Yesterday, to the shock of many, the Senate Finance flippantly moved $4.5m in funding for disabled folks to a private auto track. Apparently, your outrage seemed to work, as the fund transfer was partially “cured”, although you’d be wrong to think that meant the millionaire wasn’t getting his $4.5m in free track improvements.
Not this Legislature. Not this State.
Instead, the Senate retained the little bonus for Laney Chouest’s NOLA Motorsports track, but instead made sure they found the extra money to make it up to the disabled folks.
You get to have your pie and eat it too!
Apparently, Senator Donahue, he of “The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” fame, had a lot of trouble reading the Jindal Administration script on the budget today in the chamber. Keen eyed observer CBForgotston was watching:
The Senate easily adopted the budget with nary a word of protest! It’s all good, says Emperor Jindal.
Who knows what other fun little giveaways lurk in the dark matter of the Legislative Budget.
The Louisiana Legislature is poised to take $4 million of your tax dollars away from supporting disabled Louisianians in order to give it to a corporate indycar event at a private racetrack owned by a multi-millionaire. That is not spin:
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.
“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.
After the meeting, Donahue said he was optimistic that more money could be found for services for people with disabilities as the budget advances through the legislative process. Money had to be put toward IndyCar, he said, because Jindal had promised $4.5 million in upgrades to NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale as part of the deal to lure the event to New Orleans.
NOLA Motorsports is owned by Laney Chouest, a multi-millionaire co-owner of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). He seems like a fine enough chap, one devoted to building a world class racetrack. Now, of course, he’s done it with his own fortune. Good for him. He even opened it to the public, so normal folks could go racing or go-karting around his prize.
But the idea that we need to pay for $4m in “track improvements” to “lure” a billion-dollar national racing league to New Orleans for a race almost no one cars about, INSTEAD of patching our meager budget for the disabled, is absolutely sick. Just because Jindal “promised” the billionaire owners he’d scoop some tax dollars up for them. Absolutely sick.
This combines the worst of crony-capitalism with the height of heartless Ayn Randism. Government giving money to a massive corporation for a playboy, rich-man’s sport instead of taking care of the disabled. This is your government. This is what they’re doing with your hard-earned dollars they collected in taxes. Blowing it on a private racetrack. You betcha.
Where is your tea party now?
Perhaps a false flag, but definitely a white flag.
By Robert Mann
It was a week for waving white flags. By the look of things at the Louisiana Capitol, you’d have thought Gov. Bobby Jindal and state legislators were debating in semaphore. If so, the words they spelled with their bright pennants were “surrender” and “cowardice.”
First on deck were members of the Senate Finance Committee. When the state’s top higher education adviser, Tom Layzell, showed up to testify Monday, he lamented Louisiana’s pitifully low college graduation rate. When he finished, the white flags began to flutter. Committee members — unwilling to support any serious reinvestment in the state’s colleges and universities — conceded their fecklessness.
“We’ve broken every piggy bank and trust [fund] that’s out there,” Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, complained, seeming to dismiss Layzell as a starry-eyed dreamer. Mills said he doubted there would be “any new funding coming to higher ed.” Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville…
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Next year, as the magnolias come to bloom, Bobby Jindal will take his last lap of the Louisiana Legislature. Yes, the term-limited, part-time Governor will be busily boxing up the mansion in 2015. But while the luggage tags and boarding passes might be swept into the garbage can, the Governor’s budget mess will stick with taxpayers for years to come.
According to fiscal experts in the Legislative Fiscal Office, Jindal will leave Louisiana taxpayers with a massive $982.5 million budget chasm for the FY15-16 year (next year):
Legislators are especially concerned about a line in a report by the Legislative Fiscal Office. The office — staffed by financial experts — looked at the governor’s budget and concluded that “$982.5 (million) may require another source of revenue in FY 16.” In other words, nearly $1 billion in fiscal obligations could need a new funding source in a year’s time.
“It looks like all we’re doing is kicking the can down the road, and now it looks like the can might be getting bigger,” said state Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Prairieville.
Let’s ignore this ridiculous sham of Jindal claiming to be a fiscal conservative. Let’s be clear: you can not be a fiscal conservative if you cannot balance a budget on year-to-year funds. Stop-gap funding measures are the essence of irresponsibility. It’s paying the credit card with another credit card. Irresponsible.
But this is typical of Jindal’s callous disregard for Louisiana. He does not care about the state, at least when it comes to things that don’t advance his own career. He is ruthlessly disrespectful to the people of this state. And we’ll only know the full damage when he’s gone.
“LIKE A ROLLING STONE, I KEEP ROLLIN’ ON” – LA Super Johnny White
John White is likely to be gone by the end of June but Louisiana will still have its work cut out cleaning up the messes he will leave behind. Some of those messes off the top of my head are:
- Unmonitored, standardless voucher program is an utter failure and a poorly performing messfrom what little White has permitted us to see
- The Course Choice program is fraught with fraud which will cost Louisiana millions of dollars annually as it stands now
- Charter schools are not reporting most of the data they are required to and John White has refused to comply with the law in regards to the small amount of monitoring required
- MFP (the public school funding formula) has never been approved under his watch
- Pimping of our students and their data to unsupervised and unaccountable data pirates like inBloom and Agilix
- Falsified dropout and graduate numbers
- Common Core standards designed…
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