FILE - Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Louisiana GDP ticks up 1.7 percent

Louisiana’s gross domestic product grew 1.7 percent during the second quarter of 2019, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates. Louisiana’s growth rate was slower than the national average of 2 percent and ranked 29th among states.

Louisiana’s quarterly GDP grew $2.67 billion to reach $263.09 billion, the highest on record. “Gross domestic product” is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country or state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who is running for re-election, touted the continued growth of state GDP, along with Site Selection magazine ranking the state’s business climate 10th-best in the nation and recent tweets from the White House and the president’s press secretary that describe the state’s economy as “booming.”

Republican critics mocked the administration for celebrating the middle-of-the-pack ranking, noting Louisiana’s growth slowed significantly from the 3.8 percent rate posted in the first quarter, which was 10th-most nationally.

U.S. Sen. Cassidy: Baton Rouge and Ruston to split $32.2 million in federal transportation dollars

Baton Rouge will receive $15 million and Ruston will get $17.2 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant program, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy says.

Baton Rouge will use the money to fund Louisiana’s first bus rapid transit project. The Plank-Nicholson BRT line will stretch nine miles across the city to connect northern and southern Baton Rouge to downtown and LSU. Additional roadway, sidewalk and intersection infrastructure improvements will provide expanded connectivity and increased safety, Cassidy’s office says.

Ruston will build new roads and upgrade existing roads from the I-20 corridor to downtown Ruston and Louisiana Tech University. The Monroe Street Corridor Project is meant to serve as a Smart Cities Innovation Testbed, which will embed sensors and provide real-time data for traffic, parking, environmental conditions, and create a network needed to research and develop autonomous vehicles, according to Cassidy’s office.

New Orleans attorney appointed to U.S. Tax Court

The Trump administration has appointed New Orleans attorney Christian Weiler to the United States Tax Court, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy says.

Weiler is a board-certified tax law specialist whose current practice includes all areas of tax law, estate and business planning, with an emphasis in tax controversy and tax litigation matters, according to his firm’s website.  

The U.S. Tax Court resolves disputes between taxpayers and the IRS.

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.