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Friday, April 28, 2017
   
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The Baton Rouge Metro Council led by Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker, shown here, melted down last night over a dispute over how to spend the remaining money of discretionary funds the Council took control of from Mayor Kip Holden for 2012.  After blowing through most of the funding in only four months, the Council is now looking to the administration to find additional funds.  Councilman Smokey Bourgeois said he regretted that the council spent the previous $607,850 from the discretionary account so quickly.  “The year is far from over and we should be a little more prudent at least with the rest of the money,” he said. “I have regrets about what we did in the past. Dropping $600,000 in that amount of time is kind of amazing.”

The cover story in this week's Independent out of Lafayette spells out how Governor Bobby Jindal's "fuzzy math" has failed Louisiana.  Writer Jeremy Alford details how Jindal rolled back taxes that voters had approved, funded legislator's pet projects and squandered Louisiana's $1 billion budget surplus he inherited from Governor Kathleen Blanco.  Along the way, he raised salaries in the executive branch to an all-time high and concentrated on championing laws against online sex predators while the state's finances collapsed around him.  Read it all at the link below.

Flanked by law enforcement from across the parish, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden kicked off a new crime fighting initiative that has been used in other cities to reduce violent crime by as much at 50%.  Holden was joined by D.A. Hillar Moore, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and area law enforcement agencies to announce the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination (BRAVE) Project.  The group has been working together for some time to secure funding and set up the program, which will be run by Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Herber Anny and housed in the Mayor's Office. 

Efforts to shorten Louisiana's 14-hour Election Day failed in the Senate Committee after a bill cutting one hour off of the day passed the House.  Louisiana's election day is the second longest in the nation.  Secretary of State Tom Schedler sought the change, while the Professional Firefighters Association and the AFL-CIO argued that it would make it harder for those who work shifts to vote.   

Prominent Republicans like Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and former Congressman Bob Livingston may have enjoyed success in winning elections, but they got no love from fellow Republicans at recent Caucuses, with Dardenne receiving only 288 votes, just 16 votes ahead of his wife, Cathy.  One-time Republican Senate candidate Woody Jenkins only managed to receive 126 votes.  Ron Paul supporters dominated the day, sweeping the delegate slots in four of the state's six Congressional districts.

LAProgress

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