House Speaker Clay Schexnayder formally removes Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo as House Education Chairman, ending a month-long controversy starting with Garofalo’s comments about slavery. Brooke Thorington.
House Education unanimously approves legislation allowing collegiate student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness while in school. Matt Doyle has the story.
Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo has been formally removed as Chairman of the House Education Committee following a controversy stretching back to last month involving his comments about slavery.
LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says this wasn’t an easy decision for House Speaker Clay Schexnayder who was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Garofalo’s comments late last month in committee calling for the teaching of “the good, the bad, the ugly” of slavery during a tense debate about education policy resulted in calls from the Legislative Black Caucus for Garofalo to be removed as chairman. Garofalo says his words have been taken “out of context” and he has nothing to apologize for.
Alford says Garofalo’s removal could have repercussions in the final few weeks of the session.
Alford says this racial tension has been brewing since last year when police reform proposals brought in the wake of the George Floyd murder were rejected. That tension continued this year.
Covington Representative Mark Wright was named House Education Chairman for the rest of the session.
Legislation allowing college student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness received unanimous approval in a House committee and is headed to the House floor. Marrero Senator Patrick Connick says if his bill is signed into law it will help both athletes and their schools.
The bill would allow athletes to make money by signing autographs, getting endorsement deals, and even profiting from their social media following.
Connick says Louisiana needs to keep up with other states that have already passed similar legislation.
UL Systems president Jim Henderson says state higher education leaders are all on board with this bill and feel it will benefit athletes and programs in both larger and smaller schools.
The National Anthem could be required before all athletic events at taxpayer-supported venues in the state. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt’s bill was presented in the House by Albany Representative Sherman Mack, he was questioned by New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman if the bill is even enforceable.
The bill says that for any facility funded either partially or completely by tax dollars, the National Anthem must be played before sporting events, which includes the Superdome and Tiger Stadium. Freeman asked Mack what determines a taxpayer facility.
Mack says the bill’s purpose is to honor veterans before sporting events so they can enjoy hearing the National Anthem and nothing more.
Senate Bill 124 was amended to define that no sporting event can be held unless it is preceded by the anthem. The amended bill passed on a 74-11 vote and now returns to the Senate.
The family of Ronald Greene is demanding the officers who are on tape beating Greene prior to his death in police custody in 2019 be charged criminally.
Greene family attorney Lee Merritt says he spoke with the Union Parish prosecutor today who told him they would seek criminal accountability for the officers “in due time”.
Videos released by State Police last Friday show several officers severely beating and tasing Greene after apprehending him following a car chase in Union Parish in 2019.
Merritt called out the troopers involved by name and says they need to be behind bars, right now.
The family is set to meet with the Governor today about the case and a protest is planned for 3 PM on the steps of the State Capitol.
Governor Edwards has described the footage of Greene’s treatment as disturbing but has said the case is being thoroughly investigated by local and federal authorities.