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Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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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


     11/18 - An Eye on Admissions

What standards should