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Jail’s Oz-like finances; LSU Hospital privatized; charter school unionized

Because of a drop in the inmate population at Orleans Parish Prison, Sheriff Marlin Gusman told a federal judge Monday that he is anticipating about a $4 million budget shortfall through the end of 2013. That estimate does not include potential costs associated with a pending federal consent decree that could cost as much as $22 million a year to implement broad changes at the prison, which has long been plagued by high rates of suicide, violence and escape.

The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But the justices did say lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington’s approval, in advance, for election changes.

Some New Orleans lawmakers said Monday they are not happy with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to remove funding for children and people with disabilities from next year’s budget, and support holding a special veto session to consider overriding those cuts. However, they acknowledge the possibility of convening such a session is slim.

Lawmakers aren’t the only ones who are angry.


President Obama will propose a sweeping plan to address climate change on Tuesday, setting ambitious goals and timetables for a series of executive actions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare the nation for the ravages of a warming planet.

The speech is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. (CDT) today.


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About Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado covers the city of New Orleans and other local government bodies. He previously worked for Gambit, New Orleans’ alternative newsweekly, where he covered city hall, criminal justice and public health. Before moving to New Orleans, he covered state and local government for weekly papers in Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.