The “So Basically…” News Update 

1.) CORRUPTION ALERT!

— What happened: “A. Wayne Lawson, a key witness in the attempted election bribery case against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa and a Gonzales business man, failed to turn over his tax returns Monday morning as required by a subpoena from Matassa's defense team.” (The Advocate’s David Mitchell)

— So basically… This political soap opera if far from being concluded. This tale, if ultimately proven true, shows just how cheap political corruption is running these days. The alleged bribe consisted of $1,200 for pickup truck repairs and a parish job.

2.) NUTRIA TAILS FOR SELL

— What happened: “State wildlife officials are recruiting more landowners, hunters and trappers in the battle against nutria, the destructive rodent that has damaged tens of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands.” (The Houma Courier’s Holly Duncan)

— So basically… If you need a side hustle, here you go. You can get $5 per tail.

3.) POLLING, SCHMOLLING

— What happened: “With a little more than eight weeks to go, polls are showing marginal differences between the major, if little known, candidates for state treasurer. The campaigns, however, see the same anemic numbers as proof their candidates are breaking away from the pack in the Oct. 14 election.” (The Advocate’s Mark Ballard)

— So basically… Polls paid for by campaigns would never be released if they reflected poorly on the associated candidates. Plus numbers just don’t mean a whole lot in this race right now. No one has completely run away with it and no one has completely fallen off. It’s going to be a hard-fought and quiet contest.

4.) NEVER GONNA HAPPEN

— What happened: “In the face of budget cuts and declining enrollment, some states are merging systems and campuses to balance the scales. That isn’t the answer for Louisiana, one expert says, but there’s a simple way to get campuses to collaborate more. Money.” (The Shreveport Times’ Leigh Guidry)

— So basically… We’re just going to have to accept that campuses are sacred cows in Louisiana. But the idea of making more universities work together and share courses could be a cost-savings idea worth pursing (again) ahead of the 2018 storm.

5.) FOSTER CARE WAKE-UP CALL

— What happened: “Problems within Louisiana's foster care program have been noted for

some time, but a new audit out shows that the Department of Children and Family Services' struggles with high caseloads and staff turnover, as well as the agency's failure to perform required background checks on foster care providers, has affected the ability to ensure the safety of children in foster care.” (The Advocate’s Elizabeth Crisp)

— So basically… The number of children in foster care in Louisiana are on the rise, but the department’s resources aren’t being expanded to handle the increase. Yet another reminder of how touchy next year’s sessions will be if more revenue isn’t created or if lawmakers fail to overhaul the budget and spending.

News clips provided by ON TRACK WITH MARUSAK online news clipping service. Day or night, receive breaking political and government news from across the state right in your email inbox. For more information about the exhaustive daily service, contact Jennifer Marusak at jmarusak@bellsouth.net.

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