Winn Parish Arrest Report

WINN PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Name: Lorenzo James Ballard
Date: 09-25-2020
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge:  Failure to Appear, Possession of Controlled Substance Schedule I – Marijuana
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Daniel Levi Barnett
Date: 09-25-2020
Age: 18
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge:  Pornography Involving Juveniles x 6
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Lancelin Armon Shaman
Date: 09-27-2020
Age: 18
Address: Jeanenette, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Stolen Firearm, Speeding 
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Phillips Oshay Nashea
Date: 09-27-2020
Age: 20
Address: Jeanenette, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge:  Possession of Schedule I – Marijuana
Bond: Not Listed


Josh and Toni McAllister Speak to Rotary Regarding Laura Recovery

Rotary of Winnfield met at Lynda’s Country Kitchen on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, to hear from Winn Parish Police Jury President, Josh McAllister, and his wife, Toni, about the aftermath of Hurricane Laura which hit our local area on August 27, 2020 and destroyed a large portion of significant energy transmission infrastructure in Winn Parish in addition to felling trees on numerous properties, including some homes.

In a parish-wide emergency, the Police Jury president and the Sheriff bear the primary authority and responsibility for coordinating emergency assistance in the disaster recovery and maintaining order during the immediate aftermath of the disaster.  Mr. McAllister identified destruction of the main electrical transmission system for the parish as the primary problem caused by the storm, which was reported to remain at the strength of a category 2 hurricane when it traversed Winn Parish.  Obviously, the resulting power outage which affected almost the entire parish required immediate attention, but the first and foremost task was clearing of roads to allow travel for many emergency services.  With the electrical service interrupted, communication, both local and long distance areas, was impossible. It was not until roads were cleared so vehicles could reach areas outside the parish that anyone outside the parish learned of the damage and needs for emergency assistance in Winn Parish. At this point, the McAllisters were able to go to neighboring parishes and reach cellular service to call for disaster assistance.  Among those first responding to calls for help were U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham and State Representative Michael T. Johnson of Rapides Parish.

In due course, we received aid and assistance from the National Guard, which deployed over 100 guardsmen to the parish to help with road clearance, water, ice and food. The next greatest need was restoration of electrical power to the area, temporarily with generators, and then permanently, which required the work of hundreds of linemen, their trucks and equipment, supplied by Entergy, Swepco and the City of Winnfield. The third greatest need, food and water for a majority of the population in the parish, was supplied by a disaster assistance group from Shreveport and the Cajun Navy. Those groups supplying food provided over 15,000 meals in the space of four days after word got out regarding the needs of the people in the parish.

Mrs. McAllister spoke about the many local volunteers who came together in the days after the storm to help clear vegetation and debris, distribute food and hand out water and ice. She also mentioned the aid of many people who were raised here in Winn Parish but have relocated, who collected countless vital supplies such as nonperishable food and water through their church communities and drove many hours to bring the items to Winnfield to be distributed by volunteers. Her main point was how much the Lord blessed the parish with the outpouring of aid and assistance from so many people and organizations, as well as in the fact that there were no fatalities caused by the storm.

The Rotary Club of Winnfield meets every Wednesday at Noon for lunch at Lynda’s Country Kitchen. For more information about the Rotary Club of Winnfield, you may contact President, Jodi Taylor (832) 573-5085. You can also find club information on Facebook at Rotary Club of Winnfield Facebook Page or online at Rotary.org.


Representative Firment on Special Session

House District 22 Representative Gabe Firment is representing our area in the Louisiana Legislature during the Special Session. Last week Firment posted:

I signed two important documents today designed to move our state forward and restore the individual rights and freedoms we cherish. First, I signed a petition to call the legislature into special session beginning one week from today to deal with Hurricane Laura recovery, Covid-19 response, and budgetary issues such as the imminent crisis with the unemployment trust fund.

Second, I proudly signed a petition that with a simple majority of the House or Senate could immediately override the governor’s emergency proclamations. This would end the oppressive and unconstitutional executive mandates that have been forced upon the people of District 22 with no legislative input or representation. This would allow for the immediate repeal of the mask mandate, opening our nursing homes to common sense visitation, allowing families to attend high school football games, and reopening our small businesses that have somehow managed to survive this government imposed shutdown of our economy.

