A Glimpse Into "Honor Code's" Prison Reform

Source: Louisiana Dept. of Corrections

Source: Louisiana Dept. of Corrections

In case you missed this one, our own "Honor Code", John Bel Edwards, has decided that one of the most important things that needs to be done in this state is prison reform.  As a result, countless number of prisoners will be released.  As with most everything that a liberal might try, there will always be the problem cases.  One particular case would be this:

Law enforcement agencies in this area are especially worried because of the early release recently of a “career criminal” who has since been indicted for first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy. He also wounded a 17-year-old whom authorities say may never walk again.

The accused man was paroled after serving 24 years of a 99-year prison sentence for armed robbery and other crimes. No explanation has been offered as to how he managed to be paroled.

One can only hope that the "governor" sees what a potential release of criminals will do for society and the citizens of Louisiana.  We urge him to carefully look at each and every case.

Source: Prisoner releases raising questions

Posted on October 17, 2017 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.

KENNEDY: A tax code for the middle class – let’s invest in the American dream

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia


It doesn’t take an expert to see that something is stalling the American economy.

2016 was the 11th straight year that America failed to achieve 3 percent annual growth, which was our average nearly every year since 1960. I’ve heard numerous pundits act like returning to 3 percent growth is something special. No, it’s just “average.” The American people deserve better than just average growth.

But even average growth is optimistic if we keep hamstringing our job creators. Our 40 percent corporate tax rate and broken tax code are chasing our ideas, our jobs, and our investors into the open, waiting arms of foreign countries. We are keeping wages and productivity low. We are crippling our small businesses.

Changes have to be made to unshackle our small businesses, but in the process, we can’t forget about the primary vehicle for economic growth: the middle-class.

I’ve said it before: What we have right now in America is too many undeserving people at the top getting bailouts and too many undeserving people at the bottom getting handouts. And you know who’s been stuck with the bill? Middle-class families. And they can’t afford it any more. Their kids’ tuition has gone up, their health insurance has gone up, but you know what hasn’t gone up? Their take home pay.

That’s why I’m speaking up for the middle class. Someone has to speak up for ordinary people when it comes to tax reform.

Middle-class families drive our economic engine. They buy the goods and services that our businesses are selling. They work hard to be able to spend and save and invest. They are our entrepreneurs and our innovators. And now, as they are trying to balance their checkbooks, nearly one-third of their income is automatically withheld and sent off to Washington.

Right now, if you’re a middle-class family in Alexandria, La., with a combined household income of $59,000 and two kids, and you claim all your exemptions and take the standard deduction, you’re still going to be sending the federal government $3,500. Now, that’s not even counting contributions to state and local taxes, or payments to Social Security and Medicare. By the time the bills are paid and there’s gas in the car, very little is left for the kids’ college funds.

I have a plan for how tax reform can target the middle class and bring those families some badly needed relief.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans opt to take the standard deduction when filing their taxes. It’s simple, it’s fair, and it requires less documentation than itemizing. All Congress needs to do is to double the standard deduction across the board in order to inject more than $600 billion back into the economy over 10 years, according to a 2014 CRS report. That’s an immediate shot in the arm for the American economy. That family of four in Alexandria will have their tax bill reduced to $1,700, freeing up almost $2,000 of hard-earned income.

That’s $2,000 new dollars back into my state’s economy. As the cost of earning more is reduced, people will want to work harder. That means more productivity and even more growth. It’s Economics 101: You give people more to spend and they’ll spend it, and grow the economy in the process.

We need to liberate the middle class and their power to spend and save. In short, we need to renew the belief in the American dream.

A tax reform policy that provides relief to the middle class, such as doubling the standard deduction, will reawaken the incentive to work, save, and invest. Our economic fate is tied to the health of our middle class and our small businesses. It’s high time that we offer middle-class Americans a tax code that believes in them.

Kennedy is the junior senator from Louisiana.

Source: The Hill

Posted on October 16, 2017 and filed under John Kennedy, Louisiana, Taxes.

Port of Iberia Executive Director Speaks Up Regarding Oil and Gas Lawsuit

Photo source: KATC

Photo source: KATC

Executive Director Craig Romero recently spoke up regarding the   lawsuit brought about by the 15th Judicial District Attorney in Louisiana. Romero had the following to say regarding the lawsuit being brought back to state court:

 “To suggest that we would sue the very people that is the heart and soul of Acadiana’s economy, you can’t sue your customers, it makes absolutely no sense, there’s no logic to it.” said Craig Romero.

Read more: Oil And Gas Lawsuit Moves Back To State Court; Port Of Iberia Director Speaks Out

Posted on September 30, 2017 and filed under Louisiana, Oil and Gas.

Louisiana's legal climate hits 'rock bottom' in national survey

Photo source: Louisiana Record

Photo source: Louisiana Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Louisiana has the worst legal climate in the nation, according to a survey released this week.

The survey, dubbed the "2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States," was conducted by Harris Poll and was accompanied by a video by Faces of Lawsuit Abuse, a project of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which owns this publication.

