KSYL Local News

News For Friday 06/07/13


News for Friday 060713

By Dave Graichen

 

State  lawmakers  have,  in  the  closing  hours  of the legislative session,  passed  a  $25.4-Billion  state  budget. This  averts  the necessity for a special budget session as was feared by many, just a day ago. The Senate approved the compromised  budget  bill by a 38-1 vote.  The  House  vote  was  unanimous. The budget deal includes  a

$69-million increase in funding  for  local  school  districts,  and small raise for school teachers. The budget deal has the approval of Governor  Jindal.  The Governor has already singed bills that change the way future budgets may be put together.

 

Public school teachers will see pay raises of about $500 under a budget compromise that won final approval less than an hour before adjournment Thursday, officials said.

The salary increase would stem from a surprising boost of $69 million in state aid to public schools, which was a key part of the late-session agreement on Louisiana’s $25.4 billion operating budget. Under the plan, half of the money would be used for certificated personnel, teachers and others, and the other 50 percent would be left to the discretion of local school districts.

 

The State Bond Commission signed off Thursday on a refinancing of Louisiana’s tobacco settlement bonds that will take advantage of low interest rates and generate more than $60 million to plug into next year’s budget. The dollars were included in the 2013-14 budget under negotiation by lawmakers to help pay for the state’s free college tuition program called TOPS, so passage was needed to keep the $25 billion spending plan in balance. The state will save an estimated $144 million over three years.

 

The congressional fight to avoid potentially skyrocketing flood insurance rate increases in Louisiana and elsewhere made its first tangible gains Thursday. The U.S. House approved legislation that would delay the rate hikes on “grandfathered” properties by a year. Nearly 500,000 people in Louisiana participate in the NFIP. The program has been in financial distress with a loss of more than $20 billion, largely due to payments made after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

 

To celebrate National Get Outdoors Day, the U.S. Forest Service will waive most recreation use fees such as day-use areas that include picnic sites, swimming and boating sites in Kisatchie National Forest on Saturday. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says this weekend is a free for all fishing weekend for Louisiana citizens and visitors.  Spokesman Bo Boehringer says that means you can  recreationally fish in fresh or salt water without a fishing license. -- June 8th and 9th.

 He says they use this weekend as a recruitment tool in hopes to inspire Louisiana's youth to make fishing a lifelong hobby

 

A 29-year-old Kenner man  has  been  arrested  in the kidnapping and rape of a 7-year-old girl in Metairie. Deputies  say  the  girl  was kidnapped  Wednesday afternoon by a man who entered through a broken gate at her  apartment complex. Overnight, they caught up with David Carter, who  will  face  charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child and aggravated rape.

 

Southwest Louisiana will be the place to  win championships for high school  athletes over the next two  years. The  LHSAA  awarded  Lake Charles' Burton Coliseum as the host site for the girls and boys Top 28 basketball tournament. All seven  baseball  state championship games will also be played in southwest  Louisiana as  the  games  will  be  played  at  Sulphur's McMurray Park.

 

The  House bill aimed  at  protecting  the  privacy  of  Louisiana's concealed  weapon  permit holders has won final legislative passage. The bill imposes fines of up to $10-thousand  on anyone who releases or  publishes  the confidential information about  who  has  or  has applied for a CWP. He says Governor Jindal supported the legislation

and is expected to give it his signature.

 

Governor  Jindal has officially named Timothy Barfield the Secretary of Revenue.  Barfield  has pretty much run the department ever since the  departure  of Cynthia  Bridges  last  year.  Barfield  will  be compensated at around  $250-thousand  a year; twice what Bridges was paid. Barfield officially takes the title July 1st. He's also served

as  executive director of the Louisiana Workforce  Commission  during The Governor’s  1st term.

 

LSU will face one of the top pitchers in the country in Game 1 of their super regional series with Oklahoma. Tigers right-hander Aaron Nola will oppose Sooner righty Jonathan Gray. Game 1 of the best of 3 Super Regional Series starts on tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday if necessary at 5:30p.

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