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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Panelist Bio


John Neely Kennedy
Treasurer of the State of Louisiana

John Kennedy was elected without opposition to his fourth term as State Treasurer in September of 2011. As Treasurer, he oversees the state’s $10.6 billion investment portfolios. He also oversees local and state bond issues and returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property each year.

In 2009, Mr. Kennedy served as one of the ten members of the Louisiana Streamlining Commission established by the Legislature and tasked with helping the state prepare for the projected 3 billion dollar budget shortfall it would face by 2011. Among the Commission’s recommendations was to encourage more scrutiny of state contracts as well as a 10% annual reduction in their cost. HB142, sponsored this session by Rep. Jerome Richard, I-Thibodaux was prompted by this recommendation. Mr. Kennedy has been a vocal supporter of the bill which provides a 10% reduction of all state professional, personal, and consulting contracts with the savings deposited into the Higher Education Financing Fund.

Prior to his position as Treasurer, Mr. Kennedy served as Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Special Counsel to Governor Roemer and Secretary of Governor Roemer’s Cabinet. He was also an attorney and partner in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans law firm of Chaffe McCall.

Mr. Kennedy graduated magna cum laude in political science, philosophy and economics from Vanderbilt, was president of his senior class, and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his B.C.L. degree from Oxford University in England where he was a First Class Honors graduate.

Mr. Kennedy is an adjunct professor at LSU Law School and is a substitute teacher for East Baton Rouge Parish public schools. He resides in Madisonville, Louisiana, with his wife Becky and their son, Preston. They are founding members of the North Cross United Methodist Church.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recording Monday, February 20)


Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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