Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

The next time you see a couple of state troopers escorting Les Miles or Nick Saban at an LSU or Alabama football game, don’t get angry that the coach, surrounded by about 100 beefy football players, feels the need for additional protection from fans. It turns out they’re not there to protect the coaches; they’re there to carry their bulging wallets.

Of the highest paid public employees in each state, 40 are college football and basketball coaches who combined, pull in an eye-popping $129.1 million, according to 24/7 Wall Street, a service that provides research in several areas of business, education, economics and politics.

That’s an average of $3.225 million per year.

The remaining 10 highest paid were mostly in academics, including four college presidents, three state medical school professionals, a nursing supervisor, a commissioner of higher education and an associate professor.

Of the 40 coaches, only six—four football coaches and two basketball coaches—are paid less than $1 million a year and one of those, University of Massachusetts basketball coach Derek Kellogg, receives $994,500 per year.

The 28 football coaches make a combined $95.6 million, an average of $3.41 million per year in salary while the 12 basketball coaches combined to make $33.5 million, an average of $2.79 million annually.

The University of Alabama’s Nick Saban had been the highest-paid football coach at $6.95 million but the University of Michigan is paying first-year coach Jim Harbaugh a whopping $7 million a year. LSU’s Les Miles is paid $4.3 million a year.

For the most part, of course, their salaries are not primarily funded by taxpayers. Generally, their paychecks are underwritten by foundations supported by ticket sales and advertising deals. Harbaugh, for example, receives only $500,000 of his $7 million package from the school.

Still, the disparity in the salaries of coaches and typical state employees is enough to rankle some state employees. At Boise State University, for example, both the football and basketball coaches make a more modest salary of $500,000 but that is still more than 10 times the $40,000 or less earned by more than a third of Idaho state employees.

To counter criticism of the high salaries, some college athletic programs point out that successful coaches can bring a university tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Saban is an example of that. Before he was named head coach at ‘Bama, the school’s athletic program brought in $68 million. In 2013-2014, revenue was $153 million.

Still, critics say that athletic programs at the top tier schools like Alabama, constitute a business and coaches should not receive a cent of public funds in salary.

Which may have prompted the fable of a coach’s retort (and we paraphrase here): “I never saw anyone pay to watch a chemistry class.”

Here is the list of each state’s highest paid public employee:

ALABAMA:                NICK SABAN                FOOTBALL COACH              $6.95 M

ALASKA:                    JAMES JOHNSEN      COLLEGE PRES.                    $325,000

ARIZONA:                  SEAN MILLER            BASKETBALLCOACH          $3.07 M

ARKANSAS                BRET BIELEMA         FOOTBALL COACH              $4 M

CALIFORNIA             JAMES MORA            FOOTBALL COACH              $3.35 M

COLORADO               MIKE MacINTYRE     FOOTBALL COACH              $2.01 M

CONNECTICUT          KEVIN OLLIE             BASKETBALL COACH         $3 M

DELAWARE               EKEOMA WOGU       NURSING SUPERVISOR      $236,156

FLORIDA                    JIMBO FISHER          FOOTBALL COACH              $5 M

GEORGIA                   MARK RICHT             FOOTBALL COACH              $4 M

HAWAII                      NORM CHOW             FOOTBALL COACH              $550,000

IDAHO                        BRYAN HARSIN         FOOTBALL COACH              $800,000

ILLINOIS                    JOHN GROCE             BASKETBALL COACH          $1.7 M

INDIANA                    TOM CREAN              BASKETBALL COACH          $3.05 M

IOWA                          KIRK FERENTZ          FOOTBALL COACH              $4.08 M

KANSAS                     BILL SELF                    BASKETBALL COACH          $4.75 M

KENTUCKY               JOHN CALIPARI        BASKETBALL COACH          $6.01 M

LOUISIANA                LES MILES                  FOOTBALL COACH              $4.3 M

MAINE                        SUSAN HUNTER        COLLEGE PRESIDENT        $250,000

MARYLAND              MARK TURGEON        BASKETBALL COACH          $2.248 M


MICHIGAN                 JIM HARBAUGH        FOOTBALL COACH              $7 M

MINNESOTA              JERRY KILL                  FOOTBALL COACH              $2.5 M

MISSISSIPPI                HUGH FREEZE           FOOTBALL COACH           $4.3 M

MISSOURI                  GERY PINKEL               FOOTBALL COACH           $4.02 M

MONTANA                 CLAY CHRISTIAN     COMM. HIGHER ED              $351,000

NEBRASKA                MIKE RILEY               FOOTBALL COACH              $2.7 M

NEVADA                     KAYVAN KHIABANI   ASSOC. PROFESSOR          $981,475


NEW JERSEY             KYLE FLOOD             FOOTBALL COACH              $1.25 M

NEW MEXICO            BOB DAVIE                FOOTBALL COACH              $772,690

NEW YORK                SHASHIKANT LELE  MED SCH. DEPT. CHAIR    $551,000



OHIO                           URBAN MEYER         FOOTBALL COACH              $5.8 M

OKLAHOMA              BOB STOOPS              FOOTBALL COACH              $5.25 M

OREGON                    MARK HELFRICH      FOOTBALL COACH              $3.15 M


RHODE ISLAND        DAN HURLEY            BASKETBALL COACH          $627,500



TENNESSEE               BUTCH JONES           FOOTBALL COACH              $2.96 M

TEXAS                         CHARLIE STRONG    FOOTBALL COACH              $5.1 M

UTAH              KYLE WHITTINGHAM          FOOTBALL COACH              $2.6 M

VERMONT                  TOM SULLIVAN        COLLEGE PRES.                    $429,093

VIRGINIA                   FRANK BEAMER       FOOTBALL COACH              $2.42 M

WASHINGTON           MIKE LEACH             FOOTBALL COACH              $2.75 M


WISCONSIN               BO RYAN                   BASKETBALL COACH          $2.75 M

WYOMING                 CRAIG BOHL             FOOTBALL COACH              $832,000



50 TOTAL COACHES:                     $129.1 MILLION ($3.225 MILLION AVERAGE)

10 ACADEMIC, OTHER:                 $4.72 MILLION ($472,000 AVERAGE)

TOTAL:                                              $133.73 MILLION ($2.67 MILLION)

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Folks, if you don’t read anything else today, please read Bob Mann’s post. It should strike a chord with every person in Louisiana who struggles to make his or life a little better. It will break the hearts of teachers who see the effects that abject poverty has on children’s ability to learn. It will resonate with those who are unable to afford health care. It should infuriate those forced to pay higher tuition at our colleges and universities because the politicians can’t seem to find the funds to support higher education.

But it will clang with an empty thud with those who want to absolve themselves of any responsibility, who fail to see society’s problems as their own and who, instead of striving to find solutions, choose only to blame the federal bureaucracy in a sweeping dismissal of the ills that afflict us all—economically, physically, emotionally, and morally.

A survey released on Thursday (Sept. 17) shows that Louisiana is the 8th poorest state in the nation. With the abundance of natural resources that we have in this state, that should never be. It should an extreme embarrassment to our leaders, especially one so oblivious as to believe he is presidential timber. Here is the link to that survey: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/09/17/richest-and-poorest-states/?utm_source=247WallStDailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=SEP172015A&utm_campaign=DailyNewsletter

Bob Mann has said the things that I have wished a thousand times for the skill and the proficiency to articulate. Go here to read today’s post:


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On the eve of Bobby Jindal’s anticipated earth shaking announcement that he is squeezing himself into the clown car of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, I thought we should let our readers know that I am still on the job, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

As we wait with collective bated breath for word that Bobby is not only available but more than willing to do for the nation what he has done for Louisiana (God help us all, Tiny Tim), I remain cloistered in my cluttered home office, working diligently on my book, as yet untitled, in which I intend to fully document precisely what he has done for to Louisiana.

Among the topics to be covered are public education, higher education, health care, the state budget, campaign contributions, political appointments, ethics, privatization, his ALEC connections, the explosion in corporate tax breaks during his two terms, the lack of progress as reflected in myriad state rankings and surveys throughout his eight years as our largely absentee governor, the lack of transparency, his thinly veiled use of foundations and non-profit organizations to advance his political career, his intolerance for dissent (teaguing), his actual performance as compared to campaign promises as candidate Bobby, and his general incompetence.

