EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES JANUARY 2024

Federal: – The United States National debt has now hit $34 Trillion.

-The White House has approved La. to issue permits for wells that will store carbon dioxide called Carbon Capture. We have about 30 projects, more than any other state.

State: – La. lawmakers will hold two special sessions prior to the regular session in March to redraw new US House of Representative districts and another on public safety and crime.

– La.’s population dropped for the 3rd straight year in a row.

– La. Board for higher education will now allow students from a two-year college to transfer 60 hours of approved program coursework to any La. public university 4-year bachelor program with a related degree.

-Port of New Orleans will receive a $73.77 million grant from the federal government for the La. International Terminal in St. Bernard.

-The New Orleans Pelicans and Smoothie King renewed their arena naming rights

 In Jefferson Parish:

-JP residents will begin with a new garbage collection service and recycling service in 2024.

-The JP Sewerage and Water Board Smart meters will be delayed until 2025 to avert any violation of La. public bid law.

-JP passed a $966 million budget for 2024 to include general operations, capital improvements, debt repayments, and grant funds.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES OCTOBER 2023

State: La. and 9 other states have asked a federal judge to block sharp increases in the national flood insurance rates.  Annual increases are now at 18%.

-A study done by Lighthouse Dental Center rated La. as the second most unhealthy state in the US.  The study considered air quality, obesity, physical activity, health conditions, sleep habits, smoking and drinking behaviors, dietary patterns and tooth loss.

Jefferson Parish: Our concern is the Saltwater Intrusion from the gulf expected to reach the East Jefferson area by October 29th.  JP is building a flexible pipeline from the Kenner area down river for the eastbank and used reverse osmosis machines and barged in fresh water for the westbank areas. President Biden has approved the states Emergency Declaration for the Saltwater Intrusion for emergency federal dollars.

-Starting next year, new smart water meters will be used to read your meters.

-The much anticipated $125 Million airport flyover ramp is open to the public.  The entire project will be complete by the first quarter of 2024.

-November 1st will begin a toll increase to $6 to cross the Causeway Bridge

-Breeze Airways has begun a 25% off Fall Promotion and nonstop to Orlando, Fl and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

-The Jazz and Heritage Festival is adding another fest day in 2024 for eight full days.

-VOTE, VOTE, VOTE…October 14th for local and statewide races.  You will also have four constitutional amendments on the October 14th ballot.  Call Mildred or local officials for explanation of all amendments.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES SEPTEMBER 2023

Federal: Millions of dollars in Federal tax incentives have been given to La. companies for new carbon capture projects.

-Ten La. parishes will receive over $207 million to lessen storm impact under the Infrastructure package. Jefferson Parish will get $19 million to help Entergy fortify our local power grid.

State: – Lawmakers have agreed to restore money to the Port of New Orleans for the new container terminal in Chalmette.

-The $30 million dollar state-funded program beginning in October will fortify home roofs insured with the La. Citizens Property Insurance first.

-The new RTA ferry terminal has opened for Canal Street/Algiers Point transit access.

-The French Quarter will now allow for additional food vendors other than Lucky Dogs in the heavily touristed areas.

In Jefferson Parish:  -The JP administration has improved hurricane preparedness at evacuation centers with bathroom facilities, mental and medical support, translators, generators, and pet accommodations.

-The parish will launch an elite year-round baseball team for 13- and 14-year-olds and ideas to include other sports, if successful.

-Jefferson Parish Schools are utilizing certified teachers from across the country to assist in virtual teaching to combat the teacher shortage. They are also hiring retired teachers part time, paying current teachers to build lesson plans for other districts, and contracting substitutes.

-Also, the New Orleans Metro Area ranked in the top ten for entrepreneurs in America per Gusto.com.

-Four constitutional amendments will be on the October 14th ballot.

Early voting begins September 30th – October 7th.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES JULY 2023

Federal: The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that race cannot be used in college admissions, solidified protections for workers requesting religious accommodations, and rejected President Biden’s plan to wipe away $400 Billion in student debt.

Also, a US District Court judge ruled the Biden administration violated the First Amendment by censoring conservative views on social media during the pandemic.

