We believe every Louisianan should have the opportunity to flourish.

Infrastructure Package Threatens to Slow Cryptocurrency Innovation

Infrastructure Package Threatens to Slow Cryptocurrency Innovation

The debate over the trillion-dollar, 2000-page infrastructure package is heating up in Congress, but not for the reason everyone thought. Despite fears over rising debt and inflation, one of the most controversial parts of the legislation revolves around cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While there are various cryptocurrencies, the most commonly known one is Bitcoin. Bitcoin...

By Eric Peterson

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the Release of 2021 LEAP Scores

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the Release of 2021 LEAP Scores

BATON ROUGE— Pelican Institute CEO Daniel Erspamer released the following statement after the release of the 2021 LEAP test scores. ”Today’s announcement of 2021 LEAP results confirmed what we’ve feared all along, that Louisiana public school students have lost valuable ground in their academic preparation. We must act with urgency to support strong plans for...

By Ryan Roberts

Legal Analysis: Year Two of the Pandemic

Legal Analysis: Year Two of the Pandemic

Throughout 2020, elected officials and public health departments issued a variety of emergency orders to stop or slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These orders included stay at home orders, business closures, and capacity limitations. Unfortunately, these measures abridged personal liberties and damaged-even destroyed-businesses and livelihoods. Many courts allowed these orders to stand because...

By Sarah Harbison

The School Accountability System Should be Simple and Transparent

The School Accountability System Should be Simple and Transparent

In just a few weeks, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will vote on whether to adopt a set of changes to Louisiana’s K-12 school accountability system that were proposed by State Superintendent Cade Brumley and the board’s Accountability Commission, which serves as a stakeholder-led advisory panel. The board deferred action on the proposed revisions during its last...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

The Pro Act Would Be a Disaster for Louisiana Workers

The Pro Act Would Be a Disaster for Louisiana Workers

Louisiana workers have struggled to recover from the economic and physical damage caused by the pandemic. There are 132,000 fewer Louisianans working than in March of 2020, and the 6,700 jobs created in June means there is a long way to go until the economy gets back to pre-pandemic levels. While workers in Louisiana are...

By Eric Peterson

June’s Jobs Report Shows Slow Progress Towards Economic Recovery

June’s Jobs Report Shows Slow Progress Towards Economic Recovery

Two weeks ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing that the nation added 850,000 jobs in June, beating expectations.  This provided some hope that Louisiana would see similarly large gains in employment. While Louisiana did add jobs in June, the gains left a lot to be desired. Louisiana added 6,700 jobs in...

By Eric Peterson

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the End of the Veto Override Session

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the End of the Veto Override Session

BATON ROUGE—CEO of the Pelican Institute, Daniel Erspamer released the following statement after the end of the veto override session: “It is disappointing that the Legislature was unable to override the veto of HB38 that would have brought sunlight to billions of dollars that Louisiana school boards spend each year. “While the governor believes that transparency...

By Ryan Roberts

Jefferson Parish School Board Members Lead the Charge on Transparency Veto Override

Jefferson Parish School Board Members Lead the Charge on Transparency Veto Override

As the legislature attempts to override the governor’s vetoes on various bills, one bill that we have paid close attention to is House Bill 38, the school district fiscal transparency bill. The bill would require enhanced fiscal transparency for all school districts in Louisiana and would require most districts to publish their expenses on the...

By John Kay

School Board Spending Transparency

School Board Spending Transparency

HB38 by Representative Rick Edmonds brings sunlight to local school district spending by adding many school districts to the Louisiana Fiscal Transparency Website, LouisianaCheckbook.com, and requiring other smaller entities to post enhanced transparency on their websites. It is modeled after both Louisiana Checkbook and an existing project by the Lafayette Parish School Board to post...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Fiscal Transparency for School Districts

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Fiscal Transparency for School Districts

In recent days, there has been much misinformation put out about the school district transparency bill by Representative Rick Edmonds. Although groups have been spreading misinformation, it doesn’t change the fact that transparency of taxpayer dollars is a necessary function of any good government. We have chosen two prominent myths to address in this article....

By John Kay

How Does a Veto Override Session Work?

How Does a Veto Override Session Work?

It’s official. As of midnight on Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Louisiana legislature is heading into its first-ever veto session. Legislators will meet to consider the 28 bills passed this session that were subsequently vetoed by the governor. Among the bills vetoed are a fiscal transparency requirement for school boards, a bill that would allow...

By Sarah Harbison

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the Announcement of the Veto Override Session

Statement from the Pelican Institute Upon the Announcement of the Veto Override Session

BATON ROUGE—CEO of the Pelican Institute, Daniel Erspamer released the following statement after the announcement of the veto override session: “We applaud the decision of the legislature to allow this veto-override session to proceed. While there will be much talk about the historic nature of this session, the people of Louisiana care more about results...

By Ryan Roberts

Letter to Congress: “The Federal Government Should be Careful When Appropriating Additional Broadband Funds”

Letter to Congress: “The Federal Government Should be Careful When Appropriating Additional Broadband Funds”

There is a bipartisan agreement in Washington D.C. that the federal government should take steps to expand broadband access. However, many of these ideas involve spending billions of dollars while the country faces unprecedented levels of debt and deficits. Furthermore, most of these plans only address the access issue when adoption continues to be a major...

By Eric Peterson

Fiscal Transparency is Never Unnecessary

Fiscal Transparency is Never Unnecessary

Last week, Governor Edwards announced a shocking veto of a bill that would have created fiscal transparency in our schools. The bill would have required Louisiana’s larger public-school systems to post information about their revenues and expenditures to the Louisiana Fiscal Transparency Website known as “Louisiana Checkbook,” and required smaller school systems to post existing...

By John Kay