This week, a judge rejected President Obama’s Justice Department’s attempt to impede the Louisiana Scholarship Program.  The judge refused to approve of the Justice Department’s request to have veto power over individual scholarship awards for children who are trying to escape failing schools.   Governor Jindal hailed the ruling as a win for Louisiana children and the school choice movement.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

A Federal Judge Ruled In Favor Of Louisiana In President Obama’s Justice Department’s Suit That Attempted To Impede The Louisiana Scholarship Program. A federal court has rejected attempts by the Justice Department to scrap Louisiana’s school choice program, ending a months-long battle between the state and the Obama administration. U.S. District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled Tuesday evening that the Louisiana Scholarship Program can go on as planned … The judge did not grant the DOJ’s request to be able to deny vouchers on an individual basis. The vouchers are used by the families of students who attend failing public schools to pay for tuition at private institutions.

Governor Jindal Called The Ruling A “Win For Children And Their Parents.” “Today is a great day for school choice and access to an opportunity for a better education for all Louisianians,” he said. “I am pleased that the court rejected President Obama’s Justice Department’s attempt to establish a review period where bureaucrats in Washington would be able to reject scholarship awards solely because the child is not the ‘right’ skin color.” The ruling rejected the DOJ’s request for a 45-day review period for all vouchers and will not disrupt the program…

Governor Jindal Called Out Attorney General Holder For His Strange Comment That His Department’s Suit Was Not An Attempt To Shutdown The Scholarship Program. Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Friday that the Justice Department (DOJ) never intended to stop the Louisiana school voucher program, despite his agency’s lawsuit that requested a permanent injunction against school choice scholarships. … Jindal said he hoped Holder was under oath when he said the DOJ was not trying to stop the program. “If filing a lawsuit isn’t taking a position on an issue, I don’t know what is,” he said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “Eric Holder and the Department of Justice are trying to impede children who haven’t had access to a great education from getting the chance to go to better schools,” Jindal said. “In Louisiana, we refuse to accept that any child should be forced to be trapped in a failing school.”

Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody Called Governor Jindal A “One-Man Idea Factory.”  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is making noise within GOP circles as a man with plenty of ideas. … Jindal’s biggest splash, however, could be that he’s viewed as a one-man idea factory. “We need to win the war of ideas not only because I think it’s good and the path forward to us being a governing party, but also secondly, if we really think these issues are so important for America, if we think we’re at a critical tipping point, we owe it to have that discussion with the American people,” he said. And the ideas are flying. … Jindal has used America Next to spell out his version of healthcare reform. “Let’s make healthcare more portable so when you lose your job you don’t lose your coverage,” he said. “Let’s also make sure that we can help individuals form voluntary purchasing pools to be able to afford healthcare. There are real policies that will drive down the cost that don’t involve the government talking over healthcare.” Jindal has been tackling myriad issues, ranging from energy production to school choice programs – something that’s been a hit in Louisiana..

Reason Magazine Reported On Governor Jindal’s Alternative To Obamacare. Before conservative policy wonks can win any policy victories, they’ll need to overhaul the Republican Party. For an idea of what that might look like and the challenges any transformation will entail, they should look to one of the party’s wonkiest politicians, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.  Last week, as President Obama touted the 7.1 million private plan sign-ups in Obamacare’s first open enrollment period, Jindal gave the world a glimpse at what the outlines of a Republican alternative might look like. Not only would the plan repeal Obamacare; it would, among other things, overhaul the tax code to remove the tax advantage for employer-sponsored health plans, offer incentives to states to protect access for individuals with preexisting health conditions, block grant Medicaid, expand health savings accounts, and create a $100 billion innovation fund for states experimenting with policies to bring down the cost of health care.

CBS Highlighted Governor Jindal’s Conservative Plan To Replace Obamacare. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, offered a Republican alternative to Obama’s health care overhaul last week, saying states should play a greater role in containing health care costs while giving consumers more flexibility in choosing insurance plans. Jindal said Obama’s health care law should be “repealed in its entirety” but said Republicans need to offer a better way to reform the health care system, wading into one of the most contentious policy issues in the upcoming midterm elections. … Jindal’s proposal aims to contain rising health care costs instead of focusing on universal coverage, something he called “the liberal shibboleth.” It would not force consumers to buy insurance plans but would instead turn to the states to find ways to control premiums and medical costs. The proposal includes a $100 billion grant program that states could access if they come up with insurance reforms to curb costs. To be part of the plan, states would need to guarantee access to people with pre-existing conditions, a key part of Obama’s health care law.

Louisiana Higher Education Leaders Urged The Legislature To Approve Of Governor Jindal’s Plan To Increase Funding For Job Training Programs That Will Prepare Louisiana Students To Fill The Thousands Of Jobs Coming To The State. Higher education leaders urged lawmakers Monday to maintain Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan for a new $40 million incentive fund to steer money to high-demand degree and job training programs. The dollars are included in Jindal’s 2014-15 budget recommendations for the fiscal year that begins July 1. … The Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund, called the WISE Fund, would direct dollars to engineering, technology, research and other sought-after programs at Louisiana’s four-year universities and community and technical colleges. The Jindal administration has attracted billions of dollars in new investment, much of it in the petrochemical industry, but administration and higher education leaders say Louisiana needs to better prepare workers for the tens of thousands of jobs coming with those projects.

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This week, Governor Jindal unveiled a plan to replace Obamacare with a conservative-based approach that would lower health care costs.  The Governor argued that Obamacare needs to be completely repealed because it is “unpopular, unworkable, and misguided.” Governor Jindal also announced a major economic development win in Webster Parish.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Announced A Plan To Replace Obamacare Arguing The Law Is “Unpopular, Unworkable, And Misguided.” The morning after President Obama declared the Affordable Care Act was “here to stay,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called for its repeal and outlined a Republican alternative to address concerns about the nation’s health care system. The release of the plan by Jindal … came hours after Obama took a victory lap Tuesday in the Rose Garden for the four-year-old law. … But Jindal, a former health official in the federal and state governments, called the law “unpopular, unworkable, and misguided” in a report released Wednesday morning by a conservative non-profit policy group he founded last year called America Next.

Governor Jindal Appeared On Sean Hannity’s Fox News Program To Discuss The Importance Of Repealing Obamacare And His Plan To Replace It. Governor Jindal: “We do need to repeal Obamacare in its entirety … And you know, the White House is making a big deal that they say they signed up 7 million people. We’ll see if those numbers are true. How many of those were uninsured? But so what? The reality is, under the threat of the IRS, they’re forcing people in many cases to buy a product they don’t want, doesn’t have the doctors … that they need. The reality is, if they threaten imprisonment, they could probably get that number even higher than just threatening the IRS. What we’re proposing instead is a conservative-based approach that really does lower health care costs the way the president said he wanted to. Let’s reform the tax code. Let’s encourage the use of health savings accounts. Let’s also give the states more flexibility to help those with pre-existing conditions.”

Governor Jindal Argued, “If We Want To Earn The Right To Be In The Majority, We Have To Be The Party Of Specific Ideas.” While Jindal called for a full dismantling of Obama’s health care law – “We should absolutely repeal the law,” he said – he warned Republicans against running against Obamacare without offering a concrete plan to replace it “There are too many Republicans in this town that say we can run against Obamacare and not say anything else more specific until November because that’s a winning strategy,” said Jindal, a former health policy official in the George W. Bush administration. “Look, there may be short term tactical reasons that makes sense to a lot of folks, but I think that’s wrong. If we want to earn the right to be in the majority, we have to be the party of specific ideas.” … He proposed instituting a standard tax deduction for health insurance, promoting the use of health saving accounts to help consumers pay their premiums, and reducing Medicare costs by providing vouchers for seniors to purchase insurance.

Governor Jindal Outlined The Tenets Of His Health Care Plan In An Op-Ed For Fox News. As a governor, I know states can do better. We need solutions, but not Washington-centric bureaucracy disguised as “reform”—we’ve done that already, and it hasn’t worked. … [I]n many states, including Louisiana, we would go further with our reforms, if only Washington bureaucrats would get out of the way. At the risk of echoing Churchill, that’s the better way forward on health care — give states the tools, and let them do the job.

Newsmax Wrote An Editorial Praising Governor Jindal’s Heath Care Plan. Jindal’s plan, for example, includes two excellent ideas. The first is to let nurse practitioners and other medical professionals practice to the full extent of their abilities. This makes sense because it would drive down costs. Jindal also proposes ending the tax exclusion for employer- sponsored health insurance, an accident of history that encourages higher consumption of health care and, consequently, makes it more expensive. Obamacare will tax high-cost plans starting in 2018; Jindal wants to scrap the exclusion altogether, replacing it with a tax deduction for all health insurance.

Redstate.com Profiled Governor Jindal’s Health Care Plan Stating That Obamacare “Would Be Repealed Root And Branch.” There’s a Republican alternative to Obamacare – a health insurance plan rolled out today by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. It’s not only a better plan, but starts with a better way to think about how we pay for healthcare. … Jindal takes as his starting point that Obamacare would be repealed root and branch … From his perspective as a Governor, Jindal also wants to reverse the centralization of power over health insurance in Washington, and create competition between states to offer better health insurance.