The hard working people of District 22 have made it clear to me that they are sick and tired of the government being involved in every single aspect of their lives. It’s time to stop living in fear and start demanding that our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are honored by the government that exists solely at the will of the governed. Thank you and God Bless.


My Opinion – The Constitution and The Filling of a Vacancy

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

Two points worth considering about the filling of the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court as a result of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: One, what does the Constitution say about nominating and confirming a Supreme Court Justice; And two, whether a nominee’s religious affiliation should disqualify them from consideration.

Firstly, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, in pertinent part, as follows: “A President nominates and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges of the Supreme Court.”  A simple majority of the Senate is required to confirm or reject a nominee.  The sound and fury we are hearing concerning the nomination and appointment of a justice during an election year is based upon the prerogative of a given president and the traditions of the U.S. Senate, but they are not constitutional requirements.  A president may appoint, and the U.S. Senate may confirm or reject a nominee, any time there is a vacancy.  The Senate’s constitutional duty has no exception for election years.

The rest of this is simply posturing and gamesmanship.  Which means it’s politics.  Both parties have been on both sides of this issue depending upon who was in power and who held the majority.  I have no doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats held the White House and Senate they would also immediately push through their own nominee.  

Justice Ginsburg was aware of the fragile nature of her health and could have decided to retire.  In fact, she was asked to do so during the Obama years, providing President Obama the opportunity to appoint a younger, like-minded justice.  She did not, perhaps thinking Hillary Clinton would win and the first female president would then appoint her replacement.  Hillary lost.  Faced with that, she simply held on attempting to outlast, she hoped, a one-term President Trump.  She miscalculated.   

Further, regarding an election year replacement of a justice, Justice Ginsburg, herself, said, in a 2016 interview regarding the nomination of Merrick Garland to the High Court: “Nothing in the Constitution prevents a president from nominating to fill a court seat.  That’s their job.  There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

Secondly, Article 6 of the Constitution makes clear that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  This includes as a “disqualification” to any office!  This means we do not impose religious litmus tests upon individuals in order for them to be eligible to serve in public office.  

That’s why it’s so highly offensive for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be attacked, in an attempt to disqualify her, because she is a Catholic.  That’s also why it was highly inappropriate and bigoted for U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein to say to Judge Barrett “the dogma lives loudly within you” during her confirmation hearing to the federal appeals court in 2017.  This comment by Feinstein was made to imply that Judge Barrett could not be both a faithful Catholic Christian and also a fair and impartial judge.  This is wrong, unconstitutional and remains an historic smear of a nominee.  

Judge Barrett is a highly qualified, accomplished jurist (a Louisianan!) who is also the mother of 7, one, a special needs child, and two of whom were adopted from Haiti.  The great farce here is that the Left, which reflexively demands that we “celebrate women,” refuses to do so regarding Judge Barrett.  

Why? Because Judge Barrett would faithfully apply the Constitution and law as written—rather than usurping the role of the elected branches and imposing her own policy choices.  She won’t serve as an activist, Leftist judge and that means not only should she not be praised but that she must be destroyed in the same ugly, vicious manner the Left inflicted on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  The hypocrisy here drips like the morning dew.

The dictates of the Constitution in this matter are clear.  Hopefully, they will be followed.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


2020 Census to End Oct. 5 Despite Court Order

The 2020 census will end Oct. 5, despite a federal judge’s ruling last week that the head count of every U.S. resident should continue through the end of October, according to a tweet posted on the Census Bureau’s website on Sept. 28.

The tweet said the ability for people to self-respond to the census questionnaire and the door-knocking phase when census takers go to homes that haven’t yet responded is ending Oct. 5.

The announcement came as a follow-up to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s preliminary injunction, which suspended the Census Bureau’s deadline for ending the head count on Sept. 30, allowing for the ending of field operations on Oct. 31.

Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by President Donald Trump’s administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade. She sided with civil rights groups and local governments that had sued the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the statistical agency, arguing that minorities and others in hard-to-count communities would be missed if the counting ends this month.

