News for Tuesday 052813
By Dave Graichen
A bill that would ban publishing names or addresses of those who apply for, or have been granted, concealed weapon permits could clear its last legislative hurdle today. Bossier City Rep. Jeff Thompson says the bill was triggered by the New York Times printing CCP holders' addresses. Some of those folks were burglarized afterward; their guns stolen. The bill has already been passed in the House and the Senate. It's scheduled today on the House floor for concurrence on changes made in the Senate. After that it goes to the Governor's desk.
Legislation designed to create more details on privatization contracts effectively died Monday afternoon in a state Senate committee. The Jindal administration opposed House Bill 240, arguing it would curtail efforts to turn state government functions over to the private sector. HB240’s sponsor, state Rep. Kenny Havard, told the Senate Committee on Finance that he just wants to ensure that the deals save taxpayers money. Legislators complained that Havard’s 12-page bill was complicated.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says pickup truck drivers and passengers have the lowest level of seat-belt use at 72%. That's despite state law that requires all passengers in vehicles to wear a seat belt. Executive director, Colonel John Leblanc, notes that's especially important in pickup trucks. Over 150 un-belted people riding in pickup trucks were killed in accidents in 2011.
Though still over two years away, prospective candidates for Governor in 2015 are already fundraising. With no official announcements, both David Vitter and Jay Dardenne are scheduling events with, and for, financial backers. Senator David Vitter has appearances scheduled for political action groups who support him in state and federal races. Secretary of State Jay Dardenne is also engaged in fundraising appearances and events. Neither man has declared his plans to run for the office. Although, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne has said on several talk shows he would like to do so.
State Police say a suspected impaired driver ran across the median and head-on into a another car early Sunday morning on U.S. 61 in St. Charles Parish--killing three people. The driver and two passengers in the other vehicle were pronounced dead. A toxicology test is ordered for the motorist who lost control.
A 32-year veteran of the U-S Air Force is challenging democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. Rob Maness of Madisonville is a retired Air Force colonel, who has never run for political office. Maness says while serving in the Armed Forces he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and he says Congress is not living up to
that same oath. Maness joins Baton Rouge Congressman Bill Cassidy as the two
announced republican challengers to Landrieu. The election will be held in the fall of next year.
Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest in Tiger Stadium this weekend say they WILL be back for a 5th anniversary BCS next year. The Zac Brown Band closed the two-day show late Sunday night, to the delight of thousands of fans who crowded into Death Valley. The city of Baton Rouge says the festival brings an estimated $30-million in economic impact.
With over a week to go in the legislative session, Governor Bobby Jindal has signed a handful of bills into law that were approved by lawmakers. One of those bills makes it illegal to possess or purchase the different chemical compounds needed to make the synthetic drug known as 25-I. The bill was sponsored after a Little Rock
resident died after taking 25-I at last year's Voodoo Fest in New Orleans.
Work to raise the funds needed to build a National Hurricane Museum in Lake Charles continue to move forward. Gray Stream is chairman of the museum's board of directors. He says talks with corporations have gotten the project off to a good start towards their $70-million goal, raising about $14-million, in mostly corporate donations, for the museum. The museum will be built near the Lake Charles Civic Center, where it can be easily seen and accessed from Interstate 10.
Someone purchased a Powerball ticket in the New Orleans area that matched all six numbers from Saturday night's drawing. The jackpot was 50-million dollars, which will be split three ways as winning tickets were also sold in Florida and Delaware.
LSU Baseball will play Jackson State Friday afternoon to open up the Baton Rouge Regional. U-L Lafayette and Sam Houston State are the other two schools in the regional. The Tigers and Cajuns will play each other on Saturday night if they both win on Friday. LSU is a national four seed, even though they just won the SEC Tournament. But Coach Paul Mainieri says the important thing is that they are a top eight national seed and will have the opportunity to host a super-regional.