Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014

New LBP report shows benefits of a higher minimum wage; Gov. Bobby Jindal finally weighs in on flood insurance hikes; FEMA Forgives some Katrina disaster Loans; “Common Core” Standards Receive Endorsements from Advocacy Groups; and Rural Louisiana Roads to Get Facelift, $5.99 — Value of the minimum wage in 2022 if it is not raised. (Source: LBP)

New LBP report shows benefits of a higher minimum wage
Louisianans of all political stripes strongly favor establishing a state minimum wage of at least $8.50 an hour that would keep pace with the cost of living, according to polling data released as part of a new report from the Louisiana Budget Project. “While some politicians make the minimum wage a partisan issue, the verdict from everyday Louisianans is clear and bipartisan: it’s time to give workers a raise,” LBP Director Jan Moller said.  The report by David Gray, “Louisiana Needs a Higher Wage,” also found that an $8.50 minimum wage would provide an immediate raise for 184,000 workers, create an estimated 1,400 new jobs and pump more than $187 million into Louisiana’s economy.

Gov. Bobby Jindal finally weighs in on flood insurance hikes
In a letter to Congress released Wednesday, Gov. Bobby Jindal urged lawmakers to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The new law has drawn bipartisan criticism from Louisiana’s congressional delegation for sharply driving up the cost of federally subsidized flood insurance for some homeowners, but the governor had been silent on the issue until this week. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, added language to a spending bill that delays implementation of the new rates until 2015, while Sen Mary Landrieu, D-La., is pushing legislation that would delay implementation for four years. The “rates are not based on the true risk of our citizens, rather they are distorted by excessive fees and charges associated with an inefficient federal bureaucracy, paying for the Corps of Engineers failures and holding Louisiana’s home and business owners liable for ongoing coastal land loss in our state,” Jindal wrote.

FEMA Forgives some Katrina disaster Loans
St. Bernard Schools and Slidell Memorial Hospital are the latest among 2005 hurricane victims receive loan forgiveness from the federal government . “FEMA announced that it used authority given it by 2013 legislation to forgive a $4.6 million loan for the St. Bernard Parish School District and a $28.7 million loan for Slidell Memorial Hospital,” according to

“Common Core” Standards Receive Endorsements from Advocacy Groups
The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) have called for complete and timely implementation of Common Core Standards in Louisiana schools. Says CABL President Barry Erwin: “Common Core standards, which are standards of where student performance should be at certain grade levels, are separate from the curriculum used to reach them. … The standards do not prescribe what curriculum should be used. Schools and district and reach the standards however they want to do it.”

A forum will be held by critics of Common Core this evening at Crossfire Auditorium, 8919 World Ministry Ave., off Bluebonnet Blvd. in Baton Rouge. There is a cost associated with attending the forum.

Rural Louisiana Roads to Get Facelift
Anyone who has driven through Louisiana knows the state’s roads leave something to be desired. But, officials are working to improve the situation by borrowing $225 million, according to the Shreveport Times. “Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration says the money will pay for the repair and resurfacing of nearly 439 miles of road around Louisiana, most of them in rural locations,” according to the article. “Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says some of the roads haven’t been repaired in 30 years.”

$5.99 — Value of the minimum wage in 2022 if it is not raised. (Source: LBP)