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LA should pile on rout of intolerant NCAA

Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and other opponents of SB 156 just struck out.

The bill by Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell would disallow biological males from competing in intercollegiate, interscholastic, and intramural sports in sports designated for females. In essence, unless a biologically-born male has had the obligatory surgery and takes the necessary drugs to be classified as a biological female, the bill would prohibit that person from competing as a female.

Dispensing with arguments over the morality of encouraging healthy but mentally and emotionally immature children from taking life-altering drugs with long-range side effects and to accept mutilation, a talking point opponents use against it deals with politics and economics. For collegiate athletes, they say the National Collegiate Athletics Association may refuse to sponsor its championship tournament events in states that have such laws. They point to NCAA statements that events should occur where “hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination,” as well as a 2016 incident where the organizations yanked tournament games originally set for North Carolina after that state passed a law mandating that in ordinary situations sex-specific restrooms be used only by biological members of that sex.


Reform BC bid practices for better governance

The deed was done. How can Bossier Citians avoid the possibility of wasted taxpayer resources in the future?

This week, the lame-duck Bossier City Council rammed through its controversial no-bid, three-year contract with Manchac Consulting to run water and sewerage operations that will cost $4.6 million, with only no party Councilor Jeff Darby in opposition. While that scaled-down version demonstrated that earlier, more expansive ones would have spent needlessly tax dollars (with an initial five-year term violating city ordinance), citizens still can’t be sure they received the best deal possible because no competitive bidding occurred.

That can be fixed. Section 2-152 of the city’s ordinances states sealed bidding must occur for “services … exceeding the amount established by applicable state law or any lesser amount established by a management directive of the mayor.” State law fixes the threshold to require public works contracts at $250,000 and $30,000 for materials, but none for professional services for political subdivisions, which Sec. 2-151 echoes by only requiring Council resolution to approve of such regardless of amount without any competitive bid requirement.


Bill fate to test futures of governor, speaker

Over the next month, one bill will impact profoundly the careers of a couple of high-profile Louisiana politicians.

That potentially redefining instrument comes in the modest form of Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell’s SB 156. The bill would clarify in scholastic, collegiate, and intramural athletics, that for single-sex sports only students of that biological sex may participate in those, except that females could opt for participation in sports designated for males.

In over half the states such a bill has been introduced, becoming law already in several. Even the least favorable national polling shows more people support measures like this than oppose, with strong support leading strong opposition by double digits. No comparable Louisiana statewide polling on this has occurred, but likely support would be much higher.


Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer III, 1943-2021

My employer Louisiana State University Shreveport only recently passed the half-century mark in age. Today, it lost its most famous instructor, Republican former Gov. Buddy Roemer.

Little known is that Roemer taught as an adjunct instructor at LSUS early in its history, in computer science as I recall, before his electoral political career (All the oldest hands from that era at LSUS who could give a few more details, one way or the other, are no longer around here.) For that reason, we could get him to come to campus from time to time.

In the fall of 1993 or spring of 1994 (I can’t quite recall which semester), he stopped by to give a speech largely attended by faculty members and a few students. With me being the political scientist who taught our classes related to elections, when afterwards I introduced myself to him he was interested in having a chat. We drifted down the hallway to my (very small) office where for 15 or 20 minutes we (he, mainly, as was my desire) talked a bit about where he thought Louisiana and American government were headed. I confess I don’t really remember any of the details.


GOP leaders must deliver on sensible bills

Largely out of the headlines, Louisiana’s Republican-led Legislature has made quiet inroads on some do-over legislation that stand a good chance of becoming law – if its GOP leaders get with the program.

Last year in the second special session, the GOP chambers sent bills to create a more accountable and responsive emergency governance regime (in part prompted by a poorly-reasoned but highly-activist court decision on the existing statute defining this) and to prevent election interference through donations by private interests during emergency periods. Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed both.

Fortunately, legislators didn’t give up and two similar bills look likely to reach the desk of Edwards this session, all other things equal. HB 149 by GOP state Rep. Larry Frieman would clarify emergency powers law to ensure even the most activist judge can’t misinterpret the law other than its explicit wording to give each chamber a veto power over gubernatorial assertions of authority in a declared emergency, in whole or part, taking effect when the next governor assumes office. HB 20 by GOP state Rep. Blake Miguez makes for an even tighter regulation of private election conduct donations, removing the language from his previous version limiting it only to those held under emergency conditions.