Louisiana Editorial Rdp

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm •  Published: March 25, 2014

Recent editorials from Louisiana newspapers:

March 24

The News-Star of Monroe, La., on speed traps:

Here's a news flash about speed trap communities:

If you're obeying the speed limit, you shouldn't have a problem.

For those of us whose jobs and families frequently require us to drive around the state, we know where law enforcement is primed to support local revenue coffers with speeding ticket dollars. But evidently, not everyone is alert to those "speed trap towns."

Rep. Steve Pylant, R-Winnsboro, got House Transportation and Public Works Committee approval Monday of HB 961 requiring the posting of signs warning motorists that they are approaching a speed trap and should slow down. The 9-3 vote sent the bill to the full House for consideration.

"I want something that grabs people's attention" so they will slow down, he said. "What better way than to post a sign?" ...

The true purpose of asking motorists to slow their pace should be related to protecting local traffic and citizens within a municipality, not to keep a town afloat. The speed should be stepped down gracefully from 65 or 55 to 40 or 35 and then possibly lower based on population and business density within the town. Motorists should have a chance to slow down without being in violation of a law.

We could be more in support of Pylant's legislation if it addressed appropriate legal speed-limit signage at appropriate distances slowing motorists down before they entered a community and stepping it back up at the same pace as people leave populated areas.

No town should be "tricking" motorists into tickets. That's the definition of a speed trap, and it shouldn't be tolerated. But if motorists have ample warning and opportunity to slow their speed, it's not a trap.

It's obeying the law.




March 24

American Press of Lake Charles, La., on the school funding shortfall

Public school superintendents and school board members are up in arms over a standstill budget appropriation approved by their state governing board.

State lawmakers are now considering the outlay in the Minimum Foundation Program, which provides state funding to public school systems. They have only the power to approve it or reject it, sending it back to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for modifications.

What has upset the public school administrators is the MFP lacks its traditional 2.75 percent annual increase. That amounts to about $70 million for the 2014-2015 school year. They say that without the additional money, school systems will have to shoulder increased costs due to inflation and the alarming rise in retirement costs ...

Whether state lawmakers are able to provide the same sort of rescue this year is questionable. Though members of the Jindal administration have waived off criticism of the governor's budget plan, some state lawmakers say that it may be as much as $80 million short of being balanced.

Such shortfalls put state legislators in a bind, and add to the degree of difficulty those voices that are crying out for more money. The pie is remaining the same while the demands on it are getting greater.




March 20