Governor Jindal Worked With The Legislature On Bills In Opposition To Common Core. Representatives of the governor’s office are working with state lawmakers pushing bills to kill Common Core State Standards and eliminate the testing components. … Asked about the negotiations, Kyle Plotkin, chief of staff for Gov. Bobby Jindal, would only say “we are working with the authors.” Shannon Bates, deputy communications director for the governor … said in a statement, “This is too important. We should do it right, and if time is what it takes to get it right for our children, then that may be the best route to ensure Louisiana’s students are able to compete with students in every state and every country in the world. Right now we’re working with the authors, and the debate is a good step forward. We look forward to continuing the conversation…”

Governor Jindal Announced The Relocation Of A Manufacturing Company To Webster Parish That Will Create 300 Jobs. A Texas-based composite railroad tie and crossing maker will relocate its corporate headquarters to Webster Parish, creating 300 jobs, the company and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Monday. IntegriCo Composites, a manufacturer of composite railroad products made from recycled products, will invest $20 million to establish a manufacturing facility near Springhill to produce its railroad ties, rail crossings and industrial mats. … “As the rest of the country recovers from the national recession, we are seeing a manufacturing renaissance here in Louisiana,” Jindal said.

Governor Jindal Announced The Completion Of A Hydrogen Expansion Project In Louisiana. Governor Bobby Jindal and Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Senior Vice President Steve Jones announced the completion of $1 billion in project investments in Louisiana over the past four years that have tripled the production capacity of the largest hydrogen pipeline network system in the world. …The project created 32 new direct jobs with an average salary of $80,000 per year, plus benefits, across the four hydrogen gas facilities in Louisiana. LED estimates the project will result in an additional 124 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 150 new jobs in the state. … Governor Jindal said, “Air Products’ ongoing commitment to Louisiana through the completion of the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline system across our state demonstrates the strategic value of Louisiana’s world-scale energy infrastructure and our emergence as one of the very best business climates in our nation. This project adds great value to our energy sector and continues the energy renaissance that is happening here in our state.”

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This week, Governor Jindal wrote several separate columns for different news outlets critical of President Obama’s recent higher education regulations, Obamacare’s tax on the most vulnerable, and President Obama’s move to transfer control of the Internet.  The Governor also received great news that Louisiana’s unemployment level fell to 4.5%, the lowest level since July 2008. 

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Was Profiled In
National Review. National Republican activists certainly have noticed that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has stepped up his activity lately. A speech Thursday night in Mobile, Ala., showed that he has stepped up his game as well. … Substantively, Jindal struck many of the requisite notes: America should not “outsource our foreign policy to Putin,” we shouldn’t let Obama “redefine the very meaning of the American dream” by promoting class envy and lowering expectations, and “America didn’t create religious liberty — religious liberty created America.” But he focused most on his battle to completely reform Louisiana’s education system, in the face of lawsuits from lawless attorney general Eric Holder. Under Jindal’s leadership, the Bayou State has completely revamped tenure and hiring-and-firing practices while massively expanding the availability of, first, charter schools and, now, vouchers. 

Governor Jindal Wrote An Op-Ed In The Washington Examiner Pointing Out That President Obama’s “Gainful Employment Rule” Would Reduce Higher Education Access To Families Who Most Need It. President Obama has promised to make 2014 a “year of action” dedicated toward “opportunity for all.” Unfortunately, the actions his administration is taking are moving our country in exactly the wrong direction, and will deny educational opportunities to families most in need of them. Last week, the Education Department proposed new rules that would effectively reduce access to higher education, particularly for low-income and minority Americans. … Earlier this year, the president famously said he had a “pen and a phone” through which he would embark on his “year of action” to give Americans more opportunity. But we should be taking actions that give low-income and African-American students more educational opportunities, not using federal mandates to take them away. My advice to the president is simple: Put down the regulatory pen, scrap the “gainful employment” rules, and use the phone to give me a call. I’d love to work with you on ways we can expand educational opportunities for all Americans.

Louisiana’s Unemployment Rate Fell To 4.5%, The Lowest Level Since July 2008. Louisiana’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in February, hitting the lowest level since July 2008. The number of people who told surveyors they had a job hit a new record for the fifth month in a row, approaching 2 million. A separate survey shows payrolls grew slightly from January to February … Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out normal seasonal changes — were released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in January and 6.4 percent in February 2013.

Governor Jindal Wrote A Column For NetRightDaily About President Obama’s Mistake Of Transferring Control Of The Internet To The Global Community.  It was an act generations from now will regret: The country that invented the Internet unilaterally decided to give it away — jeopardizing the freedoms of billions of citizens the world over in the process. Last month, the Obama Administration’s Commerce Department announced it would transfer control of the Internet’s essential functions from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a Los Angeles-based non-profit, to the “global Internet community.”  It is unclear exactly who or what will replace ICANN, but one thing is certain: the successor organization won’t increase online freedom, openness, and transparency. … Sadly, the Commerce Department’s proposal to transfer control of the world wide web to the “global Internet community” is consistent with President Obama’s desire to promote multi-lateralism over America’s national interests.  During his 2008 campaign, candidate Obama famously addressed crowds in Germany as a “citizen of the world.”  But the world doesn’t look to countries like North Korea, China, and Russia for openness and free speech — it looks to our shores.

Governor Jindal Wrote A Post For Townhall.com About Obamacare’s Tax On Groups That Provide Care For The Vulnerable. If President Obama is interested in lowering inequality, he has a funny way of showing it. In a speech last December, the President claimed that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time,” and pledged new government action to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Ironically enough, one of the policies the President claimed will “solve” inequality—the massive health care legislation he signed into law—will result in the health insurers who provide care to the lowest-income Americans getting taxed. … To end where we began: A law that taxes those providing care to the most vulnerable, raises insurance premiums on struggling families, and reduces the American workforce and compensation is exactly the wrong way to address income inequality. In fact, it epitomizes Ronald Reagan’s famous quip that the nine most terrifying words are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” President Obama should go back to the drawing board on his agenda, and Congress should repeal Obamacare and focus on enacting true health reform—changes that will lower costs, not raise them.

Governor Jindal Spoke About Louisiana’s Economic Turnaround. Louisiana has positioned itself to provide the educational and employment opportunities to keep its children from leaving the state, Gov. Bobby Jindal told West Bank business leaders Friday. … “The results are that after 25 years of out migration, for the last six years in a row, we’ve had more people moving into the state than leaving the state, meaning our daughters, our sons, our brothers, our sisters, our grandchildren are finally beginning to move back.” He pointed to ethics reform, among the toughest in the nation, elimination of taxes on debt, new equipment and utilities, an income tax cut and improvements in workforce training programs and education as reason for the state’s economic turnaround. As a result, Louisiana’s unemployment rate is 4.5 percent, while the national unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, Jindal said. The state’s figure has remained lower than the national rate since he has been in office, the governor said.

Governor Jindal Announced Support For Legislation That Would Tackle The Issue Of Lawsuit Reform In Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal unveiled legislation Thursday that he said will finally solve a simmering problem in Louisiana. The proposal, which will be filed for consideration in this legislative session, tackles what are known as legacy lawsuits. …  Surrounded by industry leaders and landowners, Jindal said legislation by state Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, would strike the right balance. The governor said the proposal would protect landowners’ interests while protecting industry from overly expensive and frivolous litigation. “This consensus is noteworthy in that it does a couple of very important things. One, it allows us to clean up our lands more quickly and efficiently in Louisiana. Secondly, it creates a predictable environment for industry, not only for the energy industry and the oil and gas companies, but it sends a signal to the rest of the country that we welcome responsible investment in job creation in the state of Louisiana,” the governor said.

A Bill Backed By Governor Jindal To Identify And Protect Victims Of Human Trafficking Moved Closer To Passage.  A proposal to let courts create specialized divisions to handle human trafficking cases received the unanimous backing Thursday of the House Judiciary Committee. State Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, said her House Bill 569 would allow judges to better steer victims to support services, rather than jail for drug crimes or prostitution that are tied to trafficking. … The measure, which moves next to the full House for consideration, is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, along with a second proposal, House Bill 1025, by state Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, that would create harsher punishments for human trafficking and related crimes.

First Lady Supriya Jindal Will Participate With Korie Robertson Of Duck Dynasty In An Event To Support Adoption. Louisiana First Lady Supriya Jindal and “Duck Dynasty” star Korie Robertson will participate in this year’s “Over the Edge for Adoption” Mother’s Day Weekend Rappel. The program, an initiative of the Louisiana Family Forum, aims to unite more than 300 foster care children awaiting adoption in Louisiana with a family. … “As a mother of three and a dedicated advocate for the youth of Louisiana, I am honored to partner with the Louisiana Family Forum to celebrate adoption and to raise awareness for the many children seeking a loving family in our state,” Jindal said. … Jindal has been a tireless supporter of children’s issues. She is the head of the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, which is dedicated to improving math and science education in grade schools. She has also been an outspoken advocate for children with congenital birth defects.

Governor Jindal Traveled To Northeast Louisiana To Announce The Opening Of A New Bridge That Will Help Economic Development In The Region. Governor Bobby Jindal visited this part of the state to officially open a bridge near Poverty Point. Governor Jindal said the new West Carroll Parish Bridge will help economic development and shows growing infrastructure in the area. After two years of construction, the bridge on Highway 134 is essentially complete. … The new $4.6-million bridge replaces the old existing bridge. Around 720 vehicles a day will drive across the new bridge and Gov. Jindal said it’s a benefit to those living in the area and the state as a whole. “That bridge is more than 50 years old. That is the kind of bridge where we’ve got to make investments. For too long we’ve had bridges and roads across the state that have not been invested in, haven’t been upgraded. It’s not safe anymore. It’s not good for our families. It’s not good for our economy. It’s not good for commerce,” Jindal said.

