‘LaPolitics’: Education campaign backs John White; Senate working Sunday

A six-figure media buy that features a reference to Superintendent of Education John White and policy milestones during his tenure launched last week in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport markets. Television, radio and digital are all part of the ongoing campaign, which is being bankrolled by Education Reform Now, a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the state chapter of Democrats for Education Reform. The outreach effort comes roughly a month after reports surfaced about an effort underway in the state Senate and elsewhere to have White either face a contract review before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or a ratification vote before a Senate committee. (LaPolitics has more on White’s employment status, the drive to remove him and other related angles.)

—Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, and his committee will continue its weeklong march through the main budget bill in House Bill 1 today and Sunday. It’s a rare weekend gathering of lawmakers and yet another reminder that the regular session will come to a grinding halt on June 8—with or without a budget and a deficit-elimination plan in place. The Finance Committee is pushing to wrap up its department and agency reviews. The budget is mired in a philosophical debate between the House, which wants to decrease spending and cut services, and the Senate, which is interested in creating more revenue for the next fiscal year. That includes tax increases, but by law those kind of revenue-generating measures must originate in the House. LaFleur said in a recent interview that senators are going to try to keep the budget moving in a way that allows for the budget to return to the House with plenty of time for last-minute negotiations. “I think we’ll progress it pretty quickly,” he said.

—Dan R. Brouillette of Texas has been nominated to serve as the U.S. deputy secretary of energy and his name was sent to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday for ratification. But don’t let his Lone Star stripes throw you off; he actually has strong Louisiana connections. Brouillette used to work for former Congressman Billy Tauzin, and alongside sitting Congressman Garret Graves of Baton Rouge, a fellow one-time staffer for Tauzin.

—The annual House vs. Senate HoopLA basketball game at the PMAC is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, the HoopLA chair, said money will be raised for the Legislators’ Charity Fund, which repairs or renovates a community basketball court each year in the state.

—They said it: “There are only bits and pieces of bodies coming out of here.” —Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, on the process of passing bills through the Ways and Means Committee this session

Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at  LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.

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