"Louisiana, you're one of the worst," the video said. "Awarding ridiculous sums of money for junk lawsuits. Some of your politicians are hiring their trial lawyer friends to file cases while doing nothing to pass legal reforms."

The Pelican State came in behind 48th-ranked Illinois and 47th-ranked California. Louisiana's ranking in the latest poll, which was first conducted in 2002, is a first and all-time low for the state, which edged out Missouri this time, which ranked 49th.

“Louisiana’s lawsuit climate has hit rock bottom,” Lisa A. Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal Reform, said. “The state’s long history of litigation abuse and the questionable integrity of its courts hurt everyone by holding back more robust job growth and investment.”

The survey ranked Louisiana "dead last" in the poll's 10 categories, including judges’ competence and impartiality, jury fairness and the quality of its appeals process, according a statement by the institute. The survey also ranked New Orleans and Orleans Parish as the nation's fourth worst lawsuit jurisdiction.

"Over the years, judicial misconduct has plagued Louisiana’s courts," the Institute for Legal Reform said in the statement. "In 2016 alone, judicial misconduct cases resulted in fines, suspensions and resignations of at least five different judges. Several of these cases were for repeat offenses."

Survey participants included 1,203 in-house general counsels, senior litigators or attorneys and other senior executives at companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million who said they knew about litigation matters, according to the survey.

Participants were reached through more than 1,300 telephone and online interviews between March 31 and June 26, which asked for rankings on topics such as fairness of a given state's lawsuit environments in 10 categories, including state laws, courts, judges and juries.

The institute also issued the 2017 edition of its "101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems," a listing of key legal reforms that states can adopt to improve their lawsuit climates.

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial and educational activities at the national, state and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Source: Louisiana's legal climate hits 'rock bottom' in national survey

Posted on September 14, 2017 and filed under Louisiana.

LANDRY: Consumer protection bureau isn't looking after consumers: Letter

Photo source: Louisiana AG

Photo source: Louisiana AG

President Ronald Reagan famously said, "the most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Who knows how that sentence would read if he were around for the passage of Dodd-Frank and its creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Since its inception, the unelected, unaccountable and unconstitutional CFPB has advanced a radical agenda that has hurt the consumers it purportedly protects. This rogue agency and its unconstrained leader Richard Cordray have gone beyond enforcing laws to now creating them. Their capricious decision-making and abuse of power have killed competition and jeopardized economic liberty.

The CFPB's latest unilateral decision to increase consumer costs, reduce consumer choice and jeopardize consumer access to credit comes in the form of its "anti-arbitration rule," which effectively removes arbitration for consumers and forces class-action lawsuits upon them. The rule also mandates service providers give the CFPB their confidential arbitration records and court proceedings.

While this arbitration ban would benefit a handful of trial attorneys, it would drastically increase prices for consumers. According to the CFPB, its overreach amounted to an average payout of $32 for the consumers but millions for the lawyers. The same study showed arbitration resulted in an average recovery of $5,389 for consumers in a manner 12 times faster than litigation.

The CFPB study - like the law which allows arbitration clauses in consumer contracts - apparently was no hurdle for a leftist ideologue like Cordray, who moved ahead with the draconian prohibition on arbitration for consumers dealing with banks and other financial service companies. His action does not advance the public interest.

As Louisiana's chief legal officer - I want to ensure our state's consumers are protected from Wall Street and Washington alike. That is why I adamantly oppose the CFPB making consumers pay more for less with their latest flagrant federal power grab. I urge the U.S. Senate to follow the U.S. House's lead and use their authority under the Congressional Review Act to block the CFPB rule.

I encourage my fellow Louisianians to contact our senators, asking they rescind this rule and prevent a similar one from being enacted in the future. Reach Sen. Bill Cassidy by phone at 202-224-5824 or online at cassidy.senate.gov, and reach Sen. John Kennedy by phone at 202-224-4623 or online at kennedy.senate.gov. Together, we can stop this rogue federal agency and make government more open, accountable and responsive.

Attorney General Jeff Landry

Baton Rouge

Source:  Consumer protection bureau isn't looking after consumers: Letter

Posted on September 14, 2017 and filed under Jeff Landry.

Fix The 340B Program


In recent weeks, the 340B program has resurfaced as a topic of interest for policymakers and patient advocates alike. As the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B (AIR340B Coalition), we are encouraged that much of this interest is geared toward ensuring the sustainability of the program for the future and strengthening it to make sure it serves vulnerable or uninsured patients. However despite this recent increased interest in the program, it is still relatively unknown.

The 340B drug discount program was created to help certain health care safety-net providers that serve a large number of uninsured or otherwise vulnerable patients reduce prescription drug costs by requiring drug manufacturers to provide deep discounts on medicines. For example, the 340B drug discount program provides discounted drugs to community health centers, cancer hospitals, children’s hospitals, and clinics for Indian Health, HIV/AIDS, Black Lung, Hemophilia, and Tuberculosis.