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This week, Governor Jindal penned a column for the New York Post blasting Mayor de Blasio as a “petulant tyrant” for trying to shut down the city’s school choice movement.  The Governor also received great news this week that Louisiana set another record for number of people working in the state and the state unemployment rate is the lowest in the entire southern region. 

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Wrote A Column In The New York Post Criticizing Mayor De Blasio For Trying To Shut Down The City’s Charter Schools.  In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the city’s burgeoning charter school movement. He’s diverting more than $200 million in funding marked for charter schools, and has also thrown hundreds of students out of their promised school buildings. He has also declared his intent to nullify arrangements that allow charters to locate in existing public schools rent-free. … In Louisiana, we know a thing or two about government authorities meddling in parents’ right to choose the schools that are best for their children. President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit trying to impede our program that gives parents of low-income students in failing schools an opportunity to attend a better school. … The lawsuit would be funny if it weren’t so sad — and if the lives of so many young African-American children weren’t at stake. Lost in all the outrage manufactured by Mayor de Blasio is one simple fact: School choice works. … As long as they stand on the side of the unions, it seems, President Obama and Mayor de Blasio don’t mind standing between children and the opportunity for a great education.

Louisiana Employment Data Showed The State Set Another Record For Number Of People Working And The State Had The Lowest Unemployment Rate In The Entire Southern Region In The Month Of January. Louisiana had one of the 12 lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in the nation in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday. … “Today’s announcement further validates the fact that Louisiana’s economy is improving at one of the fastest rates in the nation,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said after the BLS statistics were released. “We have now … decreased our unemployment rate to the lowest in the Southern region, its lowest point since September 2008.” … And Jindal added Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January, 4.9 percent, was the best in the 17-state Southern region. The governor also said the rate was Louisiana’s lowest since September 2008.

Governor Jindal Was Profiled In U.S. News And World Report. In an interview with U.S. News … Jindal says … “I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with this president. Like many people, I thought he was a good speaker to begin with. But after you’ve heard the same speech over and over, and you don’t see results …,” …“Now he’s been in office for over five years and tomorrow never comes. It’s always I’m going to get to it tomorrow. It’s always give me another stimulus bill, the economy’s going to grow, give me one more chance, give me a little more time and I’ll get to balancing the budget, give me a little more time and I’m going to stimulate the economy. And it just hasn’t happened. So I think at some point you get frustrated and say, enough is enough.”

Governor Jindal Sat Down With The New Hampshire Union-Leader And Said The Republican Party Needs To Offer Alternatives To The Failed Policies In Obamacare. Republicans running for Congress this year need to stand “for something” and not just bank on opposition to Obamacare to carry them to victory in the November midterm elections, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. … Congress also won’t make difficult decisions until its members absolutely have to, Jindal said. “It’s like your kids with their homework,” he said. “They can have a week do to the book report, they’re not going to do it until the last day. Congress is not going to balance the budget. They’re not going to reform the entitlement programs. “They’re not going to cut spending until they absolutely have to…

Governor Jindal Got A Great Reaction From The Audience When He Spoke To The Northeast Republican Leadership Conference In New Hampshire. When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to New Hampshire on Friday, he came armed with jokes. … “I wonder, are we witnessing the most extremely liberally ideological administration in our country’s modern history?” Jindal … said of President Obama. “Or, are we witnessing the most incompetent administration in our modern history?” This drew laughs from the crowd at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, but Jindal wasn’t finished. “Well, to quote Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, what difference does it make?” Jindal added to further guffaws, referencing the line from Clinton’s testimony to a congressional committee. … But the meat of Jindal’s remarks focused on what he has framed as his signature issue, his fight to bring a school voucher program to Louisiana and the subsequent federal court battles over whether the program meets desegregation standards.

Governor Jindal Penned An Op-Ed Criticizing Obamacare For Expanding Medicaid For Working Adults And Leaving Behind Individuals With Disabilities. What does MoveOn.org have against individuals with disabilities? On first glance, it may appear an odd question to ask. But when it comes to the liberal organization’s new ad campaign attempting to persuade states to expand their Medicaid programs, it’s a sad but true statement. Here are the facts. “Obamacare” contains a massive expansion of Medicaid. Until recently, the program had provided health coverage targeted towards low-income parents, children, and individuals with disabilities. But President Obama expanded Medicaid to include millions more Americans — the vast majority of whom are childless adults of working age. The federal government provides funds to states matching their Medicaid contributions. But “Obamacare” includes a twist: The law provides a richer federal match for states’ coverage of childless adults than Medicaid programs receive for covering individuals with disabilities. That’s a case of skewed priorities if I ever heard of one.

Governor Jindal Said He Has Concerns About Common Core. Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday he would not support “one-size-fits-all” testing that goes with the new academic standards called Common Core, which could jeopardize the exams scheduled for next year. … In the statement, Jindal repeated his often-stated view that he backs rigor and high academic standards so that students here can compete both nationally and internationally. “What we do not support is federal, one-size-fits-all testing that potentially breaches student privacy,” according to the statement. “We have concerns with Common Core and PARCC, and that’s why we asked the state education board and legislators to address these issues,” it says.

Legislation Backed By Governor Jindal To Protect A Culture Of Life In Louisiana Moved Forward In The Legislature. A Louisiana House committee approved without opposition Wednesday legislation that, when passed in other states, helped shut down abortion clinics. House Bill 388 goes to the full House of Representatives, which could vote on it as early as next week. …  Backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, HB388 would require physicians who perform abortions to have active admitting privileges at a hospital that provides obstetrical-gynecological services and is within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed. HB388, called “The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” is sponsored by Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, the chairwoman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Governor Jindal Highlighted The Grand Opening Of A New Facility At Fletcher Technical Community College To Train Offshore Oil & Gas Workers. Governor Bobby Jindal highlighted the grand opening of a new facility at Fletcher Technical Community College to train offshore oil and gas workers. The new BP Integrated Production Technologies (IPT) facility is an approximately 29,000 square-foot building that includes ten classrooms for oil and gas work training, nearly 4,000 square-foot equipment lab and ten offices for teachers and staff. … Governor Jindal said, “When I took office, we made a commitment to improve the campuses and learning environment for students because we know the community and technical college system is a critical pipeline for ensuring that we have skilled workers in Louisiana. The four million dollars we invested in this oil and gas training facility is evidence that we’re keeping that commitment. Louisiana is a world leader in energy production – which is why this new facility is so important. Our state powers our nation’s economy, and this industry provides great career opportunities for our people. This new facility will give Louisianians the skills they need to find good-paying jobs with energy companies so we can continue to move our economy forward.”

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Governor Jindal started his week by addressing the start of the 2014 Louisiana Legislative Session where he highlighted individuals who recently moved to Louisiana because of the state’s economic growth.  The Governor also sat down with CNBC’s Jim Cramer to talk about what the energy boom has meant to the state and what President Obama should be doing to replicate Louisiana’s energy policies at the national level.  On Friday, Governor Jindal was in New Hampshire where he spoke at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast and to the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Addressed The Louisiana Legislature To Begin The 2014 Legislative Session And Told Stories Of Individuals Who Have Recently Moved To Louisiana Because Of The States Improved Economy. Gov. Bobby Jindal spent much of his address opening the 2014 legislative session acknowledging business growth in the state and introducing workers at those businesses who either moved into Louisiana or are staying here because of new business opportunities. … “Every day growing up my dad would say to me and my brother, ‘Sons, I may not be giving you an inheritance or a famous last name, but I’m going to make sure that if you work hard and get a great education you can do anything you want in this great country.’ “To me, that’s the American dream,” Jindal said, “the dream that each of us has the opportunity to excel if we are willing to work hard to achieve our goals. I want that for every child born in our state.” Training a workforce to meet the thousands of jobs that are expected to be available was the governor’s top priority followed by improving the legal climate for businesses and fighting human trafficking.

Governor Jindal Traveled To New Hampshire And Joked At A St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. Ayotte introduced Jindal by letting him know that “Duck hunting is a little different here in New Hampshire than what you’re used to in Louisiana.” Jindal feigned surprise at “such controversy” erupting over dead ducks. “Back home, we call that dinner,” he quipped. Jindal poked a little fun at his home state’s checkered political history, then wondered aloud why, as a Southern governor of Asian-Indian heritage, he was invited to an event celebrating Irish tradition. “And I want to thank the genius who invited me to a St. Patrick’s Day event,” he said, adding organizers should have done “a quick Google image search.”

Governor Jindal Spoke To CNBC’s Jim Cramer About The Louisiana Energy Boom And What President Obama Should Be Doing To Create More Jobs By Harnessing The Energy Industry’s Growth. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” to talk about his state’s share of the Gulf Coast energy boom … “We’re doing what Washington, D.C. is not doing,” said Governor Jindal, noting that Louisiana’s economy is growing 50 percent faster than the national economy.  ”Over $50 billion in projects announced in our state.  Over 80,000 new jobs.  It’s not rocket science.  What did we do?  We cut taxes.  We have the lowest taxes for our manufacturing facility anywhere in the country.  We’ve made it easier for people to invest.  We’ve got the top rated workforce training program in the country.  We cut back state spending so we cut the budget 26%.  Cut 28,000 government jobs.  We’re growing the private sector.  And, by the way, we’d be doing this across the country if Washington would just get out of the way.”

