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PAR Board Approves Research Work Program for 2005

The Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) unanimously approved, at its December 9, 2004 meeting, a research work program for the upcoming year. The 2005 work program continues PAR’s policy focus in the following areas: state finances and tax issues, PK-16 public education, constitutional issues, and state aid to local government.

Dr. James Richardson, Chairman of PAR’s Research Committee, and Jim Brandt, President of PAR, presented the proposed program for the Board’s review and final approval. In addition to the four major studies proposed in 2005, the work program calls for a continuation and/or updates to several recurring PAR publications, including:

  • The 2005 Guide to the Louisiana Legislature;
  • The 2005 Guide to the Constitutional Amendments;
  • An online update of the Louisiana State and Local Government Textbook;
  • An update of the Citizens’ Rights Card, published in conjunction with the Louisiana Press Association; and
  • An online update of the Louisiana Tax Handbook, which would incorporate changes through 2004.

PAR will also continue to issue brief commentaries to deal with timely topics as they arise. As the state’s ongoing fiscal problems are expected to once again dominate the upcoming legislative session, PAR will undoubtedly issue commentaries reacting to a number of administrative or legislative proposals to close the state’s projected fiscal shortfall.

The PAR staff will also continue to participate on a number of key state task forces and commissions, including the Governor’s Healthcare Reform Task Force, the Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence and the Louisiana High School Redesign Commission, among others.

“It is a very ambitious work program for us,” according to Brandt. “In addition to the traditional focus on state finances, education and open government issues, we also plan to become much more involved in funding and policy issues related to healthcare. Our continued involvement as a member of the Governor’s Healthcare Reform Task Force should provide a solid base for our expansion into critical healthcare options facing the state in the next decade.”

A complete copy of the PAR 2005 research work program is available online (2005 Work Program). If you would like to suggest other topics or issues for PAR to review, please send your ideas to Jim Brandt either by e-mail or phone (225-926-8414, extension 21).

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