During last year’s presidential campaign, Republican standard-bearer Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, came to Baton Rouge to survey damage from August’s catastrophic flood, their visit throwing a much-needed national spotlight on the…
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
In the midst of devastation, New Orleans had an election in 2006. With voters dispersed around the country and post-Katrina conditions in the city, the state's chief elections officer amazingly orchestrated the mayoral and council voting in a way …
As the state struggles to pay its bills, lawmakers are considering whether to change the name of the state’s boarding school for gifted children — a move that could cost nearly $200,000, according to school officials. Legislators should reject thi…
Sunday, May 21, 2017
With a decision of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a lawsuit brought by a New Orleans-area levee board appears to be at an end, but the legal issues involving the coast don’t end there.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
In a key vote, the state House is looking at a significant increase in the tax on motor fuels. But it’s not as if the 17-cents-a-gallon increase proposed is really that much of a hike, given that the last time that tax went up was 28 years ago.
With the removal of Robert E. Lee’s likeness from its prominent perch at the center of Lee Circle, New Orleans now has four fewer public monuments linked to the Confederacy.
Friday, May 19, 2017
A sense of crisis would engulf a Legislature in a normal state with a situation like this: “The highest sales tax rates in the land, credit downgrades, critical infrastructure needs, and sliding tax climate rankings don’t provide the best optics t…
Thursday, May 18, 2017
A weekend of tough negotiations has produced a compromise package of bills that represent a constructive effort to tackle Louisiana's bloated prison population.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
With the state budget swimming in red ink, and no coherent plan afloat in the Legislature to resolve the crisis, Louisiana’s lawmakers nevertheless found time this week to weigh in on how local governments should handle Confederate monuments.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Hard times for the state and its budget are forcing a long-overdue reassessment of the corporate tax giveaways that have cost the state hundreds of millions, if not billions over time.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
With a budget crisis in full bloom at the State Capitol, some lawmakers have sought to steer federal funds toward a diversion project. The Comite canal is only partly done, but is intended to mitigate, eventually, some of the flooding in the Amite…
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
In 2016, for the first time, a budget deadlock between governor and Legislature led to cutbacks that have hit many students in the pocketbook this spring, a reduction in the TOPS tuition waivers.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
A three-cornered battle involving traditional cabs, state vs. local regulators and innovators like Uber and Lyft may have a casualty: consumer information, which would be locked from public view.
Even with powerful elected officials like sheriffs and district attorneys protecting their turf, the prospects for real prison reform and prisoner rehabilitation were bright enough this year. Instead, a package of relatively uncontroversial bills …
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
The Civil War, which includes a legacy still being debated in the ongoing controversy over the planned removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans, was a tragedy that resulted because Americans could not peacefully resolve their political diff…
Sunday, May 07, 2017
Every two years, Louisiana’s economic development agency issues a report demonstrating that our film subsidy program is a massive waste of money. The state then ignores the report and continues throwing cash at Hollywood studios that claim to love…
Saturday, May 06, 2017
The Legislature is halfway through its 2017 session, but progress has been slow on essential reforms designed to help Louisiana shed its title as the nation’s leading jailer.
The GOP-led state House of Representatives’ version of the budget bill is likely to undergo substantial revisions in the Senate.
Friday, May 05, 2017
It is the season of the Louisiana Legislature’s annual meetings, so it is a time of budget battles that we think deserve some new thinking. Like, for instance, yours.
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
In deciding not to bring charges against two Baton Rouge police officers involved in the death of Alton Sterling, federal officials have added a new chapter to a shooting that captured international attention last summer.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Months after the controversial shooting death of a black man during a struggle with Baton Rouge police, federal investigators have decided not to charge the officers involved with criminal wrongdoing, according to reports.
The ongoing debate about government’s role in health care involves a compelling reality – namely, that when elected officials are charged with guiding help for the sick and the elderly, political expedience can trump policy choices that do the mos…
Monday, May 01, 2017
Louisiana has America’s tallest state capitol, but the people who do the lawmaking in the tower that Huey Long built often have short memories. Thanks to term limit provisions that kicked in after Hurricane Katrina, many legislators are relatively…
The chairwoman of New Orleans’ Regional Transit Authority took extraordinary measures to conduct a secret search for an executive director of her agency.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
A cat is supposed to have nine lives, but only a couple of days of hearings served to erase Gov. John Bel Edwards' CAT, or commercial activity tax. What is yet to be clear is whether this short-term failure means that legislators are giving up on …
Saturday, April 29, 2017
For a spring election date, voters around the state will see some significant decisions on today's ballots, including a primary election to fill a vacancy in the state Senate seat for the river parishes, and a number of important tax propositions …
Thursday, April 27, 2017
If we could condense our reaction to recent revelations about Baton Rouge’s Council on Aging to a bumper sticker, it might read: “Don’t blame us. We voted no.”
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
A decade ago, a prosperous American state faced a dilemma. Its budget was sagging under the weight of a growing prison population, and there was no end in sight. So the state’s leaders did something bold: They reformed their criminal justice syste…
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said she’s disappointed by the man she picked as her top lieutenant, who resigned Friday after just a week on the job amid revelations that his resume was a sham.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
If you are in favor of sensible criminal justice policies, are you soft on crime? We don't think so, but at the drop of a legislative hat, some lawmakers are ready to malign the motives of reformers.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Perhaps, after finding about the pilfering of benefits funds for employees, and using state workers to improve wardens' estates, people might have thought that we have seen the last of self-dealing at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
There’s not much good to say about North Korea, a totalitarian country that’s been rattling its nuclear saber recently, causing America and the world no end of grief.
Louisiana is not only America’s incarceration capital, we’re so far ahead of Oklahoma and other Southern states that the statistics are embarrassing.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Perhaps it sounds a little odd, but people both in Louisiana and elsewhere are sometimes fuzzy about the differences between the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, expanded Medicaid, and “Obamacare” — the politically charged term that inv…
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, but it will be a downfall of Louisiana’s universities struggling to drive economic and social growth in the Bayou State.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Good Friday, the most solemn day in the Christian church, is an occasion to reflect on the suffering that often touches the human experience, and how that suffering connects us with each other — and with the wider currents of history.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Come, let us reason together, the Scripture quoted by Gov. John Bel Edwards goes. But Isaiah may have had an easier task rallying the children of Israel than the governor does gaining traction in the Legislature to change Louisiana’s disastrous bu…
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
After a presidential campaign that cast a dark view of global trade, Louisiana residents got a fresh reminder this week of how connected our economy is with the rest of the world.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Louisiana did not set any great records in the economic sweepstakes lately, but a very small rise in personal income in the state is better news than in some other resource-dependent economies around the nation.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
If accountants use pencils any more, there will be an awful lot of them scratching away because of Gov. John Bel Edwards' far-reaching plans to stabilize Louisiana's long-troubled budget. The last part of the above is why we believe that Edwards' …
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the Metro Council are looking at spending several million dollars to equip every patrol officer with body cameras, one of the responses that the new Baton Rouge administration seeks to make in the wake of t…
Friday, April 07, 2017
Gov. John Bel Edwards flew up to Capitol Hill with a laundry list of federal regulations and bureaucratic rules that have stood in the way of Louisiana’s recovery from the disastrous floods of 2016.