Governor Jindal Wrote A Column For National Review Criticizing President Obama For His Weakness In Dealing With Russia. This president is often praised for his intelligence. The events in Crimea should spur us to revisit that notion, or at least to mark the difference between wisdom and intelligence. While the president of Russia is using military force to invade neighboring countries, our president is reducing the size of our military and boasting about the record number of Americans on food stamps. Obama conveys weakness to our allies and our enemies, but wise presidents have always understood that American weakness leads to violence, American strength to stability.

Governor Jindal Sat Down With David Brody Of CBN To Discuss The Failures Of Obamacare. After the speech, the governor and possible presidential candidate told CBN News that the president’s policies are helping the conservative cause. “The failures of the execution and design of Obamacare may be the best argument against progressivism we’re ever going to see,” Jindal said. “I think people are now beginning to see it doesn’t make sense just to trust the government to do everything for us,” he continued. “It doesn’t work. We need to trust the founding fathers who were right to trust the American people, not a bunch of guys in D.C.”

Governor Jindal Started A PAC In Order To Focus On Electing More Public Officials That Will Stand Up To Washington. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will unveil a new political action committee on Thursday to help elect conservatives to Congress, he told POLITICO. … “Obviously, my main focus is still going to be continuing to help governors win their races and candidates to win gubernatorial races,” he said in an 18-minute phone interview late Wednesday afternoon. “But I also get a ton of requests to go and speak and help federal candidates in the Senate and the House. So we just thought this was a logical thing to do.”

Governor Jindal Unveiled Human Trafficking Legislation Aimed At Toughening Laws And Protecting Victims. A new push by Gov. Bobby Jindal to further toughen the state’s human trafficking laws doesn’t just provide new legal protections for victims and harsher penalties for perpetrators; it also serves to crack down on prostitution writ large in Louisiana by zeroing in on madams and pimps who further the practice. … Perhaps the most significant portion of the legislation as it regards human trafficking, is it would give victims of human trafficking a legal mechanism to vacate a prostitution conviction. A provision of this sort would especially help trafficking survivors like Clemmie Greenlee, who spoke of her nearly three-decades in the sex trade at a press conference Tuesday with the governor and multiple lawmakers. … “Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes being perpetrated against the people of Louisiana,” he said Tuesday. “For those monsters who want to prey on innocent women and children, our message is…’We’re going to make this the worst place you can be.’”

The Advocate’s Quin Hillyer Praised Governor Jindal For Standing Up To President Obama At The White House. As for the substance of Jindal’s criticism of our imperious president, it is right on target. First, he hit the president for refusing to approve the Keystone pipeline, the 1,179-mile project to bring Canadian oil to Gulf Coast refineries while creating 9,000 construction jobs and tens of thousands more jobs in the related supply chain — not to mention driving down consumers’ energy costs. … Likewise, Jindal was right to bust Obama for not “reining in excessive regulations, especially from the EPA.” Not only has Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency waged an economically destructive war on fossil fuels, but it has done so while grossly violating transparency laws and asserting vast regulatory powers the courts have repeatedly shot down. Jindal makes further sense in proposing a “regulatory budget” for each federal agency, requiring them to “roll back costly regulations before instituting new ones.”

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This week, Governor Jindal spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference about the fight for religious liberty and equal opportunity in education in Louisiana. The Governor also unveiled his top priorities for the Louisiana legislative session that begins Monday, which includes ensuring Louisiana workers are prepared to fill the thousands of jobs coming to the state.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Spoke At CPAC And Stated That President Obama Has Surpassed President Carter As The Worst President Of Governor Jindal’s Lifetime. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal questioned President Obama’s intelligence today in a series of jabs that included an assessment that Obama has been a worse president than Jimmy Carter, who has long been a punchline for conservative Republicans. …“We have long said this president is a smart man. It may be time to revisit that assumption,” Jindal deadpanned. “Or at least to make a distinction between being book smart and truly wise.” That was just the opener. “If I were him, I’d consider suing Harvard Law School to get his money back because I’m not sure what he learned in three years,” Jindal continued, suggesting Obama might want to “actually read the Constitution every now and then.” … This president seems to believe that our religious rights, our First Amendment rights, start and end in the pews on Sunday,” Jindal said. “I knew this administration doesn’t like the Second Amendment to the Constitution — I thought they might still like the First.”

Governor Jindal Spoke About The Department Of Justice’s Lawsuit Against Equal Opportunity In Education In Louisiana. Jindal focused the bulk of his speech on his work on school choice in Louisiana and religious liberty, saying both were under assault from the administration. For a former law professor, Jindal said, Obama doesn’t seem to respect the Bill of Rights. “I’m not for lawsuits, and I’m not about suing people, but we’ve got a constitutional scholar as president. Strikes me he might benefit, we might benefit if he actually reads the Constitution now and then,” Jindal said. “If I were him, I’d consider suing Harvard Law School to get his money back because I’m not sure what he learned in three years.”

Governor Jindal Wrote A Piece For The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry Blog About The Facts Behind President Obama’s Minimum Wage Economy. In Washington, facts can sometimes be stubborn things. I guess that’s why some media pundits thought my comments at a governors’ association meeting last Monday—which highlighted the slow growth and failed economic policies of our President—impolitic or impolite. … Call me crazy, but I believe the truly insane idea is thinking that we can grow the economy through policies that put Americans out of work. The fact is, we can do better. We can grow our economy faster, improve our health care system, explore new sources of energy, and put more Americans back to work. President Obama can use his infamous “pen and phone” to get started on all these areas things today. Last week, I outlined 10 places for the Administration to start. But if President Obama won’t lead, then conservatives must show the American people a better way. And to do so, we first must win the battle of ideas.

Governor Jindal Challenged President Obama To Address Obamacare’s Cuts To Medicare Advantage. Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal challenged President Obama to address cuts to Medicare Advantage when he visits senior-heavy Florida on Friday.  Obama plans to travel to Miami on Friday where he’ll discuss education and the economy.  But Jindal, on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference, held a brief conference call where he urged Obama to address cuts affecting 1.3 million Florida seniors.  Jindal cited a report by from America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group, which showed costs up an average of $50-$90 per month or reduced benefits next year. He also praised Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott for being critical of these cuts.  More than a third of Medicare beneficiaries in Florida are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, about the same proportion in the plan nationwide. Jindal said the program is successful and popular, and that when threatened by “reckless” cuts, bipartisan groups have sent letters.

Governor Jindal Outlined His Top Priorities This Legislative Session, Which Includes Preparing Louisiana Workers For The Manufacturing Expansion Coming To The State. Gov. Bobby Jindal said aligning Louisiana’s educational systems to state workforce needs will be his main priority for the legislative session that begins Monday. In an interview with The Associated Press, the Republican governor outlined items he’s pushing with lawmakers during the three-month session, including tougher laws against human trafficking in Louisiana and changes to the civil litigation system sought by business groups. … At the top of his list this session, Jindal said he wants to build on efforts to recruit and retain businesses. He said his administration has attracted billions of dollars in new investment, much of it in the petrochemical industry, but he said Louisiana needs to better prepare workers for the construction and skills trades jobs coming with those projects. “We need to link the needs of employers with our educational institutions,” Jindal said. “I think our big challenge this session is getting ready for this manufacturing expansion.”

Louisiana Ranked Among The Top In The Nation In A Recent Survey Of States That Gained The Most New Business Facilities And Business Expansions. Louisiana ranked No. 3 nationally in Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings among states that gained the most new and expanded corporate facilities on a per-capita basis in 2013. In 2012, Louisiana ranked No. 8. Louisiana was also tops in the South for per-capita corporate facilities, according to a news release from Louisiana Economic Development. … “When we took office in 2008, we made economic growth and job creation our top priorities, and today’s ranking provides further proof that the world is taking note of our comprehensive reforms,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal in a prepared statement. “By eliminating burdensome business taxes, reining in spending, overhauling governmental ethics laws and revamping our workforce development system, we have given Louisiana one of the best business climates in the nation, and we continue to outperform our peers in the South. But there is still much work to do, and we remain laser-focused on our commitment to ensure a more prosperous future for Louisiana families right here at home.”

Governor Jindal Unveiled Legislation He Will Be Supporting This Legislative Session That Continues To Promote A Culture Of Life In Louisiana. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal promoted two pro-life bills that will be heard in the upcoming legislative session during a news conference Friday at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. House Bill 305, authored by Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, would prohibit employees of abortion clinics or any of their affiliates from distributing abortion-related information in public and charter schools. House Bill 388, authored by Rep Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of a local hospital and strengthening the licensing requirements for those providers. Jindal said the bills would further protect Louisiana’s Christian values and “culture of life.” “One of the things I’m most proud of is that year after year, Louisiana is consistently ranked as the most pro-life state in the country, but we must never become complacent. We have to continue to fight,” Jindal said. Both bills also received support from Louisiana Right to Life and the Bioethics Defense Fund.

Governor Jindal Attended The Dedication Ceremony For The First Phase Of A New Economic Development Project That Could Lead To The Creation Of As Many As 6,000 New Jobs.  A $750 million plant that began manufacturing direct reduced iron Dec. 24 already leads all other competitors, according to the man who wears the three largest hats for the plant’s corporate owner. … “You can’t find better workers than they found right here in Louisiana,” Jindal said. Jindal noted the plant already employs 140 full-time workers and is expected to add at least 10 more this year. The governor said 500 construction workers built the facility, about 30 miles south of Baton Rouge and about 60 miles north of New Orleans.