Attorneys for the federal government said they were appealing the decision. During hearings, federal government attorneys argued that the head count needed to end Sept. 30 in order to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for handing in figures used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets in a process known as apportionment.

SOURCE: Associated Press – Florida


Remember This? Perry’s Plight

E.A. Perry was born on January 19, 1809.  Later that same year, Perry’s father abandoned the family.  In November, 1811, Perry’s 24-year-old mother contracted tuberculosis and died on December 8, 1811.  Perry’s 27-year-old father, still estranged from the family, died from an unknown cause just three days after Perry’s mother.  Perry, his brother, and sister, were split up.  Perry’s brother lived with his paternal grandparents in Baltimore, Maryland.  His sister lived with family friends in Richmond, Virginia.  Mrs. Frances Allan convinced her reluctant husband, John, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, to foster Perry.   

Living in the Allan household afforded Perry a good education.  Frances, unable to have children of her own, adored and protected young Perry.  Frances introduced Perry to the genteel life which came with being a member of the Allan family.  Despite the high standing of the Allan family, however, Perry could not escape his status as a foster child.  To John, Perry was a drain on his finances.  As Perry grew older and more independent, he and his foster father clashed.  John was strict with Perry and was stingy with his money.  Perry longed to be on his own and to become a member of genteel society. 

In February, 1826, Perry enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  John begrudgingly paid Perry’s tuition, but failed to provide him enough money to live on.  Perry excelled in his studies but struggled with his newfound freedom.  He drank and gambled away what little money he had to cover his expenses.  By the end of his first year at the university, Perry had accumulated debts nearing $2,500.00, which adjusted for inflation, would be just over $40,500 in today’s money.  John refused to help Perry cover the debts and their relationship worsened.  Unable to repay his debts, Perry abruptly left the university.    

On May 26, 1827, using an alias to escape his creditors, Perry enlisted in the United States Army at Boston, Massachusetts.  In addition to lying about his name, Perry also lied about his age.  He gave his age as 22 years old, when in reality he was 18.  Whether he gave a false age as another way to keep his creditors from tracking him down or for some other advantage can only be speculated upon.  His enlistment paperwork showed that Perry agreed to serve for a period of five years “unless sooner discharged by proper authority.”  Perry listed clerk as his occupation.

Perry prospered in the army.  In just nineteen months, Perry rose from the rank of private to Regimental Sergeant Major, a meteoric rise which was uncharacteristic, especially in peacetime.  Perry became the company’s clerk, which brought him into constant contact with the company’s officers and relieved him of participation in more rigorous duties.  By December of 1828, however, Perry decided he wanted out of the army because he was unable to secure commission without having been educated at West Point.  He still owed the army three and a half years.  Perry spoke with Lieutenant Howard, who said he would agree to his discharge upon reconciliation with his foster father and if he provided an acceptable replacement to serve in his stead at no cost to the army.  Perry wrote to his foster father but John refused to answer his letters.  Only after Perry told John of his plans to enter West Point did John agree to aid in Perry’s resignation from the army.     

On February 28, 1829, Frances Allan died.  For a short time, Perry’s and John’s relationship improved.  John provide Perry with money along with a new suit of clothes and all of the necessary accessories for a young man of status.  In addition, John provided the required permission for Perry to resign from the army along with funds for Perry to hire a substitute soldier.  Perry left the army with several recommendations from his commanding officers in support of his application to West Point.       

In May of 1829, Perry hand-delivered his application to Washington and delivered it to the Secretary of War.  He returned to his residence in Baltimore and anxiously awaited news of his appointment.  When, in July, 1829, he had received no word, he walked the forty miles from Baltimore to Washington to check on the status of his appointment.  Perry’s impatience did him no good.  Perry had no choice but to walk the forty miles back to Baltimore.  Finally, in March of 1830, Perry received his appointment at West Point.

The other cadets looked up to Perry because he was slightly older and because of his previous university and military training.  In his spare time, Perry wrote poetry.  His fellow cadets enjoyed his writings and many of them agreed to share the cost of publishing a book of his poems.  The treasurer of the academy withheld $1.25 from each participating cadet’s $28.00 monthly check until the amount reached $170.00.  

