If lawmakers can't even agree on the simple things, maybe a constitutional convention can address the big picture
The Louisiana Constitution of 1974 was far from a perfect document when voters approved it more than four decades ago. Proof of that is the fact that it has been amended more than 180 times — and lawmakers currently are considering still more amendments.
A message to lawmakers who tinker with TOPS
Amid the hoopla over state funding for the beloved TOPS college scholarship program, it's worth remembering how — and why — the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students got started in the first place. Spoiler alert: It was never intended to be an entitlement for families of means.
Remembering Lolis Edward Elie and Ralph Miller
Change doesn't come easily. It typically requires great risk by people willing to take on the status quo against daunting odds.
The governor unveils his "commercial activity tax" plan
A lot has already been said about Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposed "commercial activity tax," or CAT, but the early rumblings against it are noth-ing compared to what's to come. The governor undoubtedly knows that, which explains why he quickly promised to find ways to reduce the tax's adverse impact on low-margin businesses.
Ridiculously high signature thresholds explain why few efforts succeed
Recalling an elected official is a drastic remedy; it should not be so easy that it becomes a cudgel wielded for mere political spite. On the other hand, it should not be so difficult as to be virtually impossible when clearly warranted.
Locking up nonviolent offenders only makes us dumb on crime
Louisiana lawmakers will struggle to make sense of our state's fiscal mess when they convene next month, and that struggle will overshadow all other pressing matters. Yet there's one overarching issue on which legislators of all stripes ought to agree: the need for meaningful criminal justice reform.
Between 1820 and 1860, New Orleans was an epicenter of the American slave trade. A century later, from the 1950s through the 1970s, New Orleans was an epicenter of the civil rights movement.
When they say "no," go back and ask again
It comes as no surprise to those who dealt with FEMA after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that the agency denied Gov. John Bel Edwards' requests for additional federal assistance to area residents, businesses and parish governments hit by the Feb. 7 tornadoes. Despite upgrades to the agency after the 2005 storms, the default response of many bureaucrats is still "no."
If you think fiscal policy drives Louisiana's budget decisions, think again
On the surface, the special legislative session that ended last week resembled a small step in the right direction. Gov. John Bel Edwards and recalcitrant ideologues in the House of Representatives hammered out a budget deal to cover a $304 million hole in the current fiscal year's budget — without any last-minute votes on hastily cobbled compromises.
An exhibit on Nazi propaganda resonates today
There are many enduring reasons to visit the National World War II Museum, but now through June 18, the sprawling center features an exhibition that makes the world's epic struggle against tyranny three generations ago particularly timely — and poignant. State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda explores the ways Adolf
Hitler and his followers used propaganda before and during World War II.
Lawmakers return to Baton Rouge to address yet another mid-year budget crunch
State Rep. Cameron
Henry (left), R-Metairie,
is among the House leaders opposing Gov. John Bel Edwards' solutions to
close the Louisiana
budget shortfall. For most of the past decade, state lawmakers approved deficit-riddled budgets and draconian mid-year cuts to higher education and health care.
Yenni and Roberts have accused each other of being unfit for office
Who would have guessed a year ago that New Orleans politics would seem tame — boring, even — compared to those of Jefferson Parish? The city's heated debates over crime, streets and Confederate-era monuments look like Junior League socials compared to the political war in Jefferson these days.