Louisiana Leads The Nation In The Number Of Feature Film Productions. Louisiana led the nation last year in feature-film production, according to a 108-film survey by a Los Angeles nonprofit think tank studying the impact of California’s loss of such projects. Eighteen of those live-action movies, with spending estimated at $750 million, were filmed primarily in Louisiana, according to FilmL.A. Inc. … “It is a good day,” said Liza Kelso, executive director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission. “Just seeing Louisiana is No. 1 in feature film locations is a huge, huge feather in our caps.”

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This week, Governor Jindal attended a meeting at the White House where he criticized President Obama for not doing enough to create jobs.  Governor Jindal stood just outside the White House and called out the President for only fighting for a minimum wage economy. Governor Jindal also traveled this week to West Monroe to honor Duck Commander and the Robertson family.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Penned A Column For National Review That Criticized President Obama For Not Doing Enough To Create Jobs. “In recent weeks, President Obama and his allies have emphasized his willingness to go it alone and use his executive power to achieve his policy aims. … The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the administration’s own actions have in recent weeks confirmed what most of us in the rest of the country already knew: President Obama’s agenda creates disincentives for Americans to work, incentivizes employers to hire fewer people, and exacerbates the inequality the White House denounces. The American people deserve a better economic-growth agenda from Washington. And if President Obama wants to give them one, he can. With the power of the pen and the phone, he can roll back policies which are creating barriers for innovation, implement policies which encourage investment, and build toward the future with reforms that will help prepare Americans for the challenge of tomorrow’s economy.”

Speaking Outside The White House, Governor Jindal Criticized President Obama For Surrendering On Economic Growth And Declared President Obama’s Economy A Minimum Wage Economy. Jindal criticized the Obama administration for waving a “white flag of surrender” on the economy… “I think there are things we can do instead of waving the white flag of surrender, instead of declaring this economy to be a minimum wage economy. I think our economy, I think America can do better,” Jindal said at a news conference after the Obama meeting.

The Huffington Post Referred To Governor Jindal’s Criticism Of President Obama As A “Roundhouse Punch.” His roundhouse punch at President Barack Obama’s policies, while standing on the White House driveway a few feet from the Oval Office and surrounded by governors of both parties … And moments after launching a free-for-all in front of the microphones outside the West Wing, Jindal walked across Pennsylvania Avenue and into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he took the helm of a press conference with the Republican Governors Association. … Monday morning, Jindal published an op-ed with 10 bullet-point suggestions for the president on improving the economy and job creation, accusing him of giving up on helping the middle class.

The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker Wrote About Governor Jindal’s Message To President Obama. In town for the National Governors Association winter meeting, Jindal joined other state chief executives in front of the White House after a meeting with the president. Taking the microphone, Jindal said among other things that “the Obama economy is now the minimum-wage economy,” and the president is “waving the white flag of surrender.”

Governor Jindal Continued His Critique Of President Obama In A Speech To The Illinois Republican Party. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took aim at President Barack Obama from a podium in Chicago on Tuesday night, a day after he breached the normally cordial bipartisan protocol at a meeting of the National Governors Association by criticizing the president outside the White House. “I went to the president’s house and said some things about this President Obama minimum wage economy that they didn’t like to hear,” Jindal told an Illinois Republican Party dinner crowd at the Union League Club. “I’m not sure if he heard me at the White House, so I decided to come to his hometown to say some of those same things so maybe he’ll hear me in Chicago.”

Governor Jindal Appeared On MSNBC’s Morning Joe And Did Not Apologize For ”Breaking Etiquette” At The White House. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) gave no apology Wednesday regarding his harsh words for President Obama outside the White House earlier this week.   Jindal was criticized for breaching etiquette while blasting the president outside the White House during a press conference Monday after a group of governors met with Obama. “I’m not really sorry for saying it, but to those who are offended, I didn’t really follow the [National Governors Association] etiquette book, the reality is the substance is more important,” Jindal said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Republicans and the president have major disagreements on a number of issues, Jindal said, citing the Keystone XL pipeline, an increase of the minimum wage and education reform.  “In American, we don’t have a king and the reality is that that house belongs to the people,” he said.

Politifact Confirmed Governor Jindal’s Statement That Louisiana’s Economy Has Outpaced the Nation. “Well, the great thing is, we’re doing exactly what the president has not. Cut taxes, reform debt, make some investment in workforce training, make it easier for businesses to create jobs. And here’s the record. In Louisiana, we now have more people working, highest incomes in our state’s history. Larger population than ever before. And the president can’t say all those things about the country. Our economy has grown 50 percent faster than the national GDP, even since the national recession.”… Jindal said, “Our economy (in Louisiana) has grown 50 percent faster than the national GDP, even since the national recession.” The time frame Jindal’s office said he used — from 2007 to 2012 — is a reasonable one …

Governor Jindal Traveled To West Monroe To Honor The Duck Dynasty Crew For Their Entrepreneurial Success And Commitment To Louisiana. On Thursday, Jindal traveled to West Monroe to the Duck Commander headquarters, where he presented the Robertson family with the inaugural Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence… Jindal said he “couldn’t think of a better business or family” to receive the first Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence and promised there will be more… Jindal noted patriarch Phil Robertson and his wife, Miss Kay, earned barely more than $8,000 during the first year he began manufacturing duck calls in the early 1970s. Today the company is worth more than $400 million, according to some reports.

Governor Jindal Unveiled Legislation In Support Of Louisiana’s Veterans. Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he’ll ask lawmakers to create a specialized court program to treat military veterans convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. The program would be modeled after the state’s drug court program, which diverts people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes to substance abuse treatment with probation supervision, …  Jindal said veterans have specialized circumstances and should have their own treatment programs, which would also assist with mental health illnesses, job training and housing aid.

A Federal Appeals Court Reversed A Previous Order Blocking Some Of Governor Jindal’s Education Reforms. A federal appeals court has reversed a district judge’s order blocking some of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education policies in Tangipahoa Parish… The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday vacated Lemelle’s injunction, saying there was no proof that the state had violated – or will violate – federal law in the case.

The Jindal Administration Is Working With Education Stakeholders On Teacher Tenure Reforms. In an unusual gathering, a wide range of educators who often clash with Gov. Bobby Jindal met behind closed doors Tuesday with Jindal aides and others to consider ways to revamp the way teachers appeal dismissals… Leaders of two teacher unions said Tuesday they were encouraged by the talks…

A Software Company Is Moving To New Orleans That Will Help Create A Total Of 117 Jobs. Performance Software Corp., of Phoenix, will establish a software development center in New Orleans, creating 58 jobs with annual salaries of $75,000 plus benefits. The announcement was made Thursday by company CEO Tim Bigelow and the Louisiana economic development department. LED estimates the project will result in 59 indirect jobs for a total of 117 jobs. … “We’re proud that Performance Software chose Louisiana over several other states for the creation of a new software development location that will support the energy, defense, aerospace and health-care industries,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

Governor Jindal Announced IT Minerals Will Be Opening A Processing And Exporting Facility At The Port Of New Orleans That Will Create 40 Jobs. IT Minerals, a newly formed company, is investing $4.5 million to build an importing, processing and exporting facility at the Port of New Orleans, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday (Feb. 28). Jindal said the company chose Louisiana over several other states, based on the region’s strong business climate and “robust transportation infrastructure.” The move is expected to create 12 new direct jobs and 28 indirect jobs. By setting up in New Orleans, IT Minerals, which manufacturers lightweight aggregates and fillers for polymer-based products, will gain access to the Industrial Canal and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. The location also will allow the company to import materials from rock quarries in Mexico, and export its products to markets across the U.S. and, eventually, Central and South America.

An Alternative Fuel Production Facility Will Be Making It’s Home in Central Louisiana, Creating And Supporting Hundreds Of Jobs. Company officials and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were in town Wednesday for a ground-breaking ceremony for the plant — Cool Planet’s first commercial production facility… The plant in Alexandria will employ 24 people and cost about $56 million to build. Together, the three Louisiana plants are expected to support about 422 indirect jobs. “It’s great for the environment, great for the economy, it’s great for our timber industry,” Jindal said. “We’re producing more energy here at home, which is great for the country. It’s so rare when you get a win-win-win like this. This is one of the most exciting projects we’ve announced.”

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This week, Governor Jindal announced a game-changing economic development win that will bring 800 jobs to northern Louisiana.  The Governor also penned a letter to leaders in Washington urging action on rising flood insurance premiums.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Announced That Computer Sciences Corporation Plans To Open A Cyber Innovation Center That Will Bring 800 New Jobs To Bossier City. A Fortune 200 company will bring 800 IT and cyber jobs to Bossier City over the next four years. Computer Sciences Corporation, a global next generation information technology company, plans to open its Integrated Technology Center at the Cyber Innovation Center, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced today at the Cyber Innovation Center… “Every economic development win we announce is important because it means a new opportunity for Louisianians who can stay here and pursue their dreams, but today’s announcement is especially significant,” Jindal said… Jindal said CSC selected Bossier for their location over 133 other sites in the country. … “Because of CSC’s decision, Northwest Louisiana is going to become one of America’s new technology hubs, enabling the region to attract technology partners of CSC as well as other technology companies attracted to the growing IT workforce here,” Jindal said. Hiring would start immediately with dedicated efforts to employ veterans. Jobs would have an average salary of $50,000.

