Former governor not getting braces
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ wife, Trina, created a minor frenzy on Facebook last week when she posted that a member of her family was getting braces.
Friends jumped to the conclusion that the 85-year-old former governor soon would be sporting a metallic smile. The tone of the responses ranged from sympathetic to incredulous.
“It’s not Edwin ... it’s my son,” Trina Edwards clarified.
Roundtable ponders special session bid
Louisiana Republican legislators discussed Saturday the possibility of calling the Louisiana Legislature into a special session that Gov. Bobby Jindal already has called unnecessary.
The GOP delegation used part of its regularly scheduled meeting to hear from state Rep. Dee Richard, of Thibodaux and who has no party affiliation.
Last week, Richard sent a letter to his colleagues arguing the need for reconvening the Legislature before the regular session starts April 8 to deal with budget problems that have cropped up since lawmakers adjourned in June.
Kenny Havard, R-Jackson, called Saturday’s meeting more of a roundtable discussion. No vote was taken, he said.
Havard said he personally does not see the support materializing for a special session, partly because it would cost about $80,000 a day to hold one.
“Before I vote on a session, I need to know what we’re going to do,” Havard said.
Jindal said last week that a special session is unnecessary and too costly.
Treasurer ponders use for surplus
State Treasurer John Kennedy still is undecided on how to direct an expected $130 million state budget surplus.
The governor wants to use the money for health care bills.
However, legislation seems to direct the treasurer to deposit the money into the state’s “rainy day” fund, which acts as a savings account for rough economic times.
“We haven’t made a final determination yet. We’re conferring with the legislative leadership and the administration on how exactly to move forward,” said Kennedy’s spokesman, Jason Redmond.
State Sen. Morrell
recovers after fall
Democratic state Sen. J.P. Morrell, of New Orleans, was on crutches and suffering from nerve damage in his foot last week after taking a bad fall.
Morrell said he was in his yard teaching his 4-year-old son Jude how to play soccer when his foot clipped a paver stone and sent him sprawling.
“I forgot I’m not 22 years old anymore,” Morrell said.
Prison closure affects families
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater’s family may be counted among the prison workers affected by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to close C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy in November and thereby dissolve hundreds of state jobs.
Rainwater’s spokesman, Michael DiResto, confirmed that the commissioner has a cousin who works at Phelps as a correctional officer.
“He doesn’t know what will happen to his employment,” DiResto said.
As commissioner, Rainwater is the governor’s chief budget adviser.
But state Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, said she is relying on the Lord to get her district through the closure.
“To lose 250, 300 jobs, do you know what that means to a little rural area?” Hill said. “I don’t know how we can survive. But we will. The Lord’s going to prevail.”
Lawmakers head back to school
Legislators are visiting classrooms around the state this month as part of America’s Legislators Back to School program.
Students are learning about the legislative process.
The program is part of the National Conference of State Legislators.
to make state rounds
State Education Superintendent John White is hitting the road for a listening tour.
White plans to visit a number of parishes, including West Feliciana, Orleans and West Carroll. He is scheduled to be in Baton Rouge on Wednesday. School sites were not listed.
In a news release, White said he wants to meet with students, parents, teachers and school leaders.
“If we are going to empower educators and parents to make change for their children, it’s critical that they lead us in the plan’s implementation,” he said in a prepared statement.
Parents urged to
save for kids’ college
State Treasurer John Kennedy and Melanie Amrhein, executive director at the Louisiana Office of Financial Assistance, made the rounds to remind that only a week remains in “College Savings Month.”
Kennedy said it was a good time to remind parents that Louisiana’s college savings program, called START, is considered one of the best in the country in terms options and return on investments.
START allows parents to put aside money each month throughout their child’s youth that will be largely tax-free if used to pay for college expenses, including fees, books, room and board and tuition.
Growth in traditional savings and investment accounts, generally, are taxed annually.
Louisiana’s START plan offers the choice of different investment options, plus every year the state contributes 2 percent to 14 percent, depending on the family’s adjusted gross income reported on federal incomes tax returns.
Ex-Rapides schools chief gets state job
Former Rapides Parish Superintendent Gary Jones has been hired as a $145,000 per year policy liaison with the state Department of Education.
Jones will serve as the department’s link with superintendents statewide.
He is former president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.
EBR school chief to speak at Press Club
East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent Bernard Taylor will address the Press Club at noon Monday.
Taylor will discuss the district’s growth in academic performance and innovative programs; how strategic budget cuts were made to ensure financial stability during lower sales collection periods; and the system’s partnership with the Family and Youth Service Center.
The Press Club meets on Mondays at the De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. downtown.
Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
The public is invited.
Mayoral forum planned Tuesday
The Jones Creek Area Business Association and District 9 Councilman Joel Boé are hosting a mayoral forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Jones Creek Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road.
All four candidates for East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president have been invited to participate in the forum.
The moderator will have the candidates give opening remarks, ask candidates questions that have been submitted in writing by members of the audience and then ask candidates to provide closing remarks.
The election is Nov. 6 with a runoff on Dec. 8 if no candidate gets more than half the vote.
Capitol to celebrate
World Peace Day
A ceremony will be held Sept. 30 at the State Capitol in celebration of World Peace Day.
Children’s artwork with the theme of peace will be displayed in the Capitol’s Memorial Hall throughout October.
A youth forum and panel discussion will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 at LSU’s International Cultural Center, 3365 Dalrymple Drive.
Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is cnb@the