State: – State Treasurer John Schroder reported indictments of 5 persons charged with Main Street government benefits fraud and recently called for Taxpayer Electronic Payment Convenience.

-A few bills that passed this session were: Local governments will receive dollars from carbon capture in their area; State Police to create a centralized system to track rape kits; a more streamlined tax collection system; property owners can now hire their own public home adjuster to assess damages; smokers can receive six months of treatment from their health insurance; a 15% excise tax increase on nicotine vape products and e-cigarettes; libraries must limit children’s exposure to sexually explicit materials; La. families can claim a larger tax break for private school tuition from $5 to $6,000; and banned the use of TikTok on state-owned equipment.

-Governor Edwards vetoed legislation includes: the phase out of the corporate franchise tax; a package of LGBTQ bills particularly aimed at adolescent children; and placing juvenile violent offenders in adult facilities.  Legislators must decide this week if they wish to come back for a Veto Override Session.

-A massive global data breach has compromised 6 million records at the La. Office of Motor Vehicles

-Fortify Home grants up to $10K will be available in La. to bring homes up to new building codes and bring down homeowner insurance rates

-Not a single fine has been levied against the 2,600 violations recorded against food establishments notifying the public if they are selling imported shrimp or crawfish.

-According to Business Facilities magazine, La. has the top tech talent pipeline in the country.

In Jefferson Parish:

-The JP public school system is offering school uniform vouchers for students affected by the school reorganization plan;

-The Jefferson Parish Quality of Life survey showed 75% of JP residents feel life in JP is good or excellent

-To that end, JP has launched the Seafood Enterprise Assistance Fund for commercial fishermen; message boards raised noting that panhandling can cause accidents; and a $15,5 million project aimed at revamping Bucktown’s waterfront into a living shoreline

-Ochsner and MD Anderson just launched its own partnership for local cancer patient care.

-And finally, Breeze Airways has again announced new summer fares for 10 routes from New Orleans and adding nonstop service to Orlando and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES JUNE 2023

National: Any Facebook users can now apply for their share of the $725 million privacy settlement that Meta has agreed to pay.

In Louisiana:

– A new bill introduced allowing La. mothers to recoup half of their monies from the father of the child for pregnancy-related expenses.

-Crime is the No. 1 worry for La. residents for this upcoming campaign season

-La. has sued the US Government along with 9 other states over the steep flood insurance rate increase AND we are among 22 states to reach a billion dollar agreement with CVS and Walgreens over the opioid crisis.

-Lawmakers have approved the Anti-LGBTQ bills that bans puberty blockers, hormone treatment and surgery.  The Governor has vowed to veto the ban. Other passed bills include third-graders are prohibited to move to fourth grade if they are reading deficient; public schools must post financial information; creation of the Office of Port Development; a statewide offshore wind plan; Angel Investor, Research and Development, and the Motion Picture Tax Credit passed; and the Coastal Master Plan. You can get a full list of what passed and failed from the La. Legislature.

-The legislature has also agreed to raise the spending cap on the annual budget for transportation, hospitals, college campuses, lawmakers’ district projects, a $2K and $1k one-time stipend for teachers and staff respectively, and $44M for early childhood education.

-La. is the ninth lowest tax bearing state according to the national Tax Foundation.

-State Treasurer John Schroder has released initial stats showing les than 15 of the $45 Billion retirement funds are currently invested in La.  Only 26% is invested  in the US with 38% invested outside of the United States.

In Jefferson Parish:

-Jefferson Parish Council members are flushed with monies from the American Rescue Plan Act, giving them each millions for pet projects in their districts.

-The John Alario Sports Complex in the works is hoping to bring a large sports tournament tourism base.

– The Treasure Chest Casino has begun to move the casino on land with upgrades and improvements.

-A new medical cannibas pharmacy has opened in Kenner

-JP Transit will cut services due to budget shortfalls and not enough ridership

-The parish plans to use the opioid settlement funds to create a homeless shelter

-JP has broken ground on a $17.3 million drainage project by the 17th St. Canal in Metairie; HOWEVER, asking all JP residents to have their Hurricane preparation in place.

