Category Archives: Louisiana Legislature

Budget Funding for Louisiana War Veterans

While I am normally very conservative on government spending, there is one area that I believe should always be funded – taking care of our soldiers and specifically our War Veterans.

A good friend and technology client of mine alerted me to the $2 million budget cuts slashed from the 5 War Veterans Homes this year, and another $1.08 million set to be slashed next year.

We need to contact our state congressmen and Governor Jindal and raise a voice of opposition to the cuts.

Our veterans have offered their lives to sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy. The least we can do is use our tax dollars to take of them. There is coverage by KSLA here and by NOLA here. Jim Wells has it covered on the My Bossier Blog also. We are posting this on Facebook too – so spread the message.

You can download and print a form letter by clicking here for PDF and here for a Word version.

Contact Information:

Governor Bobby Jindal
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
225-342-0991 or 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121

Decline in Medical Services and Patient Care

As a Result of State Budget Cuts at Louisiana’s Five War Veteran Homes

Budget reductions:

  • There have been two significant removals of state funds from the state War Veteran Homes since the FY10 Appropriated Budget.
  • The initial cut, effective in January 2010, removed $2 million dollars from the state five War Veteran Homes. The net savings was projected to be 51.5 million dollars to the state; however, the savings to the state have proven to be considerably less. Additionally, reduced facility spending results in reduced federal reimbursement; therefore, the cuts are even greater than on paper.
  • The second cut, effective in March-April 201 0-, came as a result of Executive Order BJ 2009-11.
  • The Louisiana Way Forward, FY 10-11 Budget Moves to a More Sustainable. Cost-Effective Government. p.8, includes the following statement:
    “As it is done in most other states, partnering with private physicians at Louisiana’s Veterans homes will bring $51,089,749 in savings.”

Changes in Medical Services:

  • Pharmacy:
    • Prior to the budget cut:
      • All five War Veterans Homes were staffed with a pharmacist and on-site pharmacy. Medications were provided at no cost to the state and with the lowest cost to the veteran. Under Option I, pharmacists dispensed medications in blister packaging which provided for optimum patient safety, ease of accountability, and expedient delivery of medications.
      • After the budget reductions:
        • Four of the pharmacies were closed, and their pharmacists’ positions were vacated. As a consequence, receipt of medication is delayed, costs are considerably higher for the veterans and nurses are now pulled away from patient care to count and monitor medications.
  • Physician and nurse practitioner:
    • Prior to the budget cut
      • Four of the five homes had a full-time physician and nurse practitioner on staff. In most instances, patient treatments and follow-up occurred on-site with minimal disruption to the patient. Early diagnosis prevented patient complications.
      • After the budget reductions:
        • One of the five homes retains an on-staff Medical Director. In other homes, contract doctors see the patients less frequently. Patients are often transported to Emergency Rooms for treatment and follow-up care.

Budget Appropriations Funding required to restore services:

  • The five state War Veterans Homes would need to have the appropriation for the 51.5 million taken from them returned to be able to reinstate programs lost by budget reductions.
  • The proposed 51,089,749 reduction in the FY 10-11 state general funds must not be removed.
  • At Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, an appropriation of approximately $325,000 would be needed to restore the pharmacy program. Additionally, the approximately $200,000 projected loss from state general funds must be prevented to maintain current status.

Will he sing for Cedric Glover Too?

Am I in the twilight zone? What is this moron doing at our state legislature? You mean to tell me that we are wasting time and tax dollars while our state representatives are forced to endure this?

Who is Hurricane Chris and why is he rapping about Halle Berry – in front of the Louisiana State House of Representatives? You can find the lyrics posted here – not for kids to read.

This makes me second guess admitting that I was born and raised here. I am so glad to see Barbara Norton assisting with a waste of time and taxpayer dollars for the goof-ball to spew that garbage and again make our state look even more embarrassing than it already is.

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You Can't Legislate Irresponsibility

Some things never change…Recently, the Shreveport Times reported on resistance to ATV (4-wheeler) legislation that would have required stricter regulations. Here is the problem with that logic. It won’t work.

Twenty years ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission responded to safety concerns by negotiating a consent decree with ATV manufacturers.

The decree required manufacturers to, among other things, halt production of three-wheelers and offer safety training to new ATV owners who purchase vehicles through authorized dealerships.

Additionally, ATV manufacturers are required to recommend adult-sized ATVs only for those ages 16 and older and label all ATVs with warnings, instructing purchasers that children should not ride adult-size ATVs.

Most of the injuries reported in the news deal with riding irresponsibly – speeding, too large an ATV for the rider’s skills, etc. Look, I’ve been riding ATV’s since I was 9 years old. I started out riding mini-bikes and 3-wheelers, which are now banned. In my entire life with thousands and thousands of hours of riding for recreation, I am yet to turn one over.

Smith is familiar with the negative impact of ATV use among teens. Her son, B.J., suffered a disabling accident three years ago when he swerved to avoid a dog while riding an adult-sized ATV at about 60 mph.

Now 18, B.J.’s brain injury left him unable to complete high school and reduced his vision to 40 percent.

Smith is a member of Concerned Families for ATV Safety, which advocates complete ATV abstinence for those under 16.

Let’s read that again – he was 16 years riding an adult-sized ATV at 60 mph and swerved to avoid a dog. There is no legislation that would have prevented that. He would have been riding too fast for conditions anyway, been on an ATV beyond his skill level, still swerved to miss the dog, and still have medical issues.

I’m sorry for the mother and her son, but you can’t legislate irresponsible riding away.

Louisianians resistant to ATV legislation
By Keli Jacobi • kcjacobi@thenewsstar.com • October 6, 2008 6:44 am
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081006/NEWS01/81006008/1060/NEWS01