LaPolitics by Maginnis: More hospital cuts on the table
The dreaded possible second wave of budget cuts to public hospitals will be presented to the LSU Board of Supervisors at its meeting Thursday. Fred Opelka, interim health care director, has told the system's 10 hospitals to present mock plans for cuts of up to 34.5%, just below the threshold that would require legislative approval. That is not stopping legislators from expressing their concerns over the potential loss of jobs and services in their districts and their frustrations at not being consulted in advance of recent downsizing moves, including the planned closure of the state mental hospital in Mandeville. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, has called an oversight meeting of the Joint Health and Welfare Committee, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, after the board's morning meeting. The committee meeting is a response to the efforts of "frustrated" lawmakers who aren't getting the information they need about their districts, Kleckley says in a press release, adding, "As a Legislature, we need to be informed."
—Having all five candidates onstage in Crowley for the first forum of the 3rd Congressional District race did not allow for much word-to-word combat between Congressmen Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, but they managed anyway. Landry took the first shot at Boustany, saying, "We don't stand for politicians like Charles who go along to get along and vote for Washington, D.C., over south Louisiana." Boustany hit back on a question about support for agriculture, saying: "Mr. Landry voted against those things that protect our farmers and provide necessary crop insurance programs. I stood up for our farmers." Both support the House-passed version of the farm bill, but Landry does not want to pass a compromise bill with the Senate in a lame-duck session.
They said it: "At 23 years old, I came into politics as a dragon slayer. At 63 years old, I'm going out as a dragon." —Aaron Broussard, entering court to plead guilty of corruption charges, from The Associated Press
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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