-The Crazy Hotpot in Metairie has Robots serving appetizers

-Jefferson Parish residents rated our Quality of Life as Excellent or Good by 75%.

In New Orleans:

– A $5 Million breakwater drive improvement project is completed along Lake Pontchartrain

-UNO launched its wind scholars program

– A bill mandating prison time for New Orleans car break-ins was proposed by Metairie Representative Laurie Schlegel.

-Breeze Airways will again add new nonstop flights from New Orleans to Los Angeles and Hartford, Connecticut.

-A New Orleans cocktail brand, El Guapo, has launched three products nationwide inside Fresh Market.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES FEBRUARY 2023

-Jefferson Parish Council just selected their new garbage haul company, River Birch Renewable Energy, to begin Jan. 2024 for five years.

-JP is wanting public input on how to spend $5.6 million from the federal government on housing the homeless.

-Applications are open for Ochsner’s STAR (Science, Technology, Academic, Research) Summer Scholars Program.

-La. Special Session passed the bill to fund $45M to entice Insurers back to La.

-With support from The Home Builders Assoc. of Greater NO, La. adopted the 2021 IRC Code requiring more rigorous roof construction standards.

-Lawmakers also approved $22.1M in education spending from the 1999 tobacco settlement funds.

-Teachers and first responders will be given assistance for a down payment and closing costs towards home ownership from $5M in taxable bonds .

-NASA’s redesigned RS-25 engine underwent its first hot fire test for a possible future moon flight.

-Feds raised its interest rate by a quarter-point to continue fighting inflation.

-La. DOTD said the $125M I-10 flyover ramps are on schedule to be completed by early 2024.

-Spirit Airlines is offering a 10-year anniversary special for nonstop, one-way flights for as low as $39 from New Orleans until March 8th.

-Breeze Airways also expanded its travel through March for 11 routes from New Orleans with one-way fares beginning at $29.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES JANUARY 2023

-To continue fighting inflation, the Federal Government again raised rates by a half-point to 4.5%, its highest level in15 years.

-As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, many Americans will qualify to a $7,500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle

-La. enacted new construction codes that began on Jan. 1st and will hopefully assist in the La.’s insurance crisis.

-TikTok is now banned on all devices issued by the Dept. of the State

-La. lawmakers awarded $357 million in sewer and water projects around the state.

-Insurance dominated the new La. laws set to begin 2023…more transparency, insurers must provide a catastrophe response plan, and an emergency contact information is required.

-Census data shows La.’s population is in decline.

-La. financial report shows collections and expenses grew in 2022 allowing for an additional $1.5 billion…this namely will benefit higher education, public school teachers and roads and bridges.

-La. Treasurer’s office released nearly $500,000 in supplemental grant payment to movie theaters for business loss during the pandemic.

-A legislative panel has been formed to eventually end the use of progressive corporate principles that support and assist companies that only support sustainable energy and responsible ways to do business, known as ESG.

-Hurricane Ida ravaged Jefferson Parish’s water system causing around $28 million worth of damage…therefore, the JP council raised the cap on its waterline repair contract to $33.8 million.

-A company, Glass Half Full, is collecting recycled glass and grinds it into sand to help combat coastal restoration.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES NOVEMBER 2022

-Social Security recipients will see an approximate 9% increase in payments beginning January 2023.

-Due to inflation, the Feds raised interest rates again by ¾ point; while the IRS upped the standard deduction and tax brackets and raised contribution limits for retirement savings.

-La. is one of 12 states to receive a portion of $2.8 billion to build battery manufacturing for electric vehicles.

-La. Supreme Court ruled that persons serving time right now are not entitled to new trials if they had a split verdict.

-La. Citizens Insurance for residential properties is increasing by 63%.

-The application process is now open for student loan forgiveness up to $20,000.00.

-The Legislative push to improve reading skills for 3rd and 4th graders passed but with a watered down version.

-Jefferson Parish School Superintendent will host four Listen and Learn meetings with one on November 15th.

-LCMC purchased Tulane Medical Center, Lakeview Regional, and Tulane Lakeside from HCA.

-Ochsner Rehabilitation Hospital ranked first in La. in Newsweek’s Best Physical Rehabilitation Center.

