Campaign Coverage: Gubernatorial Candidate Jay Dardenne
(KSLA) - On October 24, Louisiana residents will cast their votes in the primary election for the Gubernatorial race. According to a KSLA News 12/Raycom Media poll, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne holds about 8 percent of the voters polled.
Lt, Governor Dardenne has maintained higher education is his number one priority throughout his campaign. In an interview with KSLA News 12, Dardenne said in regards to current Governor Bobby Jindal's approach to higher education, it is the "area of state responsibility that has been neglected during this administration." Dardenne continued, "For a governor to submit a budget to the legislature that would have cut higher education by 82 percent is unconscionable. You can't send that kind of signal to people outside of Louisiana and you can't subject higher education to that kind of reduction in the legislative process, it's just untenable."
He argues the way to prepare Louisiana residents for jobs is to have a successful and well-funded higher education program. Dardenne says in order to make sure higher education is well-funded, the government has to recognize it as a priority, and make budgets based on priorities.
Dardenne also says there should be higher standards when it comes to education in Louisiana. In response to questions about whether there should be a change to the Common Core State Standards, Dardenne responded that he believes there will be changes in areas where everyone is concerned, mainly in regards to the math component.
He says, "The compromise that was reached in the legislature I think is a great solution, brought the opponents and proponents together with a very good process that is being followed with over 100 people reviewing the standard. They'll make a recommendations to BESE, to the legislature, and to the new governor about what should happen to each and every one of the standards."
The state of Louisiana was projected to face a $1.6 billion budget deficit this year. Dardenne said the shortfall has to be corrected either before the sun sets on the Jindal administration, or will have to be tackled in January by the next administration. He believes there will be a special session at the beginning of the year in regards to the deficit.
"We're going to have to maintain some of the changes the legislature made to drive more revenue into the state, some of them had sunset periods on them in three years or so, but those revenue streams are going to have to be continued in order to fund what legislature has created in the current year budget," said Dardenne.
Dardenne says that he will carry over his efforts to create more jobs and get people to move into Louisiana that he has made as lieutenant governor. He says creating jobs and promoting the state will bring in money and tourists to Louisiana.
"We've had three record breaking years in a row of tourism under my leadership. That's translated into a lot of money for the state. Last year, $836 million in state sales tax alone paid by people who were just visiting the state of Louisiana, not paid for by residents," said Dardenne.
In a recent forum, Lt. Governor Dardenne used some of his time to respond to ads run by Senator David Vitter's campaign. One ad accused Dardenne of misusing tax payer money on a 60th "birthday bash" to Europe. According to our sister station, WAFB in Baton Rouge,
Dardenne responded, "I made those trips as part of my responsibilities as lieutenant governor, and let me say very clearly to you, I paid for my wife to accompany me on those trips. You didn't," said Dardenne. "Those trips overseas, two of them, that cost a total of $11,000, not $34,000, that was the expense for me to go two places, and it increased international visitation in Louisiana by 26 percent, the largest percentage increase in America. You're seeing an awful lot of lies on TV."
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