Perry’s reputation grew and he confidently boasted that, with his previous educational background and military experience, he would complete the four-year program at West Point in only six months.  However, Perry was stunned to learn that his previous experiences and his rank as Sergeant Major would not enable him complete the program at West Point in a shorter timeframe. 

Perry learned other disappointing news as well.  While Perry was at West Point, John had remarried and had fathered twins.  Perry would no longer inherit any of John’s wealth.  Perry was distraught and was determined to resign from West Point.  If he abandoned West Point without John’s permission, he would not receive his backpay.  Perry wrote to John and requested his permission but John refused to reply.  In his own notes, John commented “I do not think the boy has one good quality.”  In January, 1831, Perry abandoned his duties at West Point.  During the court martial, Perry was charged with “gross neglect of duty,” and “disobedience of orders.”  On March 6, 1831, the court found Perry guilty of both charges and dismissed him from West Point.  The academy withheld Perry’s last paycheck but forwarded a check to him for $170.00, the money the cadets had raised for Perry’s book of poems.  In May, 1831, a publisher delivered 136 copies of Perry’s book, one for each cadet who had raised money for its publication.  Perry dedicated the book “to the U.S. Corps of Cadets.”

Perry continued to write poetry and short stories.  His works were published in various journals and periodicals in the United States.  He also continued with his old habits of drinking and gambling, a combination which usually led to disaster.  On October 7, 1849, Perry died destitute at the young age of forty from an unknown cause which has been debated ever since.  He failed to achieve the status of a gentleman, which he had witnessed while a part of the Allan family, and was not accepted into polite society.  Since his death, however, Perry has been praised for his works such as “The Black Cat,” “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and a host of other tales of horror and suspense.  E.A. Perry was the alias of Edgar Allan Poe. 

Sources:

  1. Russell, J. Thomas. Edgar Allan Poe: The Army Years. West Point, New York: United States Military Academy, 1972.
  2. National Archives Catalog. “Enlistment Papers for Edgar A. Perry [Poe].” Accessed September 9, 2020. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/300391.
  3. National Archives Catalog. “Trial of Cadet E. A. Poe.” Accessed September 9, 2020. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/301660.

Earliest Known Portrait of E.A. Perry


Notice of Death September 29, 2020

WINN:
Jerry Joseph Thomisee
February 15, 1942 – September 26, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 2 pm in the chapel of Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield

Roy Ross Maggio, Sr.
June 15, 1946 – September 26, 2020
Service: Thursday, October 1 at 10 am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Mamie Lucille Herring
June 16, 1928 – September 27, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am at First Baptist Church

NATCHITOCHES:
Naive Michael Elhage
June 11, 1949 – September 27, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 2 pm at Old Pisgah Baptist Church

Sherwood Lyles
June 24, 1941 – September 28, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Natalie Wilson
September 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jessie Sawyer
September 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 3 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Vanilla Hardy
May 11, 1970 – September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Laraja Brianne Nicholas
July 10, 1997 – September 23, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, located at 2654 Highway 1226 in Clarence

Willie Baldwin
September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Betty Ann James Winslow
November 2, 1949 – September 20, 2020
Service: Sunday, October 4 at 11 am at the home of Robbin Mitchell, located at 8048 Hwy 120 in Robeline

Edna Ozell Craig
February 16, 1933 – September 20, 2020
Service: Thursday, October 1 at 2 pm at Union Baptist Church


Winn Parish Arrest Report

WINN PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Name: Clarence Merel Burton
Date: 09-14-2020
Age: 50
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge: First Degree Rape, Sexual Battery, First Degree Rape, Attempted Second Degree Rape, Sexual Battery, Sexual Battery
Bond: No Bond

Name: Brittany Ann Kellog
Date: 09-16-2020
Age: 19
Address: Joyce, LA
Gender: Female
Race: White
Charge: Failure to Appear
Bond: $763.00

Name: Harold K. Remo, Jr.
Date: 09-16-2020
Age: 33
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Failure to Appear
Bond: $751.00

