News for Monday 012014
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana's largest automotive insurer has announced they're raising rates by an average of 3.4 percent. State Farm insurance also says that premiums for liability, med pay, collision and comprehensive coverage are also increasing. The increase will become effective next month.
It was announced on Friday that G. Daniel “Dan” Howard was named the next chancellor of Louisiana State University of Alexandria. The 64 year old Howard is a tenured full professor at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., who has served as its vice chancellor for academic affairs, provost and interim chancellor. He will begin the job March 1, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
The Jindal administration did an about-face Saturday and announced that a controversial contract will be amended to ensure at least $500 million in savings are identified before a consulting firm receives final payment. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said New York-based Alvarez and Marsal agreed to the change. She said an amendment will be attached to the contract. The Jindal administration told legislators the goal of the $4.2 million contract with the global management firm was to identify how state government can save a minimum of $500 million. However, neither the contract nor the original 80-page job description spelled out achieving the benchmark as a requirement for payment.
Four states, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, would again have to get approval from the Justice Department before changing the way they hold elections under a bipartisan bill introduced last week to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional. Supporters said the bill, introduced Thursday, would modernize and improve the 1965 civil rights legislation by updating a formula used to require certain states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing election laws and practices.
A Bossier City lawmaker files a bill that would allow concealed handgun permit holders to possess a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol. State Representative Jeff Thompson says the current law states a person carrying a firearm with a concealed permit cannot go into any place where alcohol is being sold for consumption on the premises. Thompson says he wants to make sure people can protect their families while out in public. Thompson says his proposed law does not allow permit holders to get drunk while possessing their weapon at the same time.
US Senator David Vitter has introduced a bill in Congress that would require food stamp beneficiaries to show a photo ID when they purchase items with SNAP funding. Vitter says the EBT system is riddled with fraud and serious action must be taken to correct what he calls the flawed taxpayer funded program. Vitter says requiring a photo ID when EBT card purchases are made would restore some accountability in the program so it's not ruined for people who use it appropriately.
Congress has approved legislations that will delay large flood insurance rate hikes until 2015 for thousands of policy holder in Louisiana. The measure is part of a government spending bill that's
expected tobe signed by the President. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the U-S senate is scheduled to vote on another bill later this month that will go even further to make sure Louisiana policyholders are not priced out of their homes because of massive flood insurance rate hikes.
Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Walter Lee has be indicted by a grand jury of felony theft, public contract fraud and malfeasance in office. A recent report from the state legislative auditor claims the Lee double billed his travel expenses to the Desoto Parish school system and BESE.
A Livingston Parish School Resource Officer has uncovered a plot where several students were involved in what appeared to be a plan to damage Live Oak High School as well as harm some targeted students. Authorities say that once the students involving were confronted, they all claimed it was all part of a joke. Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard wasn't laughing. Six students have charged with terrorizing.
A fourth home invasion within a week has authorities in Baton Rouge stepping up their efforts to catch the criminal. The break ins have people on edge. Baton Rouge Police Cheif Carl Dabadie said the women should only trust people they know. Three of the home invasions happened to women in their seventies.