The key points of the latest press release, which can be found here, followed by my insta-reactions.
Louisiana must be a place where businesses can startup and thrive, where employers can put down roots, and where families can count on good careers.
That’s a big boat to turn around. There are many, many Louisiana ex-pats throughout the country.
That is why I am proposing that we dedicate monies that come from vehicle and licensing fees to what they are intended for — transportation needs, instead of disappearing in the general fund. I am also proposing that we invest hundreds of millions of dollars to improve roads and bridges, as well as for expanding interstates and major highways throughout the state, such as I-12, I-49, and LA-28.
Sounds good to me. I like to play a game where I don’t read signs as I enter or leave Louisiana to see if I can tell the difference in states by the pothole frequency.
We must also invest $50 million in Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, a worldwide leader in nutrition research. Currently, the University of Alabama-Birmingham receives more federal research funding than all of Louisiana’s public universities combined. This cannot continue.
This one hits home. Now I’m in the Baylor College of Medicine, and I was just talking with the Jordanian about how once you leave Houston the best places to do research is Dallas, then Austin, then Birmingham. I love to see when yankees have to come down to Birmingham just because they have to follow the money. Pennington will never surpass Baylor or Southwestern, but if Birmingham can attract yankees and federal money why not Baton Rouge.
It may seem at odds against my inner libertarian, but Newt Gingrich once said that it is fiscally conservative to have a populace that lives longer, and is more healthy and able to work throughout their longer lives. The research in Pennington, or Baylor, contributes to the findings that extends lives and improves the quality of life of American citizens.
Update: Good news! Finally, we have provided a $50 million capital investment in Pennington Biomedical Research Center, one of the world’s leading nutrition research centers. This will provide for a new clinical research building, new high-tech equipment, and recruitment of faculty who are worldwide leaders in their fields. This will also bring more than 1,100 new jobs, and provide an economic impact of more than $110 million annually.
(That’s good news, but Bob McNair donated $100 million out of his pocket to Baylor College of Medicine.)