Group launches site to save CODOFIL
FrancoJeunes, a group of young French-speaking professionals, has launched an online campaign to raise money to offset Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cut of funds to the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.
The “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” campaign came in response to Jindal’s stripping of $100,000 from CODOFIL in the state budget that went into effect July 1.
“FrancoJeunes is asking all Louisianians who value the French language and culture in their state as well as world-wide supporters of French in Louisiana to contribute $1 each to the cause,” according to a news release on the campaign’s launch.
More information may be found at www.facebook.com/100kla.
Former Gov. Blanco has 10th grandchild
Former Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and her husband, Coach, are grandparents for the 10th time.
The Blancos’ son and daughter-in-law, Ray Blanco and Aprill Springfield, welcomed Raymond Sindo Blanco III June 15 in Shreveport, said the former governor’s spokeswoman, Marie Centanni.
“Ray is a really cute baby, and I’m not prejudiced at all!” the former governor said in a prepared statement.
The baby’s parents met when Springfield worked as an advisor to Kathleen Blanco. They married in 2010.
on fiscal crusades
State Rep. Vic Stelly, of Lake Charles, led the charge 10 years ago to repeal the state sales tax on groceries and utilities in exchange for shifting some into a higher tax bracket.
A decade later, the Stelly plan still is fodder for discussion in State Capitol circles.
State Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, moved into Stelly’s chair in the Louisiana House when he succeeded him.
Like Stelly, Geymann emerged as a leader on financial issues. He wants to end the state’s reliance on one-time, or nonrecurring, money to pay expenses that must be met year after year.
“Some might say it is something in the water. I would suggest there are fiscal leaders across the state and us being from the same district is simply a coincidence,” Geymann said.
Dardenne to award Aretha at Essence
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne will participate in the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on Sunday night, presenting what he calls “The Essence of Essence Award” to legendary singer Aretha Franklin.
Dardenne said Franklin is the “essence” of what the annual celebration is about. It’s “good music and the empowerment of African-American women,” he said.
The same evening, Franklin — known as the “Queen of Soul” — will receive the Essence “Power Award” for four decades of hits including “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “Think.”
The event is billed as the largest gathering of black artists in the country. The Essence Fest began in 1995 as a one-time event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine. Organizers say last year’s festival attracted more than 422,000 attendees.
Jindal: Fed funding shouldn’t fund care
Defending his decision not to expand Medicaid in Louisiana under the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Bobby Jindal said on “Meet the Press” last weekend that most children in the state already have health care coverage.
“I do want to say in Louisiana, 96.5 percent of our kids do have coverage ... We’re simply saying a new government entitlement program’s not the way to get this done,” Jindal said.
The governor did not mention that many children in Louisiana receive their health care coverage through federal programs, such as Medicaid.
Meghan Speakes, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Hospitals, said 721,882 children under the age of 19 are covered by Medicaid in Louisiana.
The 2010 U.S. Census counted 1.1 million children under age 18 in Louisiana.
La. candidates must file finance reports
A new law kicks in Aug. 1 that will require more candidates to file campaign finance reports.
Candidates for “any other” public office must start filing once their expenditure threshold hits $2,500 no matter the source of the funds.
That sweeps in candidates running for offices in districts under 35,000 population.
Statewide and other district level candidates such as legislators, parish-wide officials and judges are covered by different reporting rules.
Previously, the reporting has been triggered by a contribution of $200 or more from any source or expenditures of $5,000. The $200 or more contribution trigger remains.
Norton to take job with D.C. council
Veteran state Department of Education official Scott Norton is taking a new job with the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C.
Norton is the department’s nationally recognized assistant superintendent for standards, assessments and accountability.
He has been with the Department of Education for 18 years. His last day on the job will be Friday.
Norton said he and his family will continue to reside in Baton Rouge.
“I’m not a mover. I’m a commuter,” Norton said. He’ll work part-time on-site at Council of Chief State School Officers offices and part-time from home, Norton said.
Dr. Ritchey to speak at Press Club lunch
Dr. Ron Ritchey, chief medical officer at eQHealth Solutions, will address the Press Club of Baton Rouge at noon Monday.
Ritchey will talk about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal health care legislation and how that may affect Louisiana residents on Medicaid.
The Press Club meets at De La Ronde Hall in downtown Baton Rouge, 320 Third St. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and members of the news media are allowed to ask questions.
GOP women guests
to address violence
The monthly meeting Thursday of the Capital City Republican Women focuses on domestic violence and restraining orders.
Judges Pam Baker, Charlene Day and Annette Lassalle, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court are scheduled guest speakers.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at BREC Independence Park building near the tennis courts, 7500 Independence Blvd. in Baton Rouge. It is open to the public.
Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.