[StBernard] BLANCO TRACK: Session Update for June 20, 2007; Today's progress on Governor Blanco's agenda to stre

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Jun 20 23:25:47 EDT 2007

BLANCO TRACK: Session Update for Wednesday, June 20, 2007;Today's progress on Governor Blanco's agenda to Strengthen Louisiana's Future

BATON ROUGE - Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco issued the following statement after her executive budget received final approval this afternoon from the legislature.

"Today the legislature has completed action on the state budget and and I thank the legislature for its hard work. I look forward to signing this budget which places historical investments in education, economic development, and health care," said Gov Blanco.

The following bills in Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's legislative package advanced in the legislature today:

House Bill 1 - Operating Expenses of State Government

* Sponsored by Representative John Alario.

* This bill outlines the Governor's executive budget, including the following key components:
Education: Provides a pay increase for Louisiana's teachers to the SREB average, as well as a pay increase for support workers; expands LA4 Early Childhood program for all at-risk children, funds Louisiana's High School Redesign initiative; and invests in education technology including a laptop pilot program for two 6th grade classes in every parish.
Higher Education: Provides 100 percent Formula Funding for higher education institutions, provides for non-formula and over-formula institutions at three percent of their formula amounts, provides a faculty pay increase, establishes Louisiana's first substantial need-based scholarships program, provides targeted funding for hurricane-affected campuses to assist with faculty recruitment, retention and to help restore and recover key research and operational capacity; funds the! Community and Technical College Development Pool; and funds more workforce training focused on the construction trades, nursing and allied health.
Health Care: Provides funding to increase private and public provider rates, expansion of disability waiver slots, continue uncompensated care pool, funding for health care redesign, and expansion of nursing teaching programs services for behavioral health (mental health and addictive disorders)
Pay Increases: Provides for increased fire and police supplemental pay by $125 per month, a special pay package for correctional officers to reduce high turnover rate - $6,000 per officer (excludes wardens and assistant wardens), and a modest state employee pay raise - $1,500.

* Concurred by the House of Representatives, heads to the Governor to be signed.

Senate Bill 46 - Establishes the Legislative Youth Advisory Council

* Sponsored by Senator Gerald Theunissen

* This bill creates the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council to examine and facilitate communication between youth and the legislature regarding issues important to youth

* Approved by the Senate, heads next to the Governor to be signed.

Click here for more on the legislative session. <http://www.gov.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&navID=50&cpID=169&cfmID=0&catID=0>


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