Low Popahirum, Louisiana Edition (5-20-14)

“Any morning when legislators roll into the state Capitol and see the hallways filled with citizens wearing T-shirts of the same color with messages printed thereon, it fills them with dread. Unlike lobbyists, who are always well-dressed and solicitous, the color-coordinated T-shirters are deeply committed to their causes, are not in the mood to compromise and certainly aren’t buying lunch. There seems to be more of them this session than ever.” – John Maginnis/NOLA.com

“Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, said he will oppose Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s nomination because he is not satisfied with the implementation of a quirky portion of the Affordable Care Act that requires lawmakers and certain staff to get their health coverage through one of the new health exchanges.” – Washington Times

Could sharks be the key to better hurricane forecasts? It sounds a little fishy, but researchers are attaching sensors to sharks to find out what’s happening in the water below a hurricane. Vital data for predicting hurricanes could soon come from sharks swimming beneath the storm.” – WWL-TV

“Louisiana’s income forecasting panel Monday rejected a push by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to boost revenue forecasts by $118 million next year, instead choosing a more conservative $65 million increase.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Faced with criticism and a recall petition over her handling of the fracking issue, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister issued an open letter to residents on Monday, saying her administration is drafting ordinances that would give the parish some oversight over oil and gas drilling operations. While it is up to the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Natural Resources to determine whether Helis Oil & Gas Co. of New Orleans will be allowed to drill a well near Mandeville, Brister said, the parish government must do what it can ‘to safeguard our beautiful parish, its pristine water and our coveted lifestyle.'” – NOLA.com

“A formal complaint against the campaign of former Gov. Edwin Edwards was sent to the Federal Election Commission Monday claiming a fundraiser invitation was distributed digitally without the proper disclosures.” – LAPolitics.com

“A federal appeals court on Monday refused to reconsider its previous ruling that businesses don’t have to prove they were directly harmed by BP’s 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block state court rulings requiring the city of New Orleans to pay $17.5 million for its share of the fire department’s retirement fund for 2010 through 2012. The Landrieu administration stopped making full monthly payments to the fund in July 2010.” – WWL-TV

Louisiana lawmakers have appeared skeptical — at best — about the recommendations being put forward by a private contractor hired by Gov. Bobby Jindal to find efficiencies in the state’s government. During a state Senate Finance Committee meeting Friday (May 16), legislators questioned whether the management consulting firm, Alvarez & Marsal, had made cost-saving recommendations that Louisiana could actually use.” – NOLA.com

“Flicking a cigarette butt out of your car window could get you slapped with a hefty fine and community service. Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a bill that labels cigarette butts as litter and allows the fines.” – Shreveport Times

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