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Bond Commission right to penalize discrimination

Even if it costs taxpayers, Louisiana must support citizen exercise of constitutional rights.

Last year, the State Bond Commission voted to reject bids by two banks to work an upcoming Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bond sale because the pair engaged in restrictive lending to merchants legally dealing in firearms, undermining citizens’ abilities to exercise Second Amendment. rights This successful attempt came after failure to impose a similar ban four months earlier on a related matter.

Democrats on the SBC and the Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration said actions like this could cause higher fees paid out to do this business. In fact, the bids by those prospective but barred lenders came in thousands of dollars lower.


Govts in hock for current spending needing tweaks

Comments made at the most recent Louisiana State Bond Commission meeting invite debate over how local governments can use debt to finance current operations.

Typically, each month the SBC will approve several applications for a local government to issue short term debt instruments the proceeds of which will go to recurring expenses. Any and all debt issued by any level of government in the state cannot happen without SBC permission.

The state can’t use long term debt to finance current operations (gimmickry aside), and among others in the union allowed only by Vermont. By contrast, just reviewing the last three months of loan requests, for Louisiana local entities among others a fire district asked for money to compensate for a budgetary shortfall, a municipality asked for funds to help tide itself over while the state assumes fiscal control for the time being, and a law enforcement district with significant revenue loss from a closed prison wanted to pay off expenses from last year.


New law pushes LA populism small step back

It flew under the radar, but it represents an encouraging sign of Louisiana inching away from its populist past of wasteful spending.

Earlier this month, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law SB 201 by Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell, officially ending the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission. A few hundred thousand dollars of its assets will go immediately to enhance the nearby Bogue Chitto State Park, while the body itself terminates by Sep. 1.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to claw back the over $2 million spent trying to obtain permission to flood a hundred acres or so of land in the parish spent over nearly two decades. The original idea would have spurred, the idea’s sponsors alleged, economic development and recreational opportunities along the artificial lake.


Outlier LA poll has validity challenges

Much has been written, even vented, over a private poll that asked questions including about the upcoming Louisiana governor’s race. In the final analysis, its controversial results points to likely errors both in execution and interpretation.

Done by longtime pollster Verne Kennedy, it represents the latest in a series stretching back years commissioned by a number of figures active in business and politics, including John George, owner of the Baton Rouge Advocate. In those pages appeared a summary of the results.

In one way, its confirms other polling. Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards doesn’t win against Republican challengers Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, but he leads each with 46 percent. His lead exists in part because of their lower name recognitions but, Kennedy insists, he would go well over 50 percent if the proportion of black sample voted 90 percent for him.


LA passenger rail experiment might pay off

This might be worth it for Louisiana to throw money at passenger rail service, at least in the short run.

Earlier this month, the Southern Rail Commission – a federally-authorized interstate compact among Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama – announced it had won a grant to reestablish rail service between New Orleans and Mobile. This would pay some money for infrastructural improvements and subsidize three years of operating expenses.

Louisiana’s $10 million share of fixed costs it already has covered mostly leveraged from other projects. Thus, it would have to cough up only the unsubsidized portion of operating costs, which amount to 20 percent of the first year, 40 percent of the second, and 60 percent of the third. Normally, states must pick up the entire cost of segments fewer than 750 miles in length.