I was asked on a local radio show if I could be fair to Jindal, given my personal feelings about his abilities as reflected in more than a thousand posts on this site. The short answer is: probably not. The long answer is I can—and will—be as fair to him as he has been to the state I love and call home. Because I do not claim to be objective (as opposed to the paid media who cling to that word as if it were some kind of Holy Grail), I am not bound by any rules that place limits on the expression of my opinions. I see what he has done, I understand the adverse effect his actions have had on this state, and I will offer my take on them for the reader to either accept or reject. If that is not fair, then so be it.

I have written about 60,000 words of an anticipated 100,000-word manuscript thus far. A couple of other writers have volunteered to contribute chapters, which should add another 20,000 words. I have a self-imposed deadline of July 1—give or take a few days—in which to have the rough draft completed. I also have several very capable editors poring over the chapters as they are completed. Their corrections, deletions, additions and suggestions will be incorporated into the final manuscript which is to be submitted to the publisher by late August.

The publisher originally gave me a publication target date of next Spring but recently moved the anticipated publication date up to January, with an e-book to be released possibly as early as this Fall.

That would coincide nicely with Jindal’s second ghost-written book, scheduled out in September.

There will be one major difference in our books: Mine will be based on his record while the source of his claims of balanced budgets and other wild, unsubstantiated assertions are certain to remain a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (with apologies to Winston Churchill).

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        Because we are working frantically to meet the deadline for publication of our book about Bobby Jindal, we have scaled back on the frequency of posts for LouisianaVoice. Instead, we are relying heavily on several guest columnists. The following post was written by Michael Kurt Corbello, Ph.D.

         He is an associate professor of political science at Southeastern Louisiana University where he has taught since 1987. From 1991 to 2011, he was the founding director of the Southeastern Poll. He teaches courses in American politics, research methods and statistics, polling and public opinion, Louisiana politics, the Louisiana Legislature in Session, political parties, environmental policy, American foreign policy and European politics. Since 2004, he has run a three-week summer study abroad program for SLU in Salzburg, Austria.

         He has volunteered the following column from his own political blog, Dr. Kurt Corbello on Politics:


By Dr. Michael Kurt Corbello (special to LouisianaVoice)

In the current battle in the Louisiana legislature over how to fully fund public higher education while not raising the ire of the Jindal/Norquist anti-tax axis, it is heartening to witness comments by leaders in the business community drawing a direct connection between business opportunity and broad, affordable access to higher education. Still, politicians and ideologues in Louisiana often show an openness to diminishing, if not destroying, the great strides made in Louisiana to increase access to higher education. Frequently, this tendency to limit access is born out of well-intentioned ignorance, as in October 2009, when Louisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker called for a study to explore closing some of the public college “facilities on every corner” of the state.

At other times, calls to reduce the number of public secondary education institutions are clearly born out of malice and deceit. Recently, a rabidly ideological blogger rallied the bandwagon to eliminate a few colleges and universities in Louisiana, arguing that our “14” public four-year institutions are too many to serve a population of 4.6 million. According to the blogger, Louisiana should take a lesson from the “12” public colleges and universities serving the “four times” more populous state of Florida. The implication is that public post-secondary institutions in Louisiana do not carry a heavy enough burden in serving the state’s population to justify having “so many” institutions.

Of course, we’ve heard these arguments before, repeated enough that they are widely accepted as true. Yet, it does not take a tremendous effort to discover that the basic assumptions behind the “downsizing argument” in Louisiana are false! Perhaps it is a bit petty to suggest that higher education policy “thinkers” get their facts straight (Louisiana has 17 public four-year colleges and universities, while Florida has 39), but while we’re at it lets look at the “counterintuitive” side of the debate: that Louisiana’s public system of higher education isn’t just grossly underfunded to the point of bankruptcy, it is overburdened, should be expanded and should be returned to a level of affordability for the average family in this state!

As a point of public disclosure, the reader should know that I am a Louisiana-born, raised, and public-educated political science professor with a nearly thirty-year career at one of the state’s four-year universities. This is to say that I have a bias, but it is one based upon experience and data, not upon ideological deceit, intellectual sloppiness, and a lack of transparency! First, I alter some basic assumptions about the structure of higher education in Louisiana.

