LaPolitics by Maginnis: Rough going for Jindal's big issues
The Jindal juggernaut that rolled over opposition to pass key education bills in the first three weeks of the session has sputtered and slowed, as legislative resistance builds to his retirement bills and budget proposals. While there have been no permanent setbacks, major retirement bills were delayed another week, while what was supposed to be the "easy" bill—to set up new 401(k)-type retirement plans for new workers—proved vexing to pass and only cleared the required majority with two votes to spare. The budget, to be considered by the House next Thursday, needed two votes to get to the floor. For the first time in long-term memory, the appropriations bill failed on its first vote, with a number of Republican defections, and only passed in a second meeting later that night.
—There was no legislative action on the "legacy lawsuits" issue this week, but there was much movement behind the scenes, which could move the matter closer to a compromise bill over the weekend. But that's been said before. Significantly, negotiations have been taken over by legislators, who have told lawyers and lobbyists for the landowners and oil companies to step aside while a new draft is being worked on. Now the key players are said to be "the four A's": Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego; Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin; Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton; and Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans. Allain and Abramson are the authors of two bills whose main features could form the compromise legislation.
They said it: "The only notable thing about me is that my mother was from Avoyelles and my father was from Iberville and I was never indicted." —James Carville, at the state's bicentennial celebration
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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Marie Desormeaux Centanni