News for Monday 031813
By Dave Graichen
A vehicle in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s security detail struck a utility pole Sunday afternoon while returning the governor home from his son’s soccer game. The governor’s spokesman, Sean Lansing, said Jindal was not injured in the three-vehicle accident. One of the governor’s bodyguards went to a hospital with minor injuries. At the time of the accident, the governor was returning home in a two-vehicle caravan. State Police said the crash happened when a truck made an illegal U-turn in front of the governor’s vehicles. The truck scraped the side of the vehicle carrying the governor and a state trooper. A second vehicle in the governor’s security detail took “evasive action” to avoid hitting the crashed vehicles and struck a utility pole.
Governor Bobby Jindal tied for 8th place with Sarah Palin in a poll of 2016 GOP presidential candidate choices at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Jindal spoke at the CPAC - jokingly mentioning how unlikely it would be for "a skinny guy with dark complexion and a funny name" to be elected president. The CPAC straw poll put Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in front, followed closely by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Also ahead of Jindal in the poll, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan and New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says he will not run for U-S Senate next year. Dardenne said he would "ponder" whether to challenge democratic three- term incumbent Mary Landrieu. But after two weeks of thinking about it, Dardenne told John Maginnis of LaPolitics Weekly he loves his job as Lt. Governor and has no desire to run for Senate. Dardenne thought about running for U-S Senate after a statewide poll showed he would fare well against Landrieu in a head-to-head match-up.
Uncertainty over Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed 2013-14 budget for public colleges and universities is sparking widespread alarm both at the Capitol and on Louisiana’s campuses. The distress is twofold. This year’s proposed $209 million budget cut would make six straight years that the governor and legislators have taken an ax to college and university state revenues. Secondly, much of the money earmarked for higher education is speculative and may not materialize at all. Jindal’s budget proposal also counts on schools making up some, but not all, of their shrinking budgets with tuition increases.
Officials with the Monroe Regional Airport say the FAA will make a decision this week on whether or not to close the control tower there. Local officials are lobbying the FAA to keep the tower open. There are five airports in Louisiana that could lose their air traffic control staff due to sequestration.
The National Federation of Independent Business has mixed feelings on Governor Bobby Jindal's proposed tax reforms. The plan would end income taxes, while raising state sales tax from 4% to 5.88%. NFIB Director Rene Amar says some small businesses like the idea of a tax swap. Jindal's plan also proposes to tax services at places like hair salons, dog groomers, landscapers and others. Amar says sales tax collections may be too complicated for some small business systems. She says there are a lot of unknowns about the proposed tax reforms at this point and small business owners are waiting to see the full list of services Jindal is proposing to tax.
About 170 workers at Dean Foods' Oak Farms Dairy in Shreveport will soon be out of a job. The positions are being phased out as the company scales back production. The Shreveport area has had tough jobs news lately, with the closure of the GM plant last summer, and layoffs at Libby Glass, announced last month.
Reforms of the National Flood Insurance Program will likely mean higher premium rates for residents in extreme south Louisiana. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says federal subsidies and rate discounts have been chopped from the NFIP, as a result of flood insurance reforms recently passed by Congress. He says it is regrettable, but the NFIP is currently running an $18-billion deficit.
A Lockport man was busted for video voyeurism, after admitting he took photos looking up a woman's skirt at a Galliano Subway restaurant. 28-year-old Jeremy Perry took the digital images while standing behind the woman in line, without her knowledge. After she left, he showed the photos to some others at the Subway and even e-mailed a picture to another person.
A former Baton Rouge city prosecutor was found dead in a Denham Springs hotel, and police are seeking the woman seen with him there as a person of interest in the case Wilburt Jordan Jr. was once Assistant Secretary of DEQ, and an assistant attorney general. The manner of his death has not been released. Police want to question the woman, once they determine who she is.
Lt Governor Jay Dardenne says he can't afford repairs to Louisiana's state parks damaged after Hurricane Isaac. Dardenne says in recent years the Jindal Administration has shifted money away from the park maintenance fund and there's another proposal to do just that in the budget up for debate this session. Dardenne says it's frustrating that he can't put the cabins back into service at Fountainbleau park which generate money for the state. He says Jindal wants to use $9 million from the maintenance fund for park operations in the budget for the upcoming 2013-14 year.