News for Wednesday 041013
By Dave Graichen
The Pineville City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday backing legislation that would allow the city to hold an election on the “restaurant only” option to sell alcohol in the city. . Senate Bill 116 has been pre-filed for the state legislative session that started Monday. The people of Pineville could get a chance to vote as early as October on the matter.
The Jindal administration says if lawmakers pass a bill to phase out state income taxes, the loss of revenue does not have to be entirely offset. Revenue Department spokesman Tim Barfield told Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee members yesterday that such a bill would not HAVE to be "revenue neutral' for the Governor to sign it. The Governor said Monday, he's putting his own tax swap plan on hold, tossing that ball to legislators to handle.
The state's Democratic Party says the legislature should not address tax reform legislation at all this year. House Democratic Caucus chairman John Bel Edwards, of Amite, says the bigger priority should be passing a state budget that won't result in more mid-year budget cuts. However, The state's Republican Party urges residents to tell their local legislators if they want an end to state income tax. Louisiana GOP
director Jason Dore' suspects a majority would like those taxes to go away.
Tuesday, the Louisiana Hospital Association endorsed Medicaid expansion. John Matessino, president of Louisiana Hospital Association, said it is “critically important for Louisiana to take advantage of the significant federal resources available to expand health care coverage.” According to Matessino, increasing the number of individuals who have health care coverage will help to offset the cost of uninsured care, help stabilize insurance premiums and ebb cost-shifting to the private insurance market. Governor Jindal’s administration insists the state will not go along with the Medicaid Expansion.
President Obama will reveal today his federal budget plan, which is expected to contain significant cuts in Social Security benefits, something Louisiana retirees dread. AARP Louisiana spokesperson Denise Bottcher says annual cost of living increases would be calculated using the so-called "chained" Consumer Price Index to reduce spending. The White House says doing so will reduce federal spending by $130-Billion over ten years. Bottcher says that'll be disastrous to Louisiana retirees, who collect, on average, about $13-thousand a year from Social Security. She hopes Louisiana congressional delegates are paying attention
A bill that would create an "I'm Cajun" license plate has passed in committee and is headed to the House Floor. The bill is by Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval who says fees generated from the prestige plate would be used to help fund scholarships to France for students who want to teach French Immersion programs in Louisiana. And no.. you don’t have to be a pure blooded Cajun to purchase one..
A Livingston Parish man accused of stabbing his wife and ripping an unborn fetus from her womb has changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. 31-year-old Jeffery Reynolds' initial plea was not guilty. The sheriff's office says Reynolds told detectives he smoked herbal incense and began having visions when he allegedly cut the fetus
from his wife last October.
Lottery officials say a woman from Greensburg had to dig an old Powerball ticket out of her trash when she realized she hadn't checked the numbers that ended up being worth $10,000. Joyce Womack's ticket was for the March 23rd drawing.
A new fence and netting system has not helped contain the black dust being released by the Industrial Carbon Services Company in Lake Charles. So now an investigation by DEQ is looking into the possible health hazards that could occur from breathing it in. City leaders are also checking into zoning issues and other possible violations. The black dust has been a concern of residents since last summer.
Bossier Parish Sheriff's investigators say a Princeton woman swindled her own grandmother out of over $100-thousand; used to buy cars, computers and more without the elderly woman's knowledge. 35-year-old Allison Jones is charged wth money laundering, identity theft, felony theft and racketeering. She's now in the Bossier Maximum Security Facility, pending a $130,000 bond. Jones says she
didn't steal anything.
Shreveport PD is asking for the public's help in locating a "Craigslist Bandit" who posts fake stuff for sale then collects money wired to him. The suspect never produces the items and pockets the victims cash -- at times as much as $850. $500.00 reward being offered.
Officials in Terrebonne Parish will vote today on a proposal that would ban saggy pants. If passed, anyone who wears pants in public that hang below the belt line could be punished. Neighboring Lafourche Parish has already passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to reveal underwear in public.
Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry is staying in the political spotlight by launching a conservative super PAC on Tuesday to help support more far-right Republicans in congressional races nationally and in Louisiana. Landry’s new “Restore our Republic” political action committee comes a few months after the one-term congressman’s defeat in a congressional race against U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, and while Landry, R-New Iberia, was mulling a challenge of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in 2014.