Unemployment remains a major concern throughout the state of Louisiana and the nation as a whole. While the jobs situation in Louisiana is somewhat better than the national average, the unemployment rate for working-age teens (16-19) is astronomical and bodes ill for the future of Louisiana’s youth.
Supporters of the law argue that states should move quickly to create state insurance exchanges in order to ensure a higher level of state control, but this notion is an illusion. The law’s provisions would actually require Louisiana and its citizens to cede decision-making power to the federal government.
Is Louisiana’s top law-enforcement officer violating the law by hiring private plaintiffs attorneys to pursue litigation on behalf of the state? That’s the fundamental question raised by the recent actions of Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
Although the Supreme Court let most of the ACA stand, Louisiana policymakers can still play an important role in the health care reform debate. Most importantly, they should refuse to expand the state’s Medicaid rolls and take a wait-and-see approach to state insurance exchanges.
Thousands of school voucher applicants who want to exit unsafe, ineffective public schools made history on Friday. That was the deadline for eligible families to apply for scholarship funds that can be used to cover the cost of private school tuition.
The issue of higher education salaries has caught the attention of state Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Erath. She passed a resolution this session requesting that the Board of Regents “study executive compensation at the university system offices and boards.” The final report is due to lawmakers in early February 2013.
The complex nature of the retirement system tends to obscure the importance of pension reform. This has contributed to an unfortunate lack of urgency over the years. But while the details can appear daunting, the crux of the matter is simple: Louisiana has promised its retirees more than it can deliver.
Potential conflicts and a growing interest in hedge funds have some eyeing Louisiana’s public retirement systems with renewed skepticism.
By building on existing research from the Louisiana Sentencing Commission and following key principles that have guided successful reforms in Texas and other states, Louisiana policymakers can take the next steps to enhance public safety in the state and control costs borne by taxpayers.
As an alternative to the “draconian Jindal approach” to education reform, the state’s teachers unions have offered up legislation that would revoke value-added teacher assessments, reinstate tenure and empower school boards over superintendents.