LaPolitics by Maginnis: Angst without answers
This is supposed to be downtime for the Legislature, given over to the presidential election and football. Instead, legislators are in a tizzy, whipsawed between constituents, angered over cuts and closures of state facilities in their areas, and an unresponsive governor, who gives them no heads-up of bad news to come. The unlikelihood of a special session makes lawmakers in both parties no less restless. Nearly as aggravating to them as the cuts themselves is the lack of notice from the governor's office, with even legislative leaders saying the hospital and prison closures took them by surprise.
—As much as legislators complain about their lack of input on budget cuts, few are happy about having the controversial privatization of the Office of Group Benefits, thought to be a done deal, dropped in their laps. Required approval by a legislative committee of the contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana comes from a legal opinion by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. The Division of Administration states it is confident its position will prevail in court but, in the meantime, will seek approval on Oct. 19 from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Projected savings are $20 million per year. The political upshot of Caldwell's opinion is to create more distance between himself and Jindal. Caldwell is rumored to harbor ambitions to be governor himself one day.
They said it: "She was beautiful; everyone said she was stunning. She just has it, and besides, she has money. And what's wrong with money?" —Sylvia Norton on Ann Romney attending a Shreveport fundraiser, in the Shreveport Times
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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