impact for the Shreveport-Bossier area.
Although Gov. Bobby Jindal has rejected the idea, legislators said Wednesday they want more information about Medicaid expansion and what its impact would be on Louisiana. Sen. Committee Chairman Dan Morrish said after the meeting, the people of the state need to know we are making the right decision. The new federal health care law would expand Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor and some elderly, to include people who make too much money to qualify for government insurance but too little to buy private policies
A legislator from New Orleans has pre-filed a bill that would not subject those who are booked with possessing marijuana to the mandatory minimum sentences. Rep. Austin Badon says people who are busted with a small amount of pot should not be taken away from their jobs and
families and have their lives destroyed.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany introduces federal legislation aimed at assuring certain welfare benefits aren't used to by illegal drugs. Boustany says working people have to stay clean to keep a job, and eligibility for welfare benefits should be no different. Boustany's House Resolution 1069 would affect recipients of any public assistance via the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF) program. He says recipients who test positive for drugs would have benefits suspended--with
provisions to provide for their dependent children.
The state Department of Natural Resources has granted the first of three permits needed for two new salt caverns under Lake Peigneur (pen-YUR) in Iberia Parish and many local residents are not happy
about it. They say these two new salt caverns could cause a sinkhole, water contamination, or explosions. But DNR says this permit deals strictly with dredging, not drilling.
Governor Jindal met today with Texas Brine, owners of the salt dome underneath the Assumption Parish Sinkhole. The Governor says the company will begin the process of offering property buyouts to the hundreds of residents who've been evacuated since last August.
Bobby Jindal's appointees on the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission are upset the governor keeps taking money away from the artificial reef fund to fill holes in the budget. Jindal and lawmakers have taken 45-million dollars out of the reef fund since 2010 and the governor is proposing to divert 21-more million dollars from this fund to stave off cuts to higher education.
This afternoon marks the start of L-S-U's spring football practice. Head coach Les Miles says this year's team is quite different from last year's team, after losing several key players to graduation or the N-F-L
Draft. However, Miles says spring practice gives all players, both new and veteran, a great opportunity to improve...
The younger brother of former L-S-U quarterback Jordan Jefferson, Rickey Jefferson, is in trouble with the law. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office says L-S-U signee Rickey Jefferson allegedly
attacked a sheriff's deputy as the deputy was arresting one of Jefferson's friends on February 2nd along a Mardi Gras parade route. L-S-U head coach Les Miles said he cannot comment on the ongoing
situation without having all of the facts.