Landry uses line-item veto against local organization

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

A Lake Charles chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is one of 20 non-government organizations (NGOs) that have had state appropriations vetoed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry.

The $125,000 appropriation for the Lake Charles Alumnae Chapter was for community programs. The 20 NGO appropriations totaled $4.32 million. They were among more that 600 NGO and government projects of state legislators in House Bill 782 that became Act 776.

The Advocate reported it appeared that at least 15 of the 20 requests came from state legislative districts controlled by Democrats, many from New Orleans. The newspaper said other governors have also used their veto pen to strike down opposing lawmakers’ favored spending proposals, including former Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

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In a letter to House Speaker Phillip DeVillier and Senate President Cameron Henry, Landry said he chose which requests to veto by evaluating whether they “serve an appropriate government function and if the appropriation was an efficient and effective use of state resources.”

The governor added, “Prior to our next legislative session, we plan to work with the Legislature to develop criteria for what type of NGO requests represent the best use of our scarce resources.”

The more than 600 NGO and legislators’ projects for their districts total more than $92.7 million.

Steven Procopio, president of the Public Affairs Research Council, a Baton Rouge-based good government group, told The Advocate that even the small amounts of money Landry rejected for local NGOs can be substantial for those organizations.

Procopio said, “If he (Landry) had vetoed all of the NGOs, we could have applauded that — or even if he’d said, ‘Look, here’s the criteria I’d used to get rid of these particular ones.’ The problem is it looks like he’s picked some winners and losers, and it’s not clear why.”

Here are the other NGO appropriations that Landry vetoed:

  • Two for Teach for America Inc., $250,000 each.
  • Positive Enterprise Empowering People for the food program, mentoring, scholarships, and community outreach, $150,000.
  • The Dr. James Gilmore Jr. Institute for Human Development and Excellence for mental health, job training, and after-school programming and economic development initiatives, $500,000.
  • Edgewood Heights Association for neighborhood beautification and improvements, $5,000.
  • Gentilly Development District for programs and neighborhood support, $50,000.
  • Gentilly Festival Inc. for festival related programs, $45,000.
  • Festivals for Good Corp. for marketing and production, $375,000.
  • Mu Zeta Foundation Inc. for community outreach programs, $75,000.
  • Baton Rouge Kappa Leadership and Service Foundation Inc. for scholarships, $50,000.
  • Kappa Alpha Phi Lake Area Foundation for community outreach, $125,000.
  • New Covenant Ministries International, $10,000.
  • No Limits No Boundaries, $35,000.
  • Compassion for Lives for recidivism reduction, $100,000.
  • Queen of Tomorrow Inc. for educational and mentoring programs, $50,000.
  • Algiers Development District, $1.5 million.
  • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities of New Orleans, $1 million.
  • Catholic Charities of Acadiana, $1 million.
  • Tiny Houses Big Dreams, a group in New Orleans that offers housing to formerly incarcerated people, $250,000.