Lawmaker seeks to dedicate BP Clean Water Act fines for coastal restoration — Louisiana Record | “A pre-filed bill in the House of Representatives by Rep. Simone Champagne (R–Jeanerette) would allow voters to decide on a constitutional amendment that would dedicate Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP oil spill to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund. If HB118 were to pass and later receive a majority vote by voters it would prevent any funds coming from Clean Water Act violations in the 2010 BP oil spill from being used for anything but coastal protection and restoration projects, such as funding levee districts and marsh creation.” Environmental groups and coastal advocates have worried about BP fine money being rerouted to non-coastal projects.
As the summer of 2013 threatens to bring an intensifying drought, Texas legislators are looking for ways to conserve water. One such proposal, HB 379, set to be debated in the House Energy Resources Committee on Wednesday, would impose a 1-cent-per-barrel fee on oil and gas wastewater disposed of in wells. Injection of wastewater underground is drawing scrutiny as lawmakers consider water recycling and other options that could reduce the amount of fresh water used in hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, and other oil and gas extraction processes.
Jindal’s most immediate task is resurrecting his tax swap, which would abolish $3.6 billion in income and corporate taxes and replace them with higher sales taxes and a tripling of the cigarette tax. In Lake Charles on Monday, he repeated his belief that the plan would create jobs and promote investment. Only 27 percent of voters polled by Southern Media agreed with that prognosis, while 63 percent opposed the plan.
Construction of riverfront ‘Crescent Park’ almost complete — WWLTV.com | “Folks across the Bywater area say they’re happy to call the neighborhood home, but something has been missing. ‘The only thing I don’t like is I cannot walk to the river,’ said a neighbor named David. ‘And from day one, it’s irritated me that I live two blocks from the river and I cannot walk to the river.’ “
Dueling bills could determine future of New Orleans Adolescent Hospital — The Advocate | “Bills prefiled for the upcoming legislative session could either allow Children’s Hospital to lease the closed New Orleans Adolescent Hospital without restoring mental-health services or force Children’s out of an existing lease if it does not, clearing the way for an operator that would bring back those services.” State Reps. Neil Abramson and Helena Moreno, whose districts both represent Uptown, are at odds over the future of the Hospital.
Fruit, Not Fries: Lunchroom Makeovers Nudge Kids Toward Better Choices — WWNO | “A minor lunchroom makeover could make a big difference, says Andrew Hanks, a behavioral economist at Cornell University. In a study published online by The Journal of Pediatrics, Hanks and his colleagues … demonstrate that small, simple changes in presentation and layout can have a large impact on how — and what — students eat.”
The governor needs to get education reform back on track. Lower courts have tossed new laws he backed last year to tighten teacher evaluation and tenure rules, give local school superintendents more autonomy and expand funding for his fledgling (and controversial) statewide voucher program. Lower courts declared all three initiatives unconstitutional on technical grounds. All are now pending before the Louisiana Supreme Court, where their fate is uncertain. The governor and lawmakers should revisit those issues this year and fix the technical glitches. On the matter of vouchers, they also should tighten the accountability provisions.
Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...
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