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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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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

10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m. (Taping Tuesday, October 25)

Our Panelists:

• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

• Patricia Smith / Guest Moderator / College of Government and Social Sciences, Southern University

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

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Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?

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