My view is that post-secondary education should be thought of as a system with many interdependent parts, public and private, large and small, four-year and two-year, general and specialized, each serving different needs and communities in order to serve the state as a whole. Further, I argue that a good and basic way to measure the burden on the system within each state is to divide the state population by the state’s total number of post-secondary institutions. I used Census data and information available from the U. S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics to compare the population burden upon the higher education systems for each of the fifty states, plus Washington, D.C.  Data on State Populations and Institutions of Higher Education as of 2010 to 2015

Nationwide there are 718 public four-year colleges and universities (avg. 14), 1705 private four-year institutions (avg. 33), 1173 public community colleges (avg. 23), and 284 private community colleges (avg. 6), for a total of 3814 post-secondary institutions (avg. 75). Yet, not all states are the same! Louisiana has 17 public 4-year colleges and universities (rank=11th), 12 private four-year institutions (rank=34th), 16 public community colleges (rank=27th), and 6 private community colleges (rank=12th), for a total of 51 post-secondary institutions (rank=28th). Since critics like (and misstate) the comparison, Florida has 39 public four-year colleges and universities (rank=4th), 79 private four-year institutions (rank=6th), 63 public community colleges (rank=3rd), and 12 private community colleges (rank=8th), for a total of 193 post-secondary institutions (rank=4th).

Combining all public and private four-year colleges and universities yields a different set of results. The national average is 48 institutions per state (New York, 215; California, 200; Pennsylvania, 155; Florida, 118; Texas, 109; Ohio, 108; Massachusetts, 98; Illinois, 97; Michigan, 83). Louisiana (29) and most of the remaining states of the South have a range six to 66 public and private four-year colleges and universities per state.

But the picture of higher education in the United States, Louisiana, and the South would not be complete without considering the impact of the 1,457 public and private community colleges across the country. Nationwide, the average number of these institutions per state nationwide is 39. California has 133, Texas 83, New York 79, Florida 75, Ohio 69, North Carolina 67, and Pennsylvania 63. In the South, there are 540 public and private community colleges, with an average of 32 per state. While Louisiana ranks a low 11th with 22, the range is from a low of 2 in D.C. to a high of 83 in Texas.

In all, there are 3,814 public and private post-secondary institutions across the United States, and each of them plays a critical role in educating a valuable constituency; you, me, our children, and those yet to breathe the air of curiosity and creativity. The question is, does Louisiana have a glut of higher education institutions? The best available data clearly shows that Louisiana doesn’t have enough post-secondary institutions, particularly community colleges that can provide access for people in more remote areas, as well as to individuals not ready for urban four-year institutions! Here is why!

Nationwide, Louisiana ranks 25th in population size and 26th in the percentage of urban population. These are factors that help to define economic activity in a state, the training required of its workforce, and the distribution of educational facilities. In addition, Louisiana is 28th in the total number of post-secondary institutions. Yet, Louisiana ranks 12th (91,170) in population per post-secondary institution. Again, I see this as a measure of the burden on the state’s higher education system.

Comparing Louisiana among the 17 states of the South is even more telling. Louisiana ranks 10th in population size (4,649,676), 8th in the percentage of urban population, 12th in the total number of colleges (51), but 6th in population per institution (91,170) per state. Only Texas (140,401), Maryland (117,184), Florida (103,074), Georgia (99,974), and Virginia (99,122) impose somewhat heavier burdens on their higher education systems than does Louisiana. But each of these states has made a commitment to higher learning that continually fails to gain traction in the morass of Louisiana politics. Nationally, 77% of states are less burdensome to their higher education systems than is Louisiana. In the South, Louisiana’s higher education system is more heavily burdened than systems in 65% of all other states.

Talk of closing public colleges and universities in Louisiana raises the question of access. Critics argue that public institutions “crowd out” potential private ones that would fill any vacuum created in their absence. Yet, public post-secondary institutions exist precisely because private institutions are unaffordable and inaccessible. The argument in favor of creating a vacuum in public higher education is a fraudulent one.

The average college student at a public institution in Louisiana is struggling to fulfill dreams. Tuition and books are increasing in costs, and so are debts for attending college. Most students have little money, even though they often work one, two or three jobs. Many have families. Most are able to go to college because they can drive to one within 30 miles of their families, children, and jobs. Closing public colleges and universities negatively alters the logistics and deprives them, and us, of the promise of a better life!

There is no genius in taking an ax to a budget. There is no brilliance in talking fast and saying nothing. There is no fiscal responsibility in refusing to pay the state’s bills in a way that is prudent. Previous state leaders grappled with Hurricane Katrina and left a $1 billion surplus that the current crop depleted in the blink of an eye. Tax cuts did not generate magic, as they never do. More pockets of “surplus” money had to be found and depleted. The once dependable “Charity Hospital” system is gone, sold off to the highest bidders, its replacement over budget, in legal limbo, and leaving thousands without care.