The Baptist Press Reported On Governor Jindal’s Speech On Defending Religious Liberty At The Reagan Library. “We must enshrine in our state laws strong legal protections for churches, religious organizations and individual believers. No church or church-affiliated organization or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion,” Jindal said…  Jindal described the battle against religious liberty as a war against many causes and statutes essential to American democracy, including “the propositions in the Declaration of Independence,” “the spirit that motivated abolitionism,” “the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle,” “the soul of countless acts of charity,” “the conscience that drives social change” and “the heart that binds our neighborhoods together.”

Governor Jindal Sent A Letter Urging House And Senate Leaders To Act To Fix Rising Flood Insurance Premiums. Jindal sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Tuesday saying flood insurance rates have become “irrational” and are a product of “excessive fees” and an “inefficient federal bureaucracy.” “These new insurance premiums have the potential to impose significant financial harm on many home and business owners around the nation,” Jindal said in the letter … “Today’s rates are not based upon the true risk of our citizens, rather they are distorted by excessive fees and charges associated with an inefficient federal bureaucracy, paying for the Corps of Engineers failures, and holding Louisiana home and business owners liable for ongoing coastal land loss in our state,” he said.

The Times-Picayune Reported That Governor Jindal’s Strategy For Boosting Investment and Trade With Foreign Countries Moves Closer to Completion. Louisiana’s strategy for boosting investment from and trade with foreign countries received its first round of approval Monday afternoon. The Legislature’s joint transportation, highways and public works committee voted to support the international commerce master plan advanced by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration. Developed by the relatively new Louisiana Board of International Commerce, the master plan calls for state officials to focus their international energy on what’s referred to as foreign direct investment. … The master plan outlines 22 steps to make Louisiana as attractive as possible to international companies. A few of the initiatives — including efforts to produce more engineering, finance and accounting students — are already underway. For example, Louisiana has already started to develop a 1,440-acre plot in the northeast part of the state. It plans to market the property to automotive and other durable goods companies as a potential plant location. The “megasite” is supposed to be able to support thousands of jobs.

The Daily World Editorialized That State Growth In Student Improvement On Advanced Placement Exams Is A Positive Sign. The College Board’s 10th annual Report to the Nation recently ranked the state first in the nation for the highest growth in the number of high school seniors taking advanced placement classes. The number of seniors taking advanced placement tests rose 42 percent from 2012 to 2013. … efforts to make taking advanced placement courses more affordable and more attractive to students is a big step in the right direction. The state’s recent showing on the College Board’s report was encouraging. Here’s hoping this step forward is just the first of many.

Governor Jindal Announced Funding For More Technology Graduates In Response To Recent Job Growth In North Louisiana. Louisiana Tech University will receive $9 million from the state during the next 10 years to expand programs that will provide technology graduates in connection with Computer Sciences Corp.’s new 800-job Integrated Technology Center in Bossier City… Jindal announced the incentive package that includes the funding for Tech during the Computer Sciences Corp. press conference in Bossier City Tuesday, which Guice also attended. “This means huge opportunities for our students and graduates to work with a premier technology company with leading-edge tools to solve some of the world’s most complex problems,” Guice said.

The Advocate Applauded Governor Jindal For Supporting A Digital Game Testing Center at LSU. If it is unusual to have a profit-making enterprise in the heart of a major university’s campus, that connection is a constructive reality at LSU in Baton Rouge with the North American Test Center of Electronic Arts Inc…  [W]e applaud the university and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration for backing this project. Some good news is that there are some 400 full- or part-time employees, almost double the initial expectations for the state. Payroll growth is commensurate. “EA has underpromised and overdelivered,” the governor said… We also like the growing information technology sector in Louisiana that is attracting new jobs to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Governor Jindal Cut The Ribbon On A $425 Million Chemical Plant Expansion In South Louisiana. For the new project, Westlake created 70 new direct jobs with the initial expansion and retained 75 existing employees. The Louisiana Economic Development office estimates that the project will bring an additional 384 indirect jobs, for a total of 454 new jobs. When development of the new chlor-alkali plant began in 2010, the project created as many as 2,000 construction jobs… “Westlake Chemical is a major economic driver in Louisiana, and its decision to reinvest in our state represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Louisiana’s outstanding business climate, workforce and infrastructure. We’re proud of Westlake’s history in the state and the economic growth and added value that they provide,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Governor Jindal’s Administration Will Fund Repairs and Repaving Of Nearly 439 Miles of Roads Throughout Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration says the money will pay for the repair and resurfacing of nearly 439 miles of road around Louisiana, most of them in rural locations. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says some of the roads haven’t been repaired in 30 years.

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Governor Jindal capped off his week by addressing an audience at the Ronald Reagan library about the need to defend religious liberty.  The Governor spoke about the “silent war” being waged by President Obama and elitists who argue faithful Americans must sacrifice their beliefs to government the instant they start a business.

Here Is A Quick Recap Of The News About The Governor’s Week:

Governor Jindal Spoke To The Ronald Reagan Library About Defending Religious Liberty From Obama Administration Attacks. In a Thursday night speech at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will warn of a “silent war” on religious liberty in America and urge states to pass laws designed to block overreach by the Obama administration. … “The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” Jindal will say at the Simi Valley, Calif., event. “It threatens the fabric of our communities, the health of our public square and the endurance of our constitutional governance.” … Jindal accuses the Obama administration of misinterpreting the First Amendment and believing that religious freedom means only the freedom to worship. “Under the Obama regime, the president and his allies are intentional in pursuing these conflicts from the perspective that you must sacrifice your most sacred beliefs to government the instant you start a business,” he will say.

Governor Jindal Closed The Speech By Saying, “If You Like Your Religion, You Can Keep Your Religion.” Governor Jindal: It is stunning to hear the president talk of protecting religious liberty outside the United States, while at the very same time his Administration challenges and chips away at our religious liberty right here at home. Once again, there is a Grand Canyon sized difference between what this president says and what he does. Here is what the President said a week ago that morning, no doubt playing to his audience — “History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.”  Well said Mr. President, I couldn’t agree more. So I leave you with this — the president is very concerned about religious liberty. And also, if you like your religion, you can keep your religion.

First Things News Said Governor Jindal Delivered An “Eye-Popping Rebuke To The Powers That Be.” He went places in his speech that most politicians won’t dare to touch, and for that, he deserves the appreciation for all conservative Christians who feel that their government and their culture are leaving them behind—and doing so with hubris and mockery. Sometimes, it’s necessary for politicians to take the gloves off and deliver an eye-popping rebuke to the Powers That Be. Jindal did just that.

Governor Jindal Wrote In Politico That Obamacare Is Discouraging Work And Prioritizing Health Coverage For Able-Bodied Adults Over The Needs Of People With Disabilities.  Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion doesn’t just discourage work; it also prioritizes coverage for able-bodied adults over the needs of persons with disabilities. That’s a dirty little secret the Obama administration and its liberal allies, in their rush to expand government-funded health coverage to millions more Americans, won’t tell you. And it’s yet another reason why states should resist the siren song of the administration and its leftist supporters, who plan to spend 2014 persuading them to embrace the expansion. … In other words, Obamacare’s incentive structure places a greater emphasis on expanding coverage to these able-bodied adults — the vast majority of whom could be working or preparing for work — than helping the individuals with disabilities Medicaid was initially created to serve. That’s not compassionate — just the opposite, in fact. So while the president’s advisers ask why states aren’t expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, I have another question for President Obama: Why is expanding Medicaid to cover millions of working-age Americans a bigger priority than giving access to hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities waiting for care?

Governor Jindal Penned A Column Outlining His Funding Priorities In The Proposed State Budget. Over the last few months, we have learned that Louisiana has hit an all-time high for number of people working, a record state population total, and the highest per-capita income level in state history. While our improvement over the last several years has been significant, I am even more excited about our future. … Tens of thousands of jobs are now in the pipeline that must be filled, and our next challenge is to ensure we have the skilled workforce to fill these jobs of the future. That is why I have unveiled a budget proposal for next fiscal year that increases funding for K-12 schools, higher education and workforce training to make sure our people have the skills needed to fill the thousands of jobs coming to Louisiana. The proposed budget is further evidence of our commitment to help the private sector economy grow and keep more of our sons and daughters here at home.

A Report Came Out Showing Louisiana Leads The Nation For Improvement In AP Exam Scores. Louisiana is leading the nation in the growth of the number of high school seniors taking and passing advanced placement classes to earn college credit and has the third-highest growth in the in the nation in the overall number of high school students taking college-level courses. … The number of AP exams taken by high school seniors increased by 42 percent from 2012 to 2013, ranking Louisiana’s growth first in the nation.

Louisiana Had A Record Year For State Exports In 2013. Louisiana merchandise exports increased 0.3 percent to a record $63.1 billion in 2013, up from $62.9 billion in 2012. The International Trade Administration said Tuesday Louisiana’s strong performance in 2013 helped the United States reach a record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs. Louisiana was among 16 states to set new records for export sales in 2013, with 10 additional states experiencing merchandise export growth. Louisiana’s merchandise export sales in 2013 outpaced the 2012 figures in many top destinations, including: France, up 122 percent; Panama, up110 percent; Belgium, up 40 percent; Colombia, up 35 percent; and Argentina, up 26 percent.

