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Case study shows wisdom of term limits

And this is why term limits are a good idea. And why the time had come for two longtime Louisiana legislative employees to go out the door.

In 2000, my wife took a position at the University of Illinois Springfield and I took leave at Louisiana State University Shreveport to go with her. The UIS folks cobbled something together for me for what would be a trial period of a year: to see if I would leave my LSUS tenured position while she embarked on a potential tenure-track career with them.

Part of my duties included serving as faculty adviser to Model Illinois Government. This program allows students from across the state to participate in a mock legislative session of the Illinois Legislature, right at the Capitol not long after the real thing’s regular session ended. As the representative of the host institution, the advisor had to delve into not only a lot of logistical matters but also have a good working knowledge of the legislative process.


Between the Lines +15: then and now

I’m not going to say that the time has flown by, but something should be said now that this blog has surpassed its 15th birthday.

That makes it the oldest blog on Louisiana politics out there, or at the very least the oldest that has published continuously and regularly (if anybody thinks I missed something here, let me know). Not that there were many out there 15 years ago; the only two that were with any frequency of publishing were John Copes’ Deduct Box and C.B. Forgotston’s (both of whose authors sadly have gone onto their rewards).

Circumstance more than anything else led to establishing Between the Lines, which is the moniker I long have used for my columns. In 2002 I published under that every other week for FaxNet Update, which didn’t have a real Internet presence but largely circulated by e-mail. This roundup of political news and commentary lasted until the beginning of 2018, when its proprietor Lou Gehrig Burnett unfortunately cashed in.


Scurrying to leave LA's Medicaid sinking ship

The crew knows the ship is sinking, so they’re jumping overboard while Louisiana Medicaid’s clients and taxpayers will find themselves taken in the undertow unless the Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration makes a change from politicized ideology to practicality.

At the end of the month, Department of Health Secretary Rebekah Gee will leave her job, undoubtedly for one where the consequences of her preference for statist solutions won’t redound as they have in Louisiana (as well as give her greater license to support propagation of abortion as she did prior to her stint at LDH). Long-time director of Medicaid for the state Jen Steele already has decamped.

Edwards’ decision to expand Medicaid turned out as the most consequential policy enacted in his first term. It committed the state eventually to spend an extra $3 billion annually –in one fell swoop adding 10 percent to the operating budget – of which Louisiana taxpayers now directly contribute an extra over $300 million a year they didn’t pay before, essentially raised by increased taxes on insurance policies.