Post Katrina, bright, young, and talented college faculty came to Louisiana, especially to the University of New Orleans, wide-eyed and full of energy to build a life and a career in an exotic new frontier. Then we began hearing the smart-ass mantra, “Do more with less!” In response, these new creative souls did more with more by leaving the state, in the case of UNO, destroying its brand and making its future more troubled than Katrina ever did.

It is mind-boggling that anyone can think that it is good for business when we refuse to pay our bills and rip the heart right out of our future! We need responsible budgeting and more tax revenue! That is how government pays its bills. It is also how we take care of the multitude of things that, large, medium, or small, add up to a quality of life to be envied!

In the end, the now recurring crisis of higher education in Louisiana is a manufactured crisis. It is a crisis, the prevailing solutions to which run counter to “common” sense. After the players change, it will take us at least a generation and many hundreds of millions of dollars to reverse the damage done by this generation of “leaders.” The alternative is a state cannibalizing itself into unspeakable backwardness.

Without courage and resistance in the State Legislature, the current crop of leaders will continue to destroy what others in Louisiana took generations to build. Thankfully for us and for them, it is wanton destruction that they will never be around to “fix.” Where higher education is concerned, closing public institutions, or privatizing them, alters the mission and leaves people without access!


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State Treasurer John Kennedy on Tuesday told the House Appropriations Committee that the Division of Administration exerts extortion-like tactics against legislators and takes the approach that it should not be questioned about the manner in which it hands out state contracts and that the legislature should, in effect, keep its nose out of the administration’s business.

Kennedy was testifying on behalf of House Bill 30 by State Rep. Jerome Richard (I-Thibodaux) which provides for reporting, review and approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget (JLCB) of all contracts for professional, personal and consulting services totaling $40,000 or more per year which are funded exclusively with state general fund (SGF) or the Overcollections Fund. HB 30


Kennedy, in a matter of only a few minutes’ testimony, attacked figures provided by three representatives of the Division of Administration (DOA) who objected to the bill because of what they termed additional delays that would be incurred in contract approval and because of claimed infringement upon the separation of powers between the legislative and administrative branches of government.

Here is the link to the committee hearing. While Kennedy spoke at length on the bill, the gist of his remarks about DOA begin at about one hour and 13 minutes into his testimony. You can move your cursor to that point and pick up his attacks on DOA. http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Video/VideoArchivePlayer.aspx?v=house/2015/may/0526_15_AP

That argument appeared to be a reach at best considering it is the legislature that appropriates funding for the contracts. It also appeared more of a smokescreen for the real objections: DOA’s, and by extension, Bobby Jindal’s wish that the administration be allowed to continue to operate behind closed doors and without any oversight, unanswerable to anyone.

DOA representatives tried to minimize the effect of the bill by downplaying the number and dollar amount of the contracts affected (which raises the obvious question of why the opposition to the bill if its impact would be so minimal). The administration said only 164 contracts totaling some $29 million would be affected by the bill.

Kennedy, however, was quick to jump on those figures. “The numbers the division provided you are inaccurate,” he said flatly. “The Legislative Auditor, who works for you,” he told committee members, “just released a report that says there are 14,000 consulting contracts, plus another 4600 ‘off the books.’

“The fiscal notes of 2014 by the Legislative Fiscal Office—not the Division (DOA)—said the number of contracts approved in 2013 by the Office of Contractual Review was 2,001—not 160—professional, personal and consulting service contracts with a total value of $3.1 billion,” he said. “I don’t know where DOA is getting its numbers.

“To sum up their objections,” he said, “it appears to me that DOA and more to the point, the bureaucracy, is smarter than you and knows how to spend taxpayer dollars better than you. That’s the bottom line. They don’t want you to know. This bill will not be overly burdensome to you. Thirty days before the JLCB hearing, you will get a list of contracts. If there are no questions, they fly through. If there are questions, you can ask.”

Kennedy tossed a grenade at DOA on the issue of separation of powers when he accused the administration of blackmailing legislators who might be reluctant to go along with its programs.