Our Coalition’s diverse membership is indicative of our goal to make improvements that lead to better health outcomes for the neediest patient populations. The AIR340B Coalition is comprised of patient advocacy groups, clinical care providers, and biopharmaceutical innovators, and we believe in preserving the intent of the 340B program. When Congress created the program in 1992, it was relatively small and targeted only toward those entities that truly served the most needy patients. Few hospitals participated in the program at first and initially the clinics and hospitals that participated predominantly focused on serving vulnerable or uninsured patients who truly could not afford to access prescription medications.

Since then, poor oversight and lack of clear program rules have led to a rapid expansion of the program. It is not clear, however, that vulnerable or uninsured patients are the beneficiaries of this expansion. Today, DSH hospitals, which are only about 9 percent of 340B entities, represent 80 percent of sales associated with the 340B drug discount program, and they are rapidly expanding. One source of this expansion is the increased use of 340B discounts by hospital-acquired outpatient clinics. These clinics are often in wealthier areas than the 340B hospitals but, once acquired, are able to obtain 340B discounts, even though they do not share the hospital’s obligations to treat uninsured patients. Another concerning source of growth stems from a 2010 change to the program that vastly expanded the role of for-profit retail pharmacies in the 340B program. Hospitals are allowed to partner with an unlimited number of these pharmacies, which then share in 340B profits. A recent Office of the Inspector General study that scrutinized these arrangements found many of the hospitals required uninsured patients who filled their 340B prescriptions at retail pharmacies to pay full price for their medicines.

Recently, POLITICO looked at the top seven hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, of which more than half are 340B, and found that those hospitals’ charity care fell by 35 percent between 2013 and 2015 while their combined revenue increased by $4.5 billion. Further, more than one-third of 340B disproportionate share hospitals (DSH) provide charity care that represents less than 1 percent of their total patient costs.

We believe many covered entities are providing critical services to uninsured or vulnerable patients, but at the same time, studies show that there are a number of hospitals taking advantage of the program with little to no benefit to patients.

As a Coalition, we believe there are several ways the program could be fixed to ensure it meets its original intent. We suggest three key areas for change:

1. Define a 340B Eligible Patient: The 340B statute clearly states that covered entities are not permitted to provide 340B discounted drugs to individuals who are not their patients. Unfortunately, that has proved difficult to enforce at 340B hospitals due to a lack of clarity regarding the definition of a 340B eligible patient and hospitals’ complex operating structures.

2. Tighten Hospital Eligibility Standards and Curb Incentives for Consolidation: Tighter rules around which hospitals and patient eligibility are needed to ensure discounts are targeted to facilities truly serving the uninsured or vulnerable. Also changes are needed to curb the financial incentives driving 340B hospitals to acquire community-based physician practices, particularly given the substantial increase in health care costs associated with the site of care shifting from physician offices to hospital facilities in the last decade.

3. Restrict Contract Pharmacy Arrangements: Under current guidance, all covered entities are permitted to contract with multiple outside, for-profit retail pharmacies that share in the profits from the 340B program. New policies are needed to address the dramatic growth of contract pharmacy arrangements between 340B entities and for-profit, retail pharmacies.

We look forward to fixing the 340B program by working with Congress, the Administration and other stakeholders to ensure the program is sustainable and achieves its intended goal of helping the neediest patients access the care they need through federally-funded clinics and true safety net hospitals. If you are passionate about preserving and strengthening the 340B program, and want to learn more about the work that AIR340B is doing, please contact info@340breform.org.

Source: Fix the 340B Program

Posted on September 9, 2017 and filed under Heathcare.

AG Landry Supports Ending Obama Illegal Immigration Program


Louisiana Citizens for Job Creators commends Attorney General Jeff Landry for his continued strong support for President Donald Trump's decision to end President Obama’s DACA illegal immigration program. Despite not having Congressional authorization, the program allows for hundreds of thousands of undocumented illegal immigrants to remain in the country.  AG Landry’s support for ending the Obama era program will mean hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans.

“This executive amnesty was another example of the Obama Administration bypassing Congress to advance its radical agenda." Landry continued, “As I have often said, the Executive Branch cannot simply sidestep the people’s elected representatives in the Legislative Branch. I am glad President Trump is defending the separation of powers, preserving the rule of law, and ending the unconstitutional DACA program.”

We commend AG Landry for his early leadership and opposition to the DACA program.On June 29, AG Landry led 10 other state attorney generals and sent a letter to President Trump calling for him to begin phasing out the program no later than September 5th.

Landry: Hug-A-Thug policies threatening New Orleans


 On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Landry spoke with Moon Griffon about the rising violent crime rate in New Orleans. Landry said , "The epidemic of crime that is sweeping this city is getting out of control." 

Landry did not mince his words when he called out Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his administration for failing to protect the citizens of New Orleans. Instead of cracking down of violent offenders, the administration has instituted "Hug-A-Thug" polices. Landrieu would rather focus on environmental issues and removing historical monuments instead of tackling the biggest threat to the city, crime.

Click here to hear the entire interview.

Source:  Citizens for Louisiana Job Creators