Search This Blog


LA needs to ban mandatory inclusionary zoning

Despite obfuscating noise designed to stall it, SB 462 by state Sen. Danny Martiny would ensure efficient use of taxpayer dollars and maximize housing provision for all.

The bill would ban the practice of governments forcing multi-family builders to designate a certain proportion of units to lower-income families for a certain period in order to build at all. New Orleans has the power to mandate this in its zoning decision, although it doesn’t have to impose this requirement.

This causes problems for builders, as with them having to offer below-market units for years on end, given the reduced, if not eliminated, profit margin this could discourage them from building in the first place. Thus, with fewer units on offer, rents across the board actually become less affordable. However, New Orleans interests complain that the state should not hamstring local governments in deciding whether to pursue this policy.


General teacher shortage in LA illusory

Claims of a Louisiana teacher shortage rest in the eyes of the beholder.

Amid a nationwide decline in the number of teachers entering the profession, in Louisiana that has raised enough concern to produce talk of convening a legislative investigation into reversing that trend. This comes as state educational authorities (typically school districts, but also including charter schools and special state schools) continue to have difficulty in attracting science, math, and special education teachers, particularly in rural areas.

But, in reality, in most other ways Louisiana teacher supply has remained healthy and its quality has improved. Understanding how this has happened, especially in light of dramatic reforms passed in 2012 to spur accountability and thus higher quality, leads to what actions, if any, the state must take to ensure sufficient refreshment of its teaching corps.


Politics hard to remove from discipline choice

In the final analysis, authorities decided a borderline case bowing to the demands of politics.

Last week, recently-installed Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul meted out punishments to Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. Salamoni, who shot and killed Alton Sterling in 2016, received termination from the department, while Lake, who also struggled with Sterling, received three days suspension.

Perhaps no death ever at the hands of police in Louisiana has had so much scrutiny. A federal investigation, followed by a state version, came to an identical conclusion: the policing that occurred wasn’t the best, but the officers’ actions were not criminal. Thus, officers had not even acted negligently during the incident, which involved several instances of resistance by Sterling who officers knew to have a handgun, and also actions by Sterling that conveyed reasonably that he actively sought to pull it, disregarding repeatedly instructions to stop his activities that ultimately made it rational for the officers to fear for their lives.