-Severn Ave. and David Dr. construction is set to be completed within weeks.

-The Esplanade Mall may finally have a buyer with plans to convert it to a mixed-use development with retail, residential, and recreation.

-Jefferson Parish Economic Development or Jedco awarded $1.5 Million for Jedgrow financing for small businesses.  Jedco also launched a small business lending program between $25K to $150k for the seafood industry.

-Mardi Gras 2023 will have smaller parade routes because of the police shortage.

-Mr. Henry Shane of 1st Lake Properties was awarded the first Philanthropy award from the Jefferson Cummunity Foundation due to his community service and dedication for the betterment of Jefferson Parish.

-DawnBusters Turkey Fry has already begun!!

-Please go VOTE today.  We have (8) Constitutional amendments today with School Board and Senatorial races and (3) on December 10th ballot.   I have the complete list for your review.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES OCTOBER 2022

-Unfortunately, another insurance company writing in La., FedNat, will be placed into receivership under the LIGA program.

-Fed officials will keep boosting interest rates to help keep inflation down and try to stave off a recession.

-Barge traffic is being slowed due to the lower Mississippi river levels compounding the problem of supplies reaching consumers.

-DXC Technology has ended its incentive pact with La. because of its lack of high-paying tech job hires.

-Avondale Shipyards finally opened this past Friday as a global hub for manufacturing and logistics and return thousands of jobs to the area.

-River Birch and the Jefferson Parish Council will merge day to day operations at the parish landfill and save the parish approximately $1.4 million annually.

-Jefferson Parish Recreation Dept. is allowing under-utilized playgrounds as academies – parents affected are upset.

-State Treasurer John Schroeder is moving all state treasury funds from BlackRock, Inc. in violation of state law.  BlackRock is urging all companies to embrace environmental and social strategies – harming La.’s Fossil Fuel industry.

-Ochsner will build a Neuroscience center on Jefferson Hwy. specializing in epilepsy, cognitive and movement disorders, and neurosurgery.

-The 71st Miss Universe Competition is coming to the New Orleans Convention Center in January 2023.

-Breeze Airways has announced fall fare sales starting at $39 to Charleston, Richmond, Ga., Louisville, Ky, Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga.

-Voters will decide on 11 ballot initiatives in November from veterans property tax exemptions to giving local taxing authorities more time to roll the millages forward.  I have a full list of all initiatives, if you would like to review.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES SEPTEMBER 2022

  • A $50 Million federal grant to create clean hydrogen has been awarded to the South La. Regional Partnership
  • LA also received another $100 Million in transportation aid; much needed since the Transportation Trust Fund just announced an expected loss of half billion dollars in the next decade due to fuel efficiency and electric vehicles.
  • LA Public School teachers may qualify for Student Loan debt forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the La. schools do not have to implement Biden’s new transgender protections.
  • Entergy customers can apply for $150 credit; pay no late fees; and disregard disconnect notices with a payment plan.
  • Jefferson Parish has rolled out a new program for 1st-time homebuyers and has allocated $275,000 for 53 low-income residents to attend early childhood pre-schools.
  • The JP Council and Administration have also installed cameras on the road leading to landfills to catch violators with garbage flying out of their vehicles for litter abatement.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES AUGUST 2022

  • LA has again been ranked at the top for workforce development according to Business Facilities magazine.
  • LA could get a bump in cash by selling its water to many western states, but presently giving it away to them.
  • LA Judge that Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon abused his power trying to force insurance companies to pay evacuation costs.
  • The LA bailout fund will borrow $600 million after seven LA insurers went bust following Hurricane Ida.
  • A push by state education officials to toughen public high school grades failed although our system does not align with ACT scores or college entry; however, we have seen a slight rebound in standardized test scores, namely due to in-person learning.
  • New Orleans Airport officials want to build a connector road from the upcoming Amtrak station to the new terminal; but the I-10 fly-over has been postponed until 2023.
  • In Jefferson Parish, an attempt to take over the Shrine on Airline is happening and to possibly host a professional soccer league.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES JULY 2022

