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BGR In The News

West Bank flood protection authority defends itself against questions about spending

Nov 18, 2015

The SLFPA-W noted that the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, the Bureau of Governmental Research and the leaders of Gretna and Westwego all have endorsed the millage request.

Source: The Advocate

Letters: Passage of West Bank millages crucial for hurricane protection

Nov 16, 2015

Residents of the West Bank: This proposal is a big deal. We need to support it. The New Orleans Advocate, BGR, the homebuilders and real estate agents have endorsed it. It is up to us now.

Source: The Advocate

$1.2 million tax renewal on ballot for Algiers flood protection

Nov 13, 2015

The Special Levee District Improvement Tax is one of three millages that Algiers property owners pay for flood protection. It was first approved in 1973 and renewed in 1983 for 30 years. The Bureau of Governmental Research supports the tax renewal.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

$5.5 million tax hike for flood protection on West Jefferson ballot

Nov 13, 2015

Both the West Jefferson and Algiers measures have support from the Bureau of Governmental Research. “Should voters reject the millage, maintenance of levees and infrastructure will suffer and levee improvements will go unfunded, increasing the risk of flooding and likely resulting in higher flood insurance rates,’‘ the non-profit watchdog said.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Levee taxes are essential to keeping us safe from storms: Editorial

Nov 4, 2015

The West Jefferson district has $13.9 million on hand to pay to lift the levees, but needs the new tax to cover the rest, BGR said.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

BGR backs West Bank flood protection tax measures

Nov 3, 2015

BGR said the agency’s obligations “have increased dramatically’‘ since Hurricane Katrina. They include oversight of three drainage pumping stations, including the world’s largest in Plaquemines Parish, and raising and fortifying subsiding levees.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

St. Bernard tax defeat means higher flood risk, flood insurance rates, levee leaders warn

May 4, 2015

In a pre-election report, the Bureau of Governmental Research noted that levee district officials said a failure of the tax increase would result in an immediate reduction in its staff from the current 30 employees to 21 or 22.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

St. Bernard voters being asked again to boost millage for flood protection

Apr 20, 2015

The millage proposal has the backing of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonpartisan public policy group in New Orleans.

Source: The Advocate

Lake Borgne levee tax increase is essential for maintaining flood protection: Editorial

Apr 18, 2015

For the past three years, the district has taken $500,000 out of a reserve fund to balance its budget, BGR said in a report on the millage request. That can’t continue.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Bureau of Governmental Research endorses St. Bernard’s levee tax increase on May 2 ballot

Apr 8, 2015

“Should voters reject the millage, drainage needs in St. Bernard Parish will suffer, increasing the risk of flooding and possibly resulting in higher flood insurance rates,” BGR said.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

New Orleans Citizens Reform a Corrupt, Fallen City

Jul 25, 2014

Watchdog groups like the New Orleans-based Bureau for Governmental Research and the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University provide data and oversight.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Levee authority’s tied vote Thursday means lawsuit against energy companies is still alive

Jun 19, 2014

Janet Howard, executive director of the New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research, said that organization has not taken a position on the merits of the lawsuit itself. But she urged the authority not to take any action that would remove its ability to press claims for damage in the future.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Jindal postpones signing bill that would have killed lawsuit against oil companies

Jun 2, 2014

Last week, the Bureau of Governmental Research questioned if Senate Bill 469 would leave the state in a weaker position to make claims, particularly claims for ongoing costs of operation and maintenance of the levee systems.

Source: WWL-TV

Senate Bill 469 shouldn’t get Gov. Jindal’s signature: Editorial

Jun 1, 2014

SB 469 prohibits not only the two Southeast Louisiana flood protection authorities, but parish governments and other agencies from suing for negligence, strict liability or other causes of action for damage to levees or coastal lands, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Russel Honore oped in The Times, BGR letter argue against SB 469

May 29, 2014

Also this week, the Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans sent a letter to legislators raising numerous concerns about SB 469 and calling on them to rethink the legislation.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Lives depend on flood authority independence: Editorial

May 16, 2014

BGR also is worried about the authorities’ independence. SB 553 would let the governor block legal actions he doesn’t like and control which lawyers get hired — and which don’t, BGR said.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

BGR opposes levee boards’ restriction

May 16, 2014

BGR said the requirement would interfere with the independence of the levee boards and increase the risk of political interference.

Source: The Advocate

Legislature should protect Southeast Louisiana residents, keep levee reforms in place: Editorial

May 4, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans and the Baton Rouge-based Council for a Better Louisiana have criticized Senate Bill 79 for allowing the governor to unilaterally remove flood authority board members.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish Council opposes Sen. Robert Adley’s levee board bills

May 2, 2014

Adley amended the bill to eliminate violations of “public policy” as grounds for removing a board member. That provision had been a particular sore point for the Bureau of Governmental Research and others who said it was too vague of a mandate.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Bills to scuttle ‘Big Oil’ suit progress, but lawsuits may continue: Analysis

Apr 27, 2014

“The governor would effectively serve as the prosecutor, judge and jury,” according to an analysis by the New Orleans-based watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research. It noted that the bill provides no opportunity for a member targeted by the governor to put up a defense.

Source: The Associated Press

Jefferson Chamber condemns efforts to put governor in control of levee boards

Apr 25, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research this week slammed the bill for “allowing a governor to unilaterally remove board members on grounds as vague as public policy.”

Source: | The Times-Picayune

BGR denounces levee board bill

Apr 23, 2014

A New Orleans-based government research group on Tuesday called for rejection of legislation that would give Gov. Bobby Jindal sweeping authority to remove members of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority.

Source: The Advocate

Stephanie Grace: Bill eliminates board’s independence

Apr 22, 2014

Various witnesses rang the alarm bells, arguing that the term “public policy” is “kind of squishy,” as Bureau of Governmental Research President Janet Howard put it, and that the measure would absolutely politicize the board.

Source: The Advocate

Bureau of Governmental Research still opposes amended bill that gives governor power to remove levee

Apr 22, 2014

The New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research said Tuesday that it remains opposed to a bill proposed by state Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, that has been amended to give the governor new authority to remove board members of regional New Orleans levee authorities from office.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

Rewritten flood authority bill gives Jindal more power

Apr 19, 2014

Bureau of Governmental Research president and CEO Janet Howard said the term public policy “is always kind of squishy.”

Source: The Advocate

BGR criticizes effort to change levee board nominations

Apr 2, 2014

A bill up for consideration by the Legislature would threaten reforms aimed at professionalizing New Orleans area levee boards that long were filled with “sometimes ill-qualified political appointees,” according to a commentary the Bureau of Governmental Research issued Tuesday.

Source: The Advocate

Watchdog opposes bill giving governor more power choosing levee boards

Apr 1, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research has come out against a Senate bill that would give the governor more leeway to choose members of The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority. BGR points out that the state went to great pains to remove politics from authority over flood control after Katrina and created two independent levee boards

Source: WWL-TV

Bureau of Governmental Research opposes Senate bill that would give governor more power in selecting

Apr 1, 2014

The New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research has turned thumbs down on a proposed state senate bill that would give Gov. Bobby Jindal more control over the selection of members of the east bank and West Bank levee authorities. BGR said the bill reverses reforms meant to professionalize the two authorities and remove them from political control.

Source: | The Times-Picayune

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