Friday, September 21, 2012

The legislative branch should assert itself

(Baton Rouge – September 21, 2012) Concerned about the Jindal administration’s apparent "complete disregard" for the legislature and the separation of powers, Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard (I-Thibodaux) this week became the second legislator to ask his colleagues to convene in special session. Senator Karen Carter Petersen (D-New Orleans) had already called for a special session over the Jindal administration’s handling of health care issues in the state.

"For democracy to work, it cannot be a spectator sport," said Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan. "We have an obligation to express our understanding and support for a legislative intervention.
While Rep. Richard focused on the billion dollars of cuts ordered by the Jindal administration after the last legislative session ended, Federation President Steve Monaghan said he believes lawmakers should also revisit and address the so called bold education agenda which was steamrolled through the 2011 session.

“Representative Richard’s sentiments are shared by educators, but their concerns are not limited to fiscal matters only,” Monaghan said.

“At the governor’s urging, the legislature rushed through and rubber-stamped two poorly drafted, fatally flawed bills,” said Monaghan. “They have fueled confusion and spawned litigation that could drag on for years. The best course for lawmakers is to reconsider them before public education suffers irreparable harm in our state.”

According to the LFT president, the education agenda that Gov. Jindal pushed through in the first weeks of the session has led to mass confusion in the education community, and has made Louisiana a national laughingstock.

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