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Defender Picks


Mary Landrieu Tells Coast Guard to Get Back to the Beach

It's more than two years since the Deepwater Horizon blew, but the damage it caused is still oozing into local politics. When it comes to cleaning up, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is telling the Coast Guard they shouldn't be packing up their things and leaving the shore just yet. Landrieu sent a letter to Commandant Robert Papp today requesting that the Coast Guard stay on the Louisiana coast. In the letter, Louisiana's senior senator calls on the Coast Guard to keep monitoring beaches for new oil, clean up submerged tar mats and clean up boom anchors that are getting in boaters' way off the Coast.

Women's Health Services in ACA Expected to Reach 600K in La.

There still may be question if we're going to get those insurance exchanges and larger Medicaid coverage. But starting this month, Louisiana's ladies get access to new services as part of the Affordable Care Act. Most people already know about one provision of the law that allows access to birth control through private health plans, and the attendant political powder keg. But there are a host of other health services, which are available free of co-pays and deductibles as part of exisiting insurance plans. They range from breast and cervical cancer screenings to prenatal care to domestic violence screenings and counseling.

Massive Medicaid Cuts Hit Charity Hospitals, Health Programs Across Louisiana

As the rest of the country prepares for an expansion of Medicaid as a result of the Affordable Care Act, Louisiana on Friday announced massive cuts in the health program that provides a safety net for 1.2 million low-income people in Louisiana. The $859 million loss in Medicaid reimbursement money from the feds will result in state budget cuts that range from closing a hospital in Mandeville and vital records offices to cutting a quarter of the budget of the LSU department that runs the Charity Hospital system. The cuts come because the federal government is taking back money that was mistakenly paid to Louisiana as a result of the federal health care law.

Mary Landrieu Takes Restore Act Victory Lap

Residents of Jean Lafitte, Thibodaux, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Bell City should feel victorious today, at least according to Senator Mary Landrieu. The RESTORE Act was signed into law on Friday, and if you live in any of the aforementioned cities, there’s a chance you caught a glimpse of Landrieu today during her celebratory tour across the areas most effected by the Big Oozy. The Act’s passage marks a major influx of funds for the Gulf Coast and a major accomplishment for Landrieu, one of the nine senators that introduced the Restore Act last July.

Transportation Bill is Triple Win-Lose for Louisiana

As President Barack Obama gets ready set to sign a federal highway bill that's being touted as a rare example of Beltway bipartisanship this afternoon, Louisiana isn't sure whether to cheer or jeer. On the highway part, we came out pretty well - getting an influx of $680 million. Same goes for federal flood insurance, which was extended for another five years. And of course there's the Restore Act, which ensures that 80 percent of BP's Clean Water violation fines come to the Gulf. Sounding pretty good so far. But, as ever, there's the little matter of health care.

Mitch and Mary Landrieu Talk Education Over Presidential Call, Morning Joe

Mayor Mitch and Senator Mary took to the national stage yet again early this week. This time, the brother-and-sister duo took education as their issue, but they were talking about two different strains of the issue. Yesterday, da Mayor was on the line with da Prez about student loans, while Mary Landrieu was on MSNBC's Morning Joe talking charter schools this morning.

La. Senators Smile, Spit Bile on Health Care

Louisiana's two-headed delegation to the U.S. Senate once again showed today that bitterly disliking each other isn't any cause for being mean. The odd couple's notoriously stormy relationship seemed to be cooling off in recent weeks as the pair teamed up to author the BP money roadmap known as the RESTORE Act. Heck, they even put out a press release together. But this week's health care debate in the Supreme Court apparently touched off that little voice on Junior Senator's shoulder that says, "Go ahead, Vitty, just get her good!" 

Edwin Edwards Eulogizes Late Longtime Ally, Sammy Nunez

With a who's-who of state Democratic pols and Ronnie LaMarque attending, former State Senate President Sammy Nunez received funeral rites today in St. Louis Cathedral. The man for whom Nunez often tamed the legislative wilds of the state capitol, former Gov. Edwin Edwards, gave a eulogy that was full of praise, and not without at least one quip. Former Congressman Bill Jefferson and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu also spoke, with Landrieu sharing a letter from President Bill Clinton with kind words for the Senator, who died Sunday at 81 years old. The AP has a full rundown.

Where Louisiana Congresspeople Stand on SOPA and PIPA

You're going to have to work to prove your friends wrong and find weird stuff on the Internets today, as sites like Wikipedia, BoingBoing, Reddit and even the online home of local drama collective The Skin Horse Theater are shut down for a 24 hours (That's about 5 years and 340 days in the Internet time contiuum). While cat pictures on the ICanHasCheezeburger network and Christopher Walken's biography will be missed, the Web geeks - nay, powers - say they're doing it for a good cause. They're mad about the support Congress and Hollywood appear to have thrown behind the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and its sister bill. the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). As it turns out, three of our own are among these Congressional supporters.

Broadmoor, Lakeview Get Millions to Fix Roads

For years, the crater-like potholes that engulf our streets have been the stuff of legend, and the occassional tall tale. But with recovery money coming in, there's been a renewed effort to make our streets a more like...streets. Late last week, the feds approved another batch of money to fix up the roads. Broadmoor will get $21.5 million to fix their streets, while parts of Lakeview including Lake Shore/Lake Vista and Milneburg will get a combined $8.8 million, according to Sen. Mary Landrieu's office. FEMA appropriated the money, which will also go to repair curbs and sidewalks. Sounds like more than just filler to these ears.

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