The Political ReView: National, state and local politics for the week of Sept. 18

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The Hullabaloo is introducing its newest column: The Political ReView. This weekly column will feature national, state and local political events.

Views from the 504

In local politics, New Orleans city officials are considering a proposal to contract the investigation of minor traffic accidents to civilians. The proposal would supply the city with traffic investigators from the security firm Pinnacle Security and Investigations. Pinnacle Security and Investigations would be hired by a management firm, On Scene Services, and sent to sites to collect data at crash sites.  The move would allow New Orleans police officers to focus their efforts on other, more pressing issues. Nevertheless, questions remain regarding the program’s funding, which would come from fees charged for data such as witness statements, accident reports and video footage.

Looking at Louisiana

With intense focus on the New Orleans mayoral campaign, the race for state treasurer has gone unnoticed. Filling the office left by current U.S. Senator John Kennedy, who held the position for 17 years, the candidates will face off in the Oct. 14 primary, from which two candidates will progress to the Nov. 18 run-off.

Louisiana House Speaker Taylor Barras remains hopeful about the legislature’s ability to pass a tax plan for the state by the end of the year. The state’s fiscal woes have plagued budgetary discussions over the past two years. Nevertheless, the talks have been unproductive so far, succumbing to a lengthy debate over tax increases in the Republican-held House.

A Sept. 11 audit revealed that Louisiana’s Medicaid program mistakenly gave out $4.2 million between 2011-16 to improperly-certified laboratories. Auditors believe the mistake was the result of the health department’s negligence in monitoring the payments, which were used to cover various laboratory services.

The Nation’s News

The push for single-payer health care in the United States has reached a new peak with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Wednesday announcement of his Medicare-for-all bill. With 16 Democratic co-sponsors, including Senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, the Democrats have found a uniting policy around which to rally. Whether this bold move will yield electoral benefits in 2018 and 2020, however, remains to be seen.

After a dinner with Democratic leadership, President Trump has agreed to negotiate a deal regarding border control without funding the controversial border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico. The president also agreed “to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly,” according to a statement by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Comment with your thoughts, and let The Hullabaloo know what you think about this week’s current events.