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Coward politicians enable continued suffering

Once again, special interests win at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers and its most vulnerable citizens.

These greedy hogs yesterday defeated in committee SB 357 by Republican state Sen. Conrad Appel, which today caused Republican state Rep. Tony Bacala to set aside his HB 334. Both bills would put the state on course to creating a long-term managed care system for persons with disabilities.

This change in philosophy discomfits nursing home interests, who benefit greatly from current state practice that biases placement of individuals in nursing homes instead of in their own homes or the community. While waiting lists for access to this care, called waiver programs, has steadily risen to 28,000 people, Louisiana nursing homes enjoy a gravy train at their expense.


Edwards red meat case losing streak growing

The losing streak continues in Gov. John Bel Edwards’ attempts of executive overreach to make the state go where its majority doesn’t wish.

The Louisiana Supreme Court last week confirmed lower court rulings that Edwards’ Executive Order JBE 16-11 violated the Louisiana Constitution, a suit brought by Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry. The gubernatorial pronouncement sought to add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the list of individual characteristics that the state could not discriminate against in dealing with its personnel and concerning the personnel decisions of entities that contracted with the state.

It was just a matter of time. Lower court rulings clearly spelled out how the governor had no power to alter unilaterally state law to add those categories, as all others mentioned in his declaration already have protection through state law and the Constitution. The Edwards Administration filings kept resorting to the same failed arguments, so the Supreme Court’s decision that it didn’t even have to hear the case hardly surprised.


Feckless attitudes still there, hearing shows

Only in welfare-state-ridden Louisiana: even as it offers an opportunity to state prisoners seen in no other state, some obsessed legislators moan it doesn’t go far enough or does convicts a disservice.

That attitude went on full display during legislative committee hearing of HB 84 by Republican state Rep. Kenny Havard. The bill would clarify existing state law that allows inmates to work outside of corrections facilities and offices, perhaps the most famous current application of which has such individuals working in and around the Governor’s Mansion, something no other state does.

If passed, the bill would ensure marginally expanded use of the program, run directly by the Department of Corrections separately from transitional work release programs that place the incarcerated with private sector employers during the day, met legal guidelines. It made it out of committee, but not before a few Legislative Black Caucus members on the panel whined and complained about it.