John Bel Edwards used the Mardi Gras celebration in Washington, D.C. to do a little networking, shaking hands and talking about the state's issues. The event sure seemed like a good time to meet with the powers in Washington: on Thursday night, our Congressional delegation turned out for a meeting with the governor ... everyone except David Vitter.
The Edwards administration has notified state universities severe cuts will be on the way. Via Jay Dardenne, commissioner of administration, sent out a memo asking the university systems to prepare a budget reduction. Those reduction numbers aren't in the 1 percent range, either. With the budget on the line, some are asking if we have too many universities. At first glance, the question of too much higher education is ridiculous (how could you ever have too much?), but the piece makes some good arguments that - based on out population - there are too many schools in Louisiana. Here, we also see just how deep higher education has been cut. At the start of Bobby Jindal's time as governor taxpayers funded about 60 percent of state schools. Now, students are paying more, and taxpayers put up around a quarter of the bill. The cuts are the single highest int he nation. JR Ball says the dilemma of raising taxes or cutting higher ed means that this is one messed up state. That's not exactly news, but it is spot-on.
John Bel Edwards looked to dip into BP settlement money from the oil spill to lessen the budget disaster. However, that might not be possible. Damn, how about JBE goes into a McDonalds and slips on a french fry? Can we get some money for that?
Louisiana Voice adds Tersa Buchanan - terminated from LSU for dropping some racy jokes and having a sailor's tongue - to a list of folks it says we released unfairly. The list goes back to when Huey Long gave a couple students the boot for running a letter that criticized him.
Preface: Ok, before you say it, I know it is for a good cause but ... The 2016 Great Acadiana Running of the Ducks logo is just wrong. The logo - used on T-shirts and whatnot - mirrors the design of LOVE Acadiana, which was used after the Grand Theatre shooting and includes a play on the Lafayette Strong phrase used to rally our city. Instead of LOVE, the Acadiana flag flag reads DUCK, followed by Strong (as in Duck Strong). I'm not easily offended, but shouldn't someone - anyone - have hit stop on this at some phase - conception, design, drawing, printing, shipping - during the project?