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Jeremy Alford

Trump could show hand on Louisiana fundraising case

President Donald Trump’s administration could potentially offer a filing in an appeal the Louisiana Republican Party is pushing before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case challenges the federal ban on unlimited donations to political parties.
Trump’s Justice Department has until March 13 to file its response to a ruling last year from a three-judge D.C. District Court that upheld the limits enforced by the Federal Election Commission.
That response could be an indication of whether the Trump administration wants to challenge or protect the campaign finance law.

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Science standards embrace evolution

With dialogue reminiscent of the evolution versus creationism arguments from the movie classic “Inherit the Wind,” the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Tuesday accepted updated content standards for science education in Louisiana’s public school.
This time around the controversy over climate change was thrown in.
BESE created an 86-person volunteer committee to revise Louisiana science standards for the first time in 20 years. The committee’s plan would begin implementation during the 2018-2019 school year.

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Strings attached to school funding increase

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Administration and Finance Committee Tuesday unanimously moved to recommend an additional $18 million to next year’s state education fund.
But there’s a catch.
Per Gov. John Bel Edwards’ executive budget, the $18 million is restricted to only two programs -- $8 million for what are called “high cost services,” such as students with disabilities, and $10 million to supplemental programs outside a school’s core curriculum, such as Jump Start.

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Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Secretary Terri Ricks, left, and Catherine Heitman, department press secretaray, testify before the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children Thursday. The committee sought input on the effect of natural disasters on women and children. (Photo by Sarah Gamard/Manship School News Service)

85% of La. population is in recovery mode

Here’s a sobering statistic: 85 percent of Louisiana’s population — in 56 out of 64 parishes — is in recovery of some sort from natural disasters since March.
That was part of the data poured out Thursday to the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children. Representatives from the Department of Children and Family Services, the Louisiana Department of Health, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office of Women’s Policy and the Office of the Attorney General.

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Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, and Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, listen to the news of another deficit in the next fiscal year during the Joint Legislative Committee of the Budget Thursday. (Photo by Carrie Grace Henderson/Manship School News Service)

How Louisiana’s budget deficit was resolved in the special session

After numerous revisions, political pressure and arm twisting, the 2017 Special Session of the Louisiana Legislature agreed to a formula Wednesday to counter a $304.2 million revenue shortfall.
It was a combination of midyear budget reductions, transfer of special funds, savings not filling vacant positions and a $99 million contribution from the state’s savings account, known as the Rainy Day fund.
It took the Legislature 10 days to come up with the following:
BUDGET CUTS
General Fund/Statutory Dedications/Self-Generated Revenue 

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