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Senator Jack Donahue Newsletter - Session Update 6-18-09 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, June 18 2009 - 4:27 pm

To My Supporters and Friends:

WHAT A WEEK

Tensions are very high in the Capital. In addition to the battle of the budget, four of our former governors called for a press conference to demand some help for Higher Education. Governor Jindal’s call for a $219 million cut in Higher Education is not being received well across the state and the former governors are upset! Governor Jindal finally agreed to mitigate the cut as demanded by former Governors Roemer, Foster, Treen and Blanco. If he would not have agreed, they would have held the press conference without him. Both Houses of the Legislature have been trying to restore partial funding to Higher Ed but have had to fight the Administration all the way. I am convinced that if the Legislature does not restore part of the cut, then Higher Ed will be left to wither and die.

I think our entire Northshore delegation believes that Higher Education is a bloated bureaucracy and it must change. There are a couple of bills available to force the change and I am sure the delegation will back these efforts to dictate the change, but we cannot destroy Higher Ed in the meantime.

With the serious problems we have in the state, it is a shame that we continue to waste our time on trivial bills but once they are filed, they must be handled. The no-helmet law was defeated again this week and we added the requirement that back seat passengers must wear seatbelts.

My bill SB261 to streamline government passed without objection out of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and the full Senate passed it with a unanimous vote of 38-0. It will be heard on the House side this week.

I passed SB37 out of committee but lost it on the floor of the Senate. The bill limited property tax roll forward in any one year to 2.5% by any board which was appointed and not elected. The fire districts across the state put a lot of pressure on the Senate and demanded to be taken out of the bill. I tried to stop them but the Senate acquiesced. I returned the bill to the calendar and will not bring it up again this session. Sadly, the people lost another battle to control their taxes.

This session will be over soon but there are still a lot of things yet to happen, so please let Michelle or me know how we can help.

Please stay involved. The state needs you.

 

Jack Donahue
State Senator
Louisiana District 11