News for Monday 040714
By Dave Graichen
A new poll on Louisiana's US Senate race shows Senator Mary Landrieu leading three republican challengers. In a survey of 600 voters, 39-percent favored her, while 26-percent preferred GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy. State representative Paul Hollis and retired air force colonel Rob Maness received single digit support in the poll. 28-percent of respondents said they were undecided.
A look ahead to the 2015 governor's race shows a statistical tie between republican senator David Vitter and democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Vitter is running, while it's unknown if Landrieu will run. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross doesn't expect Landrieu to run, so it's Vitter's race to lose. In the Magellan Strategies poll of 600 voters, Vitter received support from 28-percent of the respondents, 26-percent said they would vote for Landrieu and another 13-percent backed republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
Grambling State President Frank Pogue announces he's retiring and his last day at the university is June 30th. Pogue says when he came out of retirement to take the job as GSU's president, he planned to stay for five years, but that wasn’t to be. Pogue says the last few years have been challenging as the university's state funding was cut by more than 56-percent.
Today marks the start of Work Zone Awareness Week and the State Department of Transportation is asking motorists to slow down in construction zones and pay attention. DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas says this awareness week makes drivers more mindful of safety issues on the road. Based on the latest statistics available, 609 people nationwide lost their lives in construction zones in 2012 and 12 were from Louisiana.
The bill that will create a penalty for throwing cigarette butts from a vehicle is set to come up on the House floor today. State Representative Patrick Connick says he wants to clarify the law and make cigarette butts count as a form of litter. Under the proposed law, violators would be fined 300 dollars and ordered to perform eight hours of community service. The Marrero rep says when the bill was discussed in committee there was no opposition because lawmakers seem to understand this is an issue.
A bill that a lawmaker from Opelousas fears will ruin the sport of chicken boxing is scheduled to come up on the Senate floor today. The legislation by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell expands Louisiana's ban on cockfighting by applying all chickens to the law and also making it illegal to own such paraphernalia. Senator Elbert Guillory opposes. Guillory says under Senate Bill 523, anyone who owns any type of aggressive chicken would be breaking the law which he calls ludicrous. He says it's time for everyone in Louisiana to realize that "chicken boxing" is a real sport and it's perfectly legal.
State Senator Bret Allain, R-Franklin, wants legislators to be able to pack a pistol in the State Capitol chambers and committee rooms. According to the lawmaker, they make votes all the time that are controversial, that sometimes upset groups of people. He think that legislators as a whole should have the same right to protect themselves as judges and Da’s Allain submitted Senate Bill 651 just before the filing deadline for new legislation. The bill must be debated in the next two months in order to reach the governor’s desk.