News for Monday 061818
By Dave Graichen
The city of Alexandria announced just after 10 Saturday night that the citywide boil advisory had been lifted by the state after samples collected on Friday cleared. However, traveling throughout the city Friday evening and Saturday you would never have known the advisory was in effect. This reporter visited three restaurants over the weekend, one Friday night and two on Saturday, where it was business as usual. Iced Tea and Fountain beverages, all of which used unboiled city water, continued to be served to patrons, without warning.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the number of people employed in the Bayou State has increased by 44-thousand over the last year. There were just over two-million people working in Louisiana in May, the second highest total in recorded history. Professional and business services added seven thousand jobs over the year.
The third special session of the year kicks off today, with some legislators expected to go to battle for the last time this year over the state’s persistent budget issues under the specter of deep cuts to TOPS and other state services. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says passing the half penny sales tax renewal will be the focus, because it fully funds the government.
If the legislature manages to pass a revenue bill, it will likely be a short term deal lasting at most 6 years. That means half a decade from now, the whole process will likely start again. Dardenne says he’s disappointed that it came down to another sales tax, instead of permanent structural tax reform.
The Governor signed the legislative budget that fully funds healthcare, but unless more revenue is generated would require 648 million in cuts to other sectors. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says after a hard fought battle to get the bipartisan budget, suggestions by Appropriation Chairman Cameron Henry would see that money be shuffled out of healthcare and state worker.
Louisiana could feel the pinch as President Donald Trump issued a new round of tariffs today on China, worth 40 to 55 billion dollars in new penalties, and the Chinese responded with a threat of 50 billion in retaliatory tariffs. The escalating trade dispute could damage the Bayou State economy that relies on shipping, but US Congressman Steve Scalise says the People’s Republic needs to be pushed to trade fairly. Scalise says despite some of the tough talk, the Trump administration is not looking for a dire escalation of the ongoing trade dispute.
Louisiana officials back an effort to impose a five to ten cent inspection fee on all imported seafood coming, in an effort to push back against lower quality, cheaper imported shrimp that’s hurting Louisiana shrimpers. During an appearance on Talk Louisiana, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says foreign seafood doesn’t meet our safety standards.
The US Senate approves legislation to honor former Saints standout and ALS advocate Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal which is the highest honor a citizen can receive from Congress. Senator Bill Cassidy was one of the bill’s sponsors.
The legislation now heads to the House seeking approval.
June 15th marked the beginning of open enrollment for the state’s Medicaid program known as Healthy Louisiana. Enrollment Services Manager Rebecca Harris says during this time window the over 1.5 million Louisiana residents on Medicaid have the opportunity to explore the five different coverage plans. Open enrollment ends July 31st.
Two high schoolers from Lake Charles want to bring delivery services to stadiums so that hot dog comes right to you in the stands. The idea from Malik Ellis and Alex Brown of LaGrange High School won the SEED Center Business Pitch Competition this year.
The potential app is called “Runner Eats” and would function similarly to Waitr.
On the air today..
Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays 6:35p 94.7 ESPN