News roundup: BRAC endorses local library tax renewal on Oct. 24 ballot … Pair of Baton Rouge attorneys tapped to oversee GM settlements … Statewide patient engagement campaign underway in Louisiana

Bookends: The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is supporting the 10-year dedicated property tax to support the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System that’s up for renewal on the Oct. 24 ballot. BRAC notes voters have previously approved the tax in 1995 and 2005, adding the tax generates about 98% of the library system’s total budget. “The business community believes the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System will continue to operate as a good steward of taxpayer dollars,” says BRAC Chairman Van Mayhall Jr. If approved, the 11.1-mill proposed property tax will generate about $44 million next year for the library system. BRAC has more details on its endorsement.

The local connection: General Motors and plaintiffs suing over a faulty ignition switch that prompted the recall of millions of vehicles have selected two Baton Rouge mediators to serve as special masters for a settlement program aimed at resolving personal-injury litigation over the switch. As Reuters reports, it was during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York that counsel for plaintiffs and GM said they had jointly agreed to select John Perry and Dan Balhoff to serve as special masters for a settlement fund announced in September. Both men are partners at the Perry Atkinson Balhoff Mengis Burns & Ellis law firm, as well as at the mediation and arbitration firm Perry Dampf Dispute Solutions.

Here IT is: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum have launched a joint statewide campaign to educate Louisiana’s patients and families about how to use available health information technology tools to improve their health and health care decision-making. As The Shreveport Times reports, the “Your Health in Your Hands” campaign launched Aug. 1, making Louisiana the first state in the nation to pioneer a direct-to-consumer campaign that engages patients and families in the use of health IT. Read the full story.

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