  • Legislature wrapped up in June with a few new laws enacted, to name a few: Nursing homes must submit an emergency preparedness plan, landlords cannot evict tenants who have evacuated for a storm, individuals may surrender their firearms and have them returned under an agreement, La. can sell medical marijuana to non-La. residents with a medical marijuana card, the odor of marijuana alone is not probable cause to retain a search warrant, limit of police booking photos for nonviolent crimes, prohibit solitary confinement for juveniles with some exceptions, civil remedies for parents of minors exposed to online pornography, public high schools will adopt policies for pregnant students and give time to breastfeed children during school hours; signed the Offshore wind energy bill authorizing the state to take a cut of the wind farm revenues and charge the lease fee, and Hybrid and electric vehicle owners will soon pay an annual road fee possibly through state income tax filings.
  • Edwards vetoed several bills including: charter schools to be approved by the state board instead of local school boards, an education savings account for students with disabilities or struggling to read to find better non-public options, grant state dollars to follow students that want to leave struggling public schools for private institutions, and vetoed the authority of state buildings during an emergency.
  • The legislators that have disagreed with the Governor’s vetoes do not have the votes to convene a Veto special session.
  • Entergy has a summer cash-incentive program for companies that apply energy-saving facility upgrades.
  • US Supreme Court put a hold on redrawing La.s new congressional district before the 2022 elections.
  • The US Supreme Court also voted to allow for prayer in public schools, overturned the federal abortion law of Roe versus Wade and gives authority to individual states, and gun rights in the New York Rifle and Pistol Assoc. versus Bruen.
  • In Jefferson Parish, our animal shelters have a surge of surrendered animals and in desperate need of adoptions and foster care for large and small dogs.
  • A call for the Bridge City Center for Youth to be closed after several brawls and escapes. In the meantime, the state police have been called in to carry tasers, pepper spray, and use-of-force techniques often reserved for adult prisoners.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES APRIL 2022

  • will partner with Arkansas and Oklahoma in developing clean hydrogen as fuel to bring in federal dollars to the region
  • NASA’s Stennis Space center is now using drone technology for aerial imagery, inspections, and mapping and other dangerous missions.
  • The La. Community and Technical Colleges have partnered with La. Economic Development to use federal dollars in developing a skilled workforce against future natural disasters and flood protection.
  • Lawmakers overrode the Governor’s veto of the congressional district map.
  • Mobile Sports Betting generated $2.2 million in taxes for February alone
  • Social Studies curriculum will be implemented by 2023 to address critical race theory
  • Brittany and Drew Brees launched The BuildStrong Academy in Kenner to train construction workers.
  • At New Orleans airport, Breeze Airways, will add a new route to Jacksonville, Fla. this summer.
  • The Viking cruise line began its final stage of construction before opening its Mississippi River cruises from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • US government announced all new vehicles will have to travel an average of 40 miles per gallon by 2026
  • Jefferson Parish voters will go to the polls on April 30th for RENEWAL of Consolidated Road Lighting District AND a half-cent tax RENEWAL for Jefferson Parish schools.
  • Last, but not Least, NOCHI announced it will offer a Professional Wine Certification course possibly led by Mildred.

EJBA GOVERNMENT NOTES SEPTEMBER 2018

  • Delgado Community College River City Campus will open this fall focusing on technical skills.
  • Medical Marijuana availability has been pushed back to November from September
  • According to a Glassdoor.com report, Technology and Healthcare are the highest paying industries. GNO is #1 in the USA growth in Technology (SmartAsset, 2017) and Healthcare jobs. (STAT, 2017).
  • A new study from LendingTree has named New Orleans #3 in the USA amongst “cities where young entrepreneurs are making their mark and forming the next wave of million- and even billion-dollar businesses.”
  • November 6th are upcoming elections for Secretary of State, and local JP School Board seats. We also have several TAX RENEWALS (NOT A NEW TAX) on the ballot.
  • New Orleans and Jefferson Parish have started a Pilot Program allowing bus riders all-day access to ride the route on South Claiborne past South Carrollton ending its route instead at Ochsner Hospital on Jefferson Highway. This gives all passengers a quicker and less expensive trip than having to transfer to a Jefferson Transit line. 
  • Rail Upgrades for the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge are back on track after a four month delay. The project should be complete by December 2019.