Governor Jindal Was On Hand To Dedicate A New Digital Media Center On LSU’s Campus. The Louisiana Digital Media Center on LSU’s campus is a mutually beneficial blend of education and business in computer technology and research, officials said Monday. … Gov. Bobby Jindal, LSU Chancellor F. King Alexander and other education, government and business leaders spoke Monday at a dedication of the $29.3 million, 94,000-square-foot facility. … Jindal added: “Not long ago, jobs in the digital media sector were scarce in Louisiana. If students wanted to pursue careers in digital media and software, they would have to look outside our state — in California, Washington, Texas, Florida or Massachusetts. Now, people can stay here in Louisiana to pursue the career of their dreams and raise their family at home.”

Governor Jindal Announced The Upgrade Of A Manufacturing Facility In Shreveport. A $16 million upgrade of a manufacturing facility in Shreveport means new jobs in north Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal and Lubrication Technologies Inc. CEO Chris Bame announced the project Monday. They say the project will create 75 new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $41,400 per year. … “This new venture undertaken by Lubrication Technologies is a great win for our state and will create great new career opportunities for hundreds of families in Northwest Louisiana,” Jindal said in a statement. “We’re proud that Louisiana’s rapidly improving business climate and best-in-the-nation workforce programs attracted this significant manufacturing project in competition with other states in the South.”

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Thank you…it’s an honor to speak here…I’ve been looking forward to this night.

I have spoken out aggressively in recent months about the disastrous effects of Obamacare, about our dire need to reform American education, and about the urgency for our country to re-endorse the concept of growing our economy that President Reagan so uniquely championed. These are issues of great importance, essential for the future of America.

But tonight, I’m going to talk to you about an entirely different topic, and that topic may surprise you. Tonight I want to give a speech I’ve never given before, about an issue lurking just beneath the surface – that issue is The Silent War on Religious Liberty.

I can think of no better place to give this speech than the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Library.
President Reagan himself said that, “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God’s children.”

When he said this, he was not expressing a strictly personal belief in the nature of man as a created being — as a child of God. He was reaffirming the most basic contention of the American Founding, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are a nation constituted in accordance with the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and that we are a people “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

Let me make this explicit: the source and justification for the very existence of the United States of America is and always has been contingent upon the understanding of man as a created being, with a Creator conferring his intrinsic rights — “among [them] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

How we understand and approach that Creator is properly left to the hearts and consciences of every citizen. I am a Catholic Christian. My parents are Hindus. I am blessed to know Baptists, Jews, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and so many more in the rich tapestry of American faiths. And I know men and women who acknowledge no denomination or creed, confess to uncertainty about the Divine, yet look to the richness of nature and the majesty of this world — and wonder, and inwardly seek, the Author of it all.

These days we think this diversity of belief is tolerated under our law and Constitution. But that’s wrong. This diversity of belief is the foundation of our law and Constitution.

America does not sustain and create faith. Faith created and sustains America.

President John Adams, in 1798, wrote to Massachusetts militiamen to remind them that “… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In 1798, this was simple common sense. In 2014, we are forced to confront a question that would have been unthinkable to President Adams…and President Washington, and President Reagan, and every other American throughout history who believed in America’s founding premise:

What happens when our government decides it no longer needs a “moral and religious people?”

Today the American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war.

It threatens the fabric of our communities, the health of our public square, and the endurance of our constitutional governance.

It is a war against the propositions in the Declaration of Independence.

It is a war against the spirit that motivated abolitionism.

It is a war against the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle.

It is a war against the soul of countless acts of charity.

It is a war against the conscience that drives social change

It is a war against the heart that binds our neighborhoods together.

It is a war against America’s best self, at America’s best moments.

It is a war — a silent war — against religious liberty.

This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith — into a land where faith is silenced, privatized, and circumscribed.

Their vision of America is not the vision of the Founding. It’s not even the vision of ten years ago. It’s a vision in which an individual’s devotion to Almighty God is accorded as much respect as a casual hobby — and with about as many rights and protections.

These elites have to this point faced little opposition – a non-profit here, a dedicated attorney there, a small business over there. A handful of principled organizations with the courage to stand up to the crushing weight of a liberal consensus unalterably opposed to their participation in the public square. They are the remnant who have the temerity to believe in America and its promises — and to do something about it.

After all, every person wants to live out his or her values. America’s most fundamental promise is that we can.

When we cannot — when we are told that our faiths and our consciences are inimical to good governance and the law — then we are not simply facing a threat to our faiths and consciences. We are facing a threat to the very idea of America.

And it is, by definition, an existential threat.

Margaret Thatcher famously said, ‘Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.’ The secular elites understand this just as well as she did. And they know that to take over America, they must make war on this philosophy.

This silent war is the real undercurrent driving politically fractious debates in a number of areas of policy. But why is this war happening? What does it mean for the country and people of faith? Why does it represent such a fundamental challenge to our American identity and the exceptional history that makes our nation great?

I want to outline for you today the answers to these questions, and then propose some key principles that ought to guide solutions to end this war, peacefully and with respect for all.

Consider three storylines playing out in the states and at the highest courts over the past several years in three different areas, yet all with overlapping effects.

First: the freedom to exercise your religion in the way you run your business, large or small, is under assault.

You have likely heard of the Obama administration’s case against Hobby Lobby, a mega craft store and a family business whose battle against President Obama’s contraception mandate will end up as a Supreme Court decision. The national chain filed suit after being told they would be fined $1.3 million per day if they didn’t pay for abortifacients through their insurance.

Hobby Lobby is nothing less than an all-American success story. The family owned company was launched in Oklahoma in 1970 with nothing more than a $600 loan and a workshop in a garage.

Today they have 588 stores in 47 states. They have more than 13,000 full-time employees.

They expanded, branching out to create a Christian supply shop to sell Bibles and craft supplies, opening another 35 stores in 7 states, with almost 400 more employees.

This is entrepreneurship at its best, a family owned business that went from $600 and a garage to two companies that employ almost 14,000 people full-time across the country.

Through it all, Hobby Lobby has retained the guiding principles of their devout founders. Their statement of purpose begins with a Bible verse, and they are closed every Sunday. They’ve committed to honor the Lord by being generous employers, paying well above minimum wage and increasing salaries four years in a row even in the midst of the enduring recession. The family also signed the “Giving Pledge,” committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. This is the definition of what a faithful entrepreneur looks like.

None of this matters to the Obama administration. The argument they have advanced, successfully thus far, is that a faithful business owner cannot operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money. According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s “free exercise” of religion clause.

That’s the part of the First Amendment which states that “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.

The Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder argue that because “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.” A federal judge agreed: since Hobby Lobby is a “secular” corporation, they have no right to be guided by the religious beliefs of their ownership.

Keep in mind that the Greens weren’t arguing that so-called morning-after pills should be illegal, or banned, or doing anything to prevent their employees from paying the small cost of such pills. They just had a serious moral problem with paying for something they viewed as inherently against their deeply held beliefs.

The Obama administration’s argument ignores these beliefs and treats them as little more than an inconvenience to its ever-expanding regulatory state. The administration’s argument strikes at the core of our understanding of free exercise of religion. This case could have enormous ramifications for religious business owners across the country.

Other decisions along the way seem arbitrary and legalistic – a different judge recently found that longtime Bible publisher Tyndale House is not a secular company. Being a Bible publisher means you can claim religious protection, but being a Bible seller doesn’t? Perhaps we should all start printing Bibles, so we can claim protection, too.

Under the Obama regime, the president and his allies are intentional in pursuing these conflicts from the perspective that you must sacrifice your most sacred beliefs to government the instant you start a business. You have the protection of the First Amendment as an individual, you see – but the instant you start a business, you lose those protections.

And that brings us to the second front in the silent war: the assault on our freedom of association as people of faith, to form organizations where we work alongside others who share our views.

This brings us to the Hosanna-Tabor case, which revolved around the ability of a Lutheran academy in Michigan to fire a teacher. Here, the Obama administration advanced another extreme argument, claiming that job regulations prevented the academy from being able to fire anyone over a difference in beliefs.

The lawyers for the Obama administration went far beyond the issues of the case to instead advance the legally absurd position that there is no general ministerial exception, arguing that religious groups don’t even have the Constitutionally protected right to select their own ministers or rabbis.

Thankfully, here, the administration’s extreme position was rebutted by the Supreme Court in decisive fashion, with a 9-0 decision opposing its perspective. You have to take a pretty extreme position for Elena Kagan to join with Samuel Alito on an opinion.

So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision. That is truly offensive and frightening.

The administration advanced that extreme argument because it is consistent with the view of many on the left, particularly elite liberal legal scholars, that the god we must worship first is government, and that our rights are doled out by Washington as they see fit.

This same argument is even now being advanced against Catholic hospitals and adoption service providers, and other organizations that have a deeply held worldview, and simply want all their members and employees to share that worldview. The onslaught of lawsuits based on anti-discrimination law will inevitably lead to conflicts, which damage our society.

But those cases are only the beginning – there is a bigger threat, one that brings us to the third front in the silent war: the assault on your freedom of expression in all areas of life.