“Let’s talk about how the division’s advice on contracts has worked out,” he said. “The Division advised you to spend all the $800 million in the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly. Now they have zero in that account. In fact, they pushed you to do that. Some of you were told if you didn’t do that, you’d lose your Capital Outlay projects. How’s that for separation of powers? How’d that work out for you?

“My colleagues from Division who just testified against the bill are the same ones who told you to take $400 million out of the (Office of Group Benefits) savings account set aside to pay retirees’ and state employees’ health claims. How’d that work out?”

Kennedy didn’t stop there. He came prepared with an entire laundry list of accusations against the administration.

“My colleagues from Division are the ones who told you, ‘Look, we need to privatize our health care delivery system,’ which I support in concept. They sat at this table and I heard them say we would only have to spend $600 million per year on our public-private partnership and (that it would be) a great deal ‘because right now we’re spending $900 million.’ I thought we’d be saving $300 million a year. Except we’re not spending $600 million; we’re spending $1.3 billion and we don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s (the partnerships) working. How’d that work out for you?

“I sat right here at this table and I heard my friends from Division say we need to do Bayou Health managed care. You now appropriate $2.8 billion a year for four health insurance companies to treat 900,000 of our people—not their people, our people,” he said. “There’s just one problem: when the Legislative Auditor goes to DHH (the Department of Health and Hospitals) to audit it (the program), they tell him no.”

Kennedy said that pursuant to orders from DOA, “the only way they can audit is if they take the numbers given him (Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera) by the insurance companies.

“This is a good bill,” he said. “It’s not my bill. My preference is to tell Division to cut 10 percent on all contracts and if you can’t do it, you will be unemployed. But this bill allows you to see where the taxpayer money is being spent.

“I have more confidence in you than I do in the people who’re doing things right now,” he said.

Kennedy said he was somewhat reluctant to testify about the bill “but I’m not going to let this go—especially the part about separation of powers.

“You want to see a blatant example of separation of powers?” he asked rhetorically, returning to the issue of the administration’s heavy handedness. “How about if I have a bill but you don’t read it. You either vote for it or you lose your Capital Outlay projects. How’s that for separation of powers?”

That evoked memories from November of 2012 when Jindal removed two representatives from their committee assignments one day after they voted against the administration’s proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana.

“Everything they (legislative committees) do is scripted,” said Rep. Joe Harrison (R-Gray), speaking to LouisianaVoice about his removal from the House Appropriations Committee. “I’ve seen the scripts. They hand out a list of questions we are allowed to ask and they tell us not to deviate from the list and not to ask questions that are not in the best interest of the administration.” http://louisianavoice.com/2012/11/02/notable-quotables-in-their-own-words-142/

Rep. John Schroder (R-Covington) asked Kennedy what his budget was to which Kennedy responded, “Less than last year and less that year than the year before and probably will be even less after this hearing. But you know what? I don’t care.

“There’s nothing you can say to get Division to support this bill,” he said. “They’re just not going to do it.

“You can’t find these contracts with a search party. But if you require them to come before you, you can get a feel for how money is being spent that people work hard for and you can provide a mechanism to shift some of that spending to higher priorities.

“Next year, you will spend $47 million on consulting contracts for coastal restoration. I’m not against coastal restoration; I’m all for it. But these consultants will not plant a blade of swamp grass. Don’t tell me they can’t do the job for 10 percent less. That $47 million is more than the entire state general fund appropriation for LSU-Shreveport, Southern University-Shreveport, McNeese and Nicholls State combined.

“Under the law, agencies are supposed to go before the Civil Service Board and show that the work being contracted cannot be done by state employees but that is perfunctory at best,” Kennedy said.

To the administration’s arguments of delays in contract approvals and infringements on the separation of powers, Rep. Brett Geymann (R-Lake Charles) dug in his heels. “This is not a bad thing,” he insisted. “We’re not going to go through every page of every contract unless someone calls it to our attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s 14,000 or 14 million contracts. The number is immaterial. If there’s an issue with a contract, we need to look at it.”

For once, the administration did not have its way with the legislature. The committee approved the bill unanimously and it will now move to the House floor for debate where Jindal’s forces are certain to lobby hard against its passage.

Should the bill ultimately pass both the House and Senate, Jindal will in all likelihood, veto the measure and at that point, we will learn how strong the legislature’s resolve really is.

But for Kennedy, the line has been drawn in the dust.

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