Governor John Bel Edwards remains hopeful lawmakers can agree on a plan to fix the state’s 900-million dollar deficit. Jeff Palermo has the story…
CUT 1 (30) “I’m Jeff Palermo”
The Council for a Better Louisiana says the cuts to the Department of Education made in the House-approved spending bill would take away 85% of their remaining cash on hand for the current school year. Michelle Southern reports…:
CUT 2 (29) “I’m Michelle Southern”
Former Monroe TV personality “Mr. Wonder” has been indicted on sexual assault charges. Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney Brian Mosley says a grand jury indicted 76-year-old Frank Selas on a long list of charges.
CUT 3 (11) “a juvenile”
Selas is currently in a San Diego jail. He’s been living in California since 1985. Mosley says the extradition process to bring him back to Louisiana has already begun.
CUT 4 (05) “warrant”
According to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, investigators have identified 7 alleged victims as a result of a 1979 investigation. The alleged crimes took place on camping trip when Selas was a Cub Scouts leader. Mosley says Selas will be brought back to Louisiana to face the charges.
CUT 5 (11) “Rapides parish”
Selas initially claimed police had arrested the wrong man, but a San Diego judge ruled on February 11 that Selas is in fact the wanted fugitive from Louisiana.
State Police arrest a second officer assigned to the US Drug Enforcement Administration task force suspected of stealing and selling drugs seized in raids. Karl Newman, a deputy with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, was booked on counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and abuse of office. State police spokesperson, Maj. Doug Cain, says the arrest was made after authorities received a tip.
CUT 6 (07) “the north shore”
Newman is being held without bail in the St. Tammany Parish Jail. Cain says the investigation is ongoing.
CUT 7 (10) “law enforcement agency”
Newman’s arrest comes just weeks after another Tangipahoa parish deputy, Johnny Domingue, was booked on drug distribution charges. Cain says investigators will get to the bottom of the allegations.
CUT 8 (06) “their officers”
Governor John Bel Edwards says the special legislative session aimed at solving a 940-million dollar budget deficit this fiscal year is heading in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go. House republicans are hesitant to raise taxes to fill the budget hole, but Edwards there’s been no evidence they can reduce the deficit without raising revenues
CUT 9 (10) “that is not happening”
The House has passed legislation to the Senate that’s a combination of budget cuts and tax increases, including a one-cent increase on the state’s 4-cent sales tax. But The House believes the additional penny should be removed after 18-months, but Edwards wants the additional penny to stay on the books, until long-term budget reforms are in place
cut 10 (09) “spoke of”
The special session ends March ninth. Edwards is disappointed the House didn’t move the tax bills sooner, but is optimistic there’s enough time for the Senate to act…
Cut 11 (09) “be modified”
The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance has launched a campaign to build support for a new I-10 bridge over the Calcasieu River. George Swift, president and CEO of the alliance, says the “In for 10” campaign is important because the bridge is dangerous for motorists…
cut 12 (06) “pull over”
The bridge was built in 1952, and the National Bridge Inventory deemed it “basically intolerable” in 2009. Swift says the community cannot wait any longer for a new bridge.
cut 13 (08) “and region”
It will take millions of dollars from the federal government to replace the bridge. Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany and Senator David Vitter have offered their support. Swift says the bridge endures heavy traffic every day, and that traffic will only get worse as more industrial projects move to the area in the next few years.
cut 14 (10) “and safer”
One of the items in the supplemental spending bill that the full House approved this week includes a mid-year cut to the state Department of Education which amounts to $52 million dollars, according to the Council for a better Louisiana. CABL President Barry Erwin says this would take away 85% of the DOE’s remaining cash on hand for the current fiscal year…:
cut 15 (10) “where they’re going”
Erwin says this would also take away payments for mandated student testing for the current school year. He says some deals were made and essentially the House just wanted to make a statement that they wanted to cut the budget further…:
cut 16 (09) “I suppose”