Senate committee disappointed in FEMA flood aid

Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Chief of Staff William Rachal (center) presents the status of FEMA’s manufactured housing units (MHUs) and the Shelter at Home Program while fielding questions from the Senate select Committee on Homeland Security Thursday. Photo by Sarah Gamard.

By Sarah Gamard

BATON ROUGE- Opposing views notwithstanding, there was consensus on one issue Senate Select Committee on Homeland Security meeting last week: federal aid to Louisiana since the August 2016 flood has been a disappointment.

Read the story in The Shreveport Times




Edwards makes case to fix $304M mid-year budget shortfall

Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fiscal staff discuss the state’s fiscal shortfall Friday with the joint legislative Committee on the Budget. Photo by Sam Karlin.


By Sam Karlin

Gov. John Bel Edwards made his case Jan. 27 for combining the state’s “rainy day fund” and spending cuts to fix a $304 million mid-year budget shortfall, warning lawmakers that funding reductions will be “deep” and “painful” no matter what.

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Tax Commission, Assessors wrangle over authority

By William Taylor Potter and Christian Boutwell

BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge Attorney Brian Eddington and State Tax Commission chairman Lawrence Chehardy entered a heated discussion Wednesday during the Tax Commission’s meeting Wednesday whether local assessors or the commission has the more authentic authority to assess values for property tax purposes.

Neither was persuaded otherwise.

Continue reading “Tax Commission, Assessors wrangle over authority”

Louisiana will never be able to restore 85 years of coastal loss, official says

Sen. Norbert Chabert, R-Houma, listens to testimony during the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Baton Rouge. Photo by William Taylor Potter.

By William Taylor Potter

BATON ROUGE — Bren Haase, chief of planning and research, painted a bleak future for Louisiana’s coast during the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority board meeting Wednesday (Jan. 18) should no counter-actions be taken by the legislative and executive branches. He presented a draft of the 2017 coastal master plan that calls for $50 billion worth of projects aimed at flood risk reduction and minimizing land loss.

Read the story in Times-Picayune