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Story Archives: Jindal calls on Crowville
|Jindal calls on Crowville|
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal continued unprecedented moves last week, becoming the first sitting Governor known to visit Crowville.
The first-term Governor literally "dropped in" on Crowville in a military blue helicopter for an hour-plus town hall meeting in a warehouse with more than 150 Franklin Parish residents.
Gov. Jindal spent about an hour delighting his audience with humorous stories about growing up in Baton Rouge and serious reminders about legislative accomplishments in the Capital during his first year in office.
"I promised I would not forget North Louisiana," he said in early remarks.
Jindal has easily kept that promise. He's now spoken to the a Monroe area chamber of commerce twice and is scheduled to address the Winnsboro--Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce in its 60th Annual Installation Banquet on Feb. 12.
The appearance will be his second formal stop in Winnsboro at a chamber event. He also visited the parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.
Students from Crowville, Baskin and Delhi Charter schools attended the meeting, held in the warehouse of Raley Brothers Elevator on a clear, but cold morning.
Jindal pointed to students as an emphasis for future legislative concerns:
"We will work (with state legislature) together to stop exporting our greatest assets, the sons and daughters of our state," Jindal said in reference to meet the education needs of citizens and current and future employers within the state.
Then, moving quickly from topic to topic, he noted the ethics reforms he championed and the legislature inacted during his first year in office.
"It's a relief to be watching late night TV and they're making fun of Illinois and not Louisiana," the Governor said.
In other first-year accomplishments, Jindal said his office had given up box seats to LSU football games in Tiger Stadium. "My brother still won't hardly speak to me," he quipped.
On the serious side, he said the state is now in the top five of a national list of better government states and in the top 10 or another list for states favorable to business interests.
"But, most important, we had to restore peoples' trust in their government," he said.
Other milestones noted by the Governor include:
--income tax reductions;
--investing in roads;
--fiscal changes (using one time funds to pay off debt);
--special funds (taking transportation taxes out of general funds and into a special fund; and,
--credit rating improvements.
Still on the plus and minus side, he said, "workforce development needs work, We have 80,000 jobs we can't fill," and later he referred to a population where "14,000 dropout and 14,000 go to jail" as needing attention from state government, particularly in education.
"The reason I'm so passionate about education," he said was because it was the only thing his parents, living in Baton Rouge as immigrants from India, promised him. "Not a bike, not anything like that. All they ever promised was a good education." The Governor is a graduate of Harvard.
He said he would seek help from potential employers in the state to improve education.
"We want employers to tell us what they need instead of us telling them what we have," in the way of workforce training and education, he said.
The statewide loss of teachers was also on the Governor's mind.
"We have to have great teachers. Right now we have 50 percent of our teachers leave within five years." of taking a teaching assignment, he suggested.
"We are the second worst state in the country when it comes to school discipline," the Jindal said regarding education. "Our teachers need the support of parents most importantly," he added.
Health concerns also registered with the Governor and his audience.
"We are the worst state when it comes to emergency room use." he claimed and added that moves toward electronic record keeping might be an improvement.
Near the end of his talk, Jindal spoke to the mind of the agriculture oriented audience.
"It is critical for the state to help our farming communities get back on their feet," he said.
"We're all impacted when our farmers are in financial crisis," he added and said the state was preparing to use federal housing funds to help farmers by flowing funds from state to local users.
"Nationally, we can't afford to depend on other countries for our food," he said nearing his conclusion.
Jindal answered the only audience question and posed for many pictures to make a Governor's first Crowville visit memorable before boarding the helicopter.