Consider the many cases against bakers, photographers, caterers and other wedding consultants who have religious beliefs, which prevent them from taking part in a same-sex ceremony. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in August that one small business, Elane Photography, had violated the state’s Human Rights Act by declining to photograph a same sex commitment ceremony. In his opinion, the judge informed the Christian photographers being fined that they were “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” because that was “the price of citizenship.”

This assault will only spread in the immediate future. We will see continued pressure brought on anyone who “refuses and refers” to be penalized for their views, denied membership in professional groups or even rejected from licenses.

Many states have considered these issues in the light of the ongoing legal battle over marriage laws in the country. But that pressure is not going to stop with photographers and bakers – it’s going to be brought on churches, mosques, and synagogues, too.

Illinois shows us a preview of what this looks like. In legislation they proposed altering the definition of marriage, they would have required churches and other congregations to essentially close their doors to outsiders, stop providing services to the community, and close off their facilities to other non-profits or church groups in order to avoid being required to host same sex ceremonies.

The Illinois legislation would have required an unprecedented degree of government oversight, such as sending government representatives to survey students at Catholic schools to see how many were actually Catholic.

They would not allow religious bodies to rent their facilities to non-members for use in weddings. They would drive churches to have to eliminate classes, day schools, counseling, fellowship hall meetings, soup kitchens and more.

In other words, this law and others like it would require believers to essentially choose to break with their deeply held theological beliefs, or give up their daily activity of evangelism, retreat from public life, and sacrifice their property rights. Churches that do not host same sex unions would essentially be barred from participating fully in civil society.

This is the next stage of the assault, and it is only beginning. Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America – that’s more than half the country – are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage. All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years.

Will churches in America even be able to remain part of the public square in a time when their views on sin are in direct conflict with the culture, and when expressing those views will be seen as hiding hateful speech behind religious protections?

Just as in Canada, where hate speech laws force courts to discern whether quoting Bible verses amounts to violating “human rights rules,” giving up your rights of religious expression may, as the New Mexico judge put it, be just “the price of citizenship.”

This war on religious liberty – on your freedom to exercise your religion, on your freedom to associate, on your freedom of expression – is only going to continue. It is going to continue because of an idea, a wrongheaded concept, which President Obama apparently believes: that religious freedom means you have the freedom to worship, and that’s all.

In this misbegotten and un-American conception of religious liberty, your rights begin and end in the pew.

For those of us who believe in the Great Commission, we know how silly this idea is. The President suggests that the right to worship and the right to evangelize and freely practice our faith are the same thing.

They’re not, and they’re not what the First Amendment clearly protects: the freedom to practice our faith and protect our conscience, even if those activities don’t happen to occur inside the four walls of a church building.
We have the right to practice our faith and protect our conscience no matter where we happen to be.

President Obama’s limited view of religious freedom led to his administration arguing that people of faith can’t even choose their ministers. It is what led the administration to force believers to stop running their businesses according to their beliefs.

And it is what led Illinois lawmakers to attempt to drive religious organizations out of the public square. And these are only the most public and prominent examples. These battles over religious liberty will play out in the future in everything from public licensing to regulatory battles to divorce proceedings.

So what can be done about this? What course can we pursue to end this silent war on people of faith? How can we push back against challenges to our religious freedom, which first brought the pilgrims to our shores?

I believe the answer begins with the states. Governors and state legislators across the country must embark on a nationwide effort at the state level to protect the rights of believers of all faiths.

Today, many states already have stronger protections for religious liberty than the federal constitution provides.

In the wake of the battle over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a number of states have enacted religious liberty protections, which adopt strict standards in the state constitutions, either by amendment or judicial decision.

Kansas and Kentucky are the most recent states to pass bipartisan reforms – with the support of Gov. Sam Brownback and overriding the veto of Gov. Steve Beshear – which require proof of a compelling government interest before any state or local law can force citizens to act in opposition to their religious beliefs.

These laws are a good start, but we need more of them.

We must enshrine in our state laws strong legal protections for churches, religious organizations, and individual believers. No church or church affiliated organization or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion.

Nor should they be legally punished for how they treat marital arrangements outside the teachings of their faith.

The treatment of pharmacists is a good example of a broadly accepted accommodation, which ought to be spread to other career tracks. Many religious believers who work as pharmacists feel uncomfortable filling prescriptions for birth control and abortifacients.

As a society, we’ve accepted that the pharmacist can pass off your account to another colleague so he isn’t the one who fills the order. That’s what a healthy society protects and tolerance requires.

We must expand that protection to other areas of work and protect the rights of believers to practice their faith, in all arenas of work.

We must also keep some perspective on this silent war. It is a challenging time to be a believer in America, yes. But consider the plight of believers around the world today. In nation after nation, Christians are being slaughtered by radical Islamists for their beliefs.

It is a time of enormous upheaval in the Middle East, where your beliefs can lead to your church burned, your children kidnapped, or put you on the wrong side of a gun.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that “The cross is laid on every Christian. It begins with the call to abandon the attachments of this world…When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” And today, around the world, many Christians are living out that calling.

That is a shooting war over religion, not a silent one.

So here, in America, we should be grateful that the laws and principles put in place by the Founders, men like George Mason and James Madison and Patrick Henry who understood the importance of religious liberty, have endured for so long. They are the reason America has come so far, and it is those same principles that should guide us farther still – principles that understand that power is derived from the people, not the government.

Calvin Coolidge understood this, in his own time: “We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp.”

The things of the spirit do come first. We must act, and act now, to protect them. The temptation in some corners is to ask for a truce in these fractious battles – but in practical terms, a truce would only amount to those who value religious liberty laying down their arms. Our religious freedom was won over the course of centuries of persecution and blood, and we should not surrender them without a fight.

Make no mistake: the war over religious liberty is the war over free speech, and without the first there is no such thing as the second.

If we allow government the power to pick and choose what theology is acceptable and which is punishable by law, we have given government a larger scope over our lives and over the religious freedom of future generations than ever before – and we have fundamentally rejected the perspective of religion’s special place in our society which laid the seeds for the movements that ended slavery, won civil rights, and led to the American Revolution.

Though this is not a battle any of us would have chosen, it’s one we’re called to join, and we should do so gladly, with our hearts and minds set on things above.

A few final thoughts.

First, let me be clear on something. You may or may not agree with the Catholic Church on contraception, most Americans undoubtedly do not.

You may consider yourself to be pro-life or pro-choice, Americans remain fairly divided on that issue. And you may favor protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman or you may favor making gay marriage legal.

If we did a poll on those issues in this room, we would certainly find a variety of views. None of that is relevant in the least to the points I have made in this speech.

Our religious liberty must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public. To the contrary, we must understand that our freedom of conscience protects all Americans of every persuasion — however those persuasions may evolve.

Second, it is unmistakable that most of the Obama Administration’s attacks on religious liberty are aimed at conservative Christians. But the fact is that our religious liberties are designed to protect people of all faiths.

And I will note, that while I am best described as an evangelical Catholic, my extended family is quite diverse when it comes to matters of faith. And our liberties in America demand equal protections for all.

Third, for those of you who follow pop culture, you may have taken note of the recent flap between The Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame, and the A&E Network that produces and broadcasts the Duck Dynasty show. And you may have further observed that the one of the loudest and most aggressive defenders of the Robertson family was the Governor of Louisiana.

You may think that I was defending the Robertsons simply because I am the Governor of their home state, the great state of Louisiana. You would be wrong about that.

I defended them because they have every right to speak their minds, however indelicately they may choose to do so. Of course, A&E is a for-profit business, and they can choose what they want to put on the air.

But there was something much larger at stake here. There was a time when liberals in this country believed in debate. But that is increasingly not the case for the modern left in America. No, the modern left in America has grown tired of debate.

Their new strategy is to simply try to silence their critics. So these leftists immediately mobilized and did all they could not to debate the issues, but rather to attempt to silence the Robertsons.

There was a time when the left preached tolerance. And they are indeed tolerant, unless they disagree with you. To paraphrase William F. Buckley, a liberal is someone who welcomes dissent, and is astonished to find there is any.

The modern left in America is completely intolerant of the views of people of faith. They want a completely secular society where people of faith keep their views to themselves.

Fourth, though this silent war on religious liberty may not seem as urgent a matter as the fact that our national debt is over 17 trillion dollars, it is actually a very pressing matter.

Remember this quote from President Reagan: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.”

Finally, let me finish by mentioning an incredible irony. I’ve been working on this speech for a good while. And last Thursday, exactly one week ago, something truly bizarre occurred.

The person who is at the tip of the spear prosecuting this quiet war on religious liberty spoke at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The topic he chose to speak about was defending religious liberty.

I was stunned, and I bet the President of Hobby Lobby, who was in the audience, was stunned as well. Yes, President Obama did wax eloquent, as he always does, about the horrors of religious persecution that are occurring beyond our borders. And good for him.

To be clear, churches in America are not being burned to the ground, and Christians are not being slaughtered for their faith. There is really no comparison to the persecution of people of faith inside our borders and outside.

Yet, it is stunning to hear the President talk of protecting religious liberty outside the United States, while at the very same time his Administration challenges and chips away at our religious liberty right here at home. Once again, there is a Grand Canyon sized difference between what this President says and what he does.

Here is what the President said last week, no doubt playing to his audience — “History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.” Well said Mr. President, I couldn’t agree more.

So I leave you with this — The President is very concerned about religious liberty…and also, if you like your religion you can keep your religion.

Thank you, and may God Bless these United States.

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