Last Modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:56 PM
Welcome back, Gov. Bobby Jindal. Few times in the illustrious history of Louisiana has this state needed a full-time governor as much as it needs one now.
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan dashed your hopes of becoming the No. 2 man on the GOP ticket, a position you had been auditioning for since shortly after your inauguration for your second term back in January.
Oh, we still expect you to hit the campaign trail, stumping for the Romney-Ryan ticket and for GOP senators and congressmen in the election bids. Could you at least limit your gallivanting?
You said all the right things after Saturday’s announcement, noting that Ryan has “the courage of his convictions which is what our nation needs.” You also have said you have the job you want as governor of this great state.
We’ll take you at your word. Quite frankly, Governor, Louisiana could use your undivided attention.
The implementation of one of your hallmark education reform measures, the voucher program that gives public money to parents of students at chronically low-performing schools so that they use it to pay for tuition to transfer to a private school, has been a public relations nightmare. Available vouchers didn’t meet demand, some of the private schools that applied for vouchers lacked room or qualifications and the state Department of Education stepped in it last week when it said it would refuse a public records request by the Associated Press — hence breaking the law — and not release information on private schools that were selected or rejected for the voucher program until after Sept. 1.
Then there’s the matter of the federal Medicaid cuts that have resulted in budget cuts for the LSU-run charity hospital system in the state. There’s a delicate line here of how to implement the cuts without dramatically affecting services for the hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents who rely on the system to meet their health-care needs.
Finally, there’s the issue of the state budget. Members of your own party in the House, commonly referred to as fiscal hawks, are mounting a campaign to scour the budget and set spending priorities for the state that would be reflected in legislation for the 2013 regular session of the state Legislature.
Ironically, that’s how Ryan made his name in the U.S. House, crafting a budget that would extend the viability of Social Security and Medicare and cut this nation’s long-term debt.
So, there’s plenty of work facing you right here in the Bayou State, Governor. It’s time you refocus your talents and energy on the job the majority of Louisiana voters rehired you to do.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: Dana Beth On: 8/17/2012
Title: Gallivanting Governor
Amen! Thank you for your voice of reason. Has anyone seen a total on the cost for Governor Jindals travels? I'm wondering how much in tax dollars is spent for all these trips near and far. I don't know any state workers or school teachers in my area that can land their helicopter in the church yard to attend Sunday service. This is our tax dollars people,