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Where is the benefit for Louisiana citizens?

By C.B. Forgotston -   Jul 09, 2009

The leges can’t seem to get the hang of who it is that they represent.

Last year the leges passed a pay raise for themselves. This year they passed an amendment to our constitution to change the vacation time for themselves.

The leges proposed a constitutional amendment that will move the starting date for the regular sessions up by two weeks. The voters get the final say in the fall of 2010.

According to the sponsor of the change to OUR constitution, Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia: “… [The purpose is] to allow lawmakers more time to spend summer vacations with families.” Times Picayune, June 26, 2009.

I see nothing in the amendment to benefit the public.  In fact, those who are only able to take time off from work during the summers will have less of an opportunity to see what our (according to them) underpaid and inconvenienced public servants actually do.

Better solution
There is nothing in the current constitution that prevents the leges from ending the sessions in time to spend summer vacations with families.

The leges should do everyone in Louisiana a favor by working at least five days a week, getting their work done quickly and adjourning the session early. No constitutional change is required and it will save us taxpayers money.

A constitutional convention will not prevent such frivolous amendments to the state constitution; defeating those who propose and vote for them will.

“Detrimental” cuts to Higher Ed?
For months there has been a tremendous amount weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth over the budgetary devastation to Higher Education in LA.  Anyone who didn’t buy the sky-is-falling routine was told that they “didn’t understand.”

We were told that the only thing that could save Higher Ed from Third World status was a massive tax increase on the middle class working people of LA.   The tax effort failed.

They said
Friday, Public Affairs Research Council (”PAR”) released this post lege session comment on Higher Ed:
It remains to be seen how the budget cuts to higher education will be implemented and just how detrimental they will be to the state’s culture and economic promise.

He said
Thursday, Bobby Jindal released this post-session comment on Higher Ed:

The finalized budget today represents a 6.98 percent reduction for higher education – not factoring in tuition. Factoring in tuition, this represents a 4.8 percent reduction for higher education. Factoring in all means of finance for higher education, this represents a 2.13 percent reduction for higher education and factoring in restricted items in higher education, this represents a 1.36 percent reduction for higher education.

Management problems
If a reduction of less than 5% in the midst of a global depression/recession, is truly “detrimental” we have a serious management problem in Higher Ed.

When one factors in that there are fewer students, it may have been increase per capita in spending.

Next time, you are told by our public officials that it’s raining, first, make sure they aren’t peeing on your leg.

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