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Saturday, March 25, 2017
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About Louisiana Public Square


Louisiana Public Square is LPB’s monthly public affairs program. It provides citizens a forum to voice their opinions and concerns about issues affecting Louisiana to leading experts and key decision makers. LPB has received state and national recognition for the series and we are proud that it serves as a model for other stations around the country. One of the primary goals of Louisiana Public Square is to allow different points of view to be expressed and heard. Oftentimes we have seen attitudinal changes of discussion participants after being exposed to other opinions on the program. (You can track these changes in attitude at our surveys link.)

One of the key features of this format is the depth and insightfulness of the discussion and questions generated in the crucible of citizen deliberations on a small group level. These queries are informed by not only the background material, but by the give-and-take dynamic of an open forum, skillfully moderated so that all are encouraged to speak their mind.

Louisiana Public Square evolved from the deliberative democracy concept of the MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ By The People initiative. The goal is to encourage civic engagement and civil discourse – the foundations of a strong democracy.

Our Hosts


Beth Courtney
Host of Louisiana Public Square and President/CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Beth Courtney is the President/CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), which includes a statewide public television network with stations in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and an affiliated station in New Orleans, WLAE-TV. LPB is also responsible for the support and development of public television throughout Louisiana and serves as the state’s educational technology resource center. She is a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nine-member presidentially appointed board that oversees the federal funds for radio and television. She is Past Chairman of the Board of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and former Vice Chairman of the Board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). She is co-chairman of a PBS/APTS Board initiative to negotiate carriage of public broadcasting channels on digital cable and direct broadcast satellites. Ms. Courtney has chaired the PBS education, membership, and common carriage task forces. She currently serves on the Board of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE), and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).

Current Topic


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?
For the past several years, Louisiana’s state budget has repeatedly fallen short of revenue projections, sometimes multiple times per year. These budget gaps have been bridged through cuts, temporary tax increases and patchwork fixes. Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code? During the 2017 Regular Legislative session, lawmakers will be considering recommendations to do just that.

Can the state broaden its tax base while lowering rates and omitting tax exemptions and credits? What changes may be in store for personal and corporate income taxes and sales and property taxes? How can the state restructure its tax code to be more fair and competitive with other states? Louisiana Public Square explores the issue of “Fiscal Reform 2017” on Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and on WLAE in New Orleans. (Recording on Tuesday, March 21.)

Our panelists are:
• Camille Conaway; Louisiana Association of Business & Industry
• Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville; Senate Finance Committee
• Jan Moller; Louisiana Budget Project
• James Richardson, Ph.D., LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business


The program includes interviews with Michael Olivier with the Committee of 100; Randy Roach, Mayor of Lake Charles and Representative Jay Morris, R-Monroe, member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, host the discussion.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     04/17 - Coastal Restoration: The Next Wave

What new funding resources are available to the state?

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     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?
»»» View all Topics!
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