Name: Elvis Ramirez Rivas
Date: 09-17-2020
Age: 37
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Hispanic
Charge: No Driver’s License
Bond: Released with Citation

Name: Amanda Lynn King
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 43
Address: Dodson, LA
Gender: Female
Race: White
Charge: Possession of Schedule I (THC), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Bond: $25,000

Name: Robert Earl Starkey III
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 35
Address: Jonesboro, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White 
Charge: Improper Lane Change, No Motor Vehicle Inspection, Expired License Plate, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia x 2
Bond: $5,000

Name: Daniel Levi Barnett
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 18
Address: Goldonna, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Male
Charge: Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling
Bond: $25,000

Name: Daniel Levi Barnett
Date: 09-20-2020
Age: 18
Address: Goldonna, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge: Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile
Bond: See previous entry * Total Bond $25,000

Name: Avery Brown
Date: 09-22-2020
Age: 24
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Damage, Attempted Simple Escape
Bond: None Listed

Name: Marcus D. Davis
Date: 09-22-2020
Age: 30
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Damage, Attempted Simple Escape, Possession of Contraband X 2
Bond: None Listed

Name: Marcus D. Booker, Jr.
Date: 09-24-2020
Age: 33
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Bench Warrant – Failure to Appear
Bond: None Listed

Name: Shannon Farmer
Date: 09-23-2020
Age: 32
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Assault Aggravated X 2, Assault Simple Battery Aggravated
Bond: None Listed

Name: Leonard Rhodes
Date: 09-23-2020
Age: 51
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Trespass, Resisting Arrest or Officer, Failure to Report Probation and Parole Violation
Bond: None Listed

Name: Joshua Silas
Date: 9-23-2020
Age: 28
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge:  Simple Criminal Damage to Property, Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling
Bond: None Listed

WINNFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Name: Dekator T. Pittman
Date: 09-21-2020
Age: 38
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Simple Battery
Bond: $550.00

Name: Lereginald J. Walker
Date: 09-25-2020
Age: 20
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Domestic Abuse Battery
Bond: None Listed

 


SECRETARY OF STATE PROVIDES INFORMATION ON ABSENTEE BALLOTS

BATON ROUGE, La.— In the last few days, Parish Registrars of Voters across the state began sending out absentee ballots. This year will see the highest number of absentee ballots ever cast in a Louisiana election.   To ensure voters have their absentee ballot counted, this instructional video shows step-by-step how to properly fill out and return an absentee ballot. 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 30 by 4:30 p.m., and the deadline to return an absentee ballot is November 2 by 4:30 p.m. As a reminder, to ensure all ballots are received in time to be counted, the United States Postal Service recommends that all absentee ballots be requested 15 days prior to the election and mailed back 7 days prior to the return deadline.

The list of reasons to apply for an absentee ballot can be found here


FBI AND CISA PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING ELECTION DISINFORMATION

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the potential threat posed by attempts to spread disinformation regarding the results of the 2020 elections. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could create new websites, change existing websites, and create or share corresponding social media content to spread false information in an attempt to discredit the electoral process and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions.

State and local officials typically require several days to weeks to certify elections’ final results in order to ensure every legally cast vote is accurately counted. The increased use of mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 protocols could leave officials with incomplete results on election night. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could exploit the time required to certify and announce elections’ results by disseminating disinformation that includes reports of voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud, and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy.

The FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials. The public should also be aware that if foreign actors or cyber criminals were able to successfully change an election-related website, the underlying data and internal systems would remain uncompromised.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Seek out information from trustworthy sources, such as state and local election officials; verify who produced the content; and consider their intent.
  • Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about problems in voting or election results, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
  • For information about final election results, rely on state and local government election officials.
  • Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.
  • If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about election-related problems or results.

The FBI is responsible for investigating malign foreign influence operations and malicious cyber activity targeting election infrastructure and other U.S. democratic institutions. CISA is responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. The FBI and CISA provide services and information to uphold the security, integrity, and resiliency of the U.S. electoral processes.

VICTIM REPORTING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The FBI encourages victims to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local field office (www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field). For additional assistance and best practices, and common terms, please visit the following websites:


Senator Louie Bernard: Special Session Begins Today

Members of the Louisiana Legislature head to Baton Rouge for the Special Legislative Session that starts today. It will be a 30 day session. The legislature called itself into session and the call lists 70 items for lawmakers to consider.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder is quoted in a news release that the special session will focus on three main objectives:

1. Hurricane Laura disaster relief and recovery efforts
2. On-going issues with COVID-1 especially relative to funding and the economy
3. The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.

Senator Louie Bernard told The Journal that he mostly agrees with Schexnayder that these are the priority items. He would add working to assure that the MFP formula for funding public education is kept in place. Bernard said, “My concern is that it should not be downgraded because there are fewer kids in school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not in school right now, but they will be back, and we need to assure sound funding for education.

On the Unemployment Trust Fund, Bernard said it is low on funds and needs to be replenished. He added, “There are the Main Street and the Front Line Worker programs that have not spent all the funds allocated to them. This might possibly be an option for the Unemployment Trust Fund. It’s something we will probably look at.”

Bernard cautioned, “The call contains 70 items and that is too much. We would be better off focusing on things that we can do in 30 days.” Below is the proclamation calling for the special session and the 70 items that are included. Senator Bernard said, “When we put too many things in the call it makes it cluttered and makes it too hard to get everything done.”

Please review:


Budget Sweeps Cause Unclaimed Property Program To Fall Short Of Money To Pay Claims

State Treasurer John M. Schroder announced on Sept. 23 that the Unclaimed Property Program is once again temporarily short of the money needed to pay claims because of state budget sweeps. A similar shortfall arose in September 2018.

The program had a balance of $623,715.10 on Sept. 22, leaving it short of the money needed to pay all pending claims. Since 1973, more than $600 million in Unclaimed Property has been used to balance the state budget, leading to shortfalls in the ability to pay claims.

People and businesses may need to wait several weeks to claim their Unclaimed Property. Businesses traditionally remit lost money to the state in late October, which will generate enough funding to resume paying claims.

“Unclaimed Property isn’t the state’s money. It belongs to the people and businesses of Louisiana. We shouldn’t have to delay returning people’s money to them,” said Treasurer Schroder. “I’m thankful the citizens of Louisiana will be able to vote Nov. 3 on whether to place Unclaimed Property into a trust fund. A trust fund will prevent future shortfalls. Unclaimed Property is the people’s money. They shouldn’t be told to come back in four weeks to claim it.”

Constitutional Amendment No. 7 will create the Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to protect Unclaimed Property beginning July 1, 2021. Through the fund’s investment earnings, it also will create a state revenue source that doesn’t raise taxes or spend people’s Unclaimed Property.


KENNEDY, JOHNSON ANNOUNCE NEARLY $1 MILLION TO SUPPORT LOCAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), a member of Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today announced that nearly one million in grant funding is headed to local and state agencies to support law enforcement in Louisiana.

These funds, administered through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), support a broad range of law enforcement activities to prevent and reduce crime based on unique state and local needs. The federal funding can be used for training, hiring additional personnel, and procuring equipment and supplies, among other things.

“We keep Louisianians safe by giving law enforcement the resources they need to serve and protect. The support Attorney General Barr is showing for Shreveport, Natchitoches, Bossier City and other law enforcement will extend to every member of those communities,” said Kennedy.

“At a time when our law enforcement officers need support more than ever before, this is a key investment in our local and state agencies. We need to make certain that everyone who serves so bravely has the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs effectively and keep our communities safe,” said Johnson. “From day one, President Trump and AG William Barr have shown their support for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and I am thankful for their continued commitment to that effort.”

The following DOJ grants were made in Louisiana:

· City of Shreveport – $117,440
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· Bossier City – $37,560
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· City of Natchitoches – $12,490
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice – $61,109

Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

· Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice – $10,868

Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment in state-run juvenile correctional facilities.

· Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections – $498,759

Funds will be used to administer the Adult Reentry and Employment Strategic Planning Program, which aims to reduce recidivism among newly released offenders.

· Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance – $39,774
Funds will be used to administer the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Grant Program which provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors.

· State of Louisiana Office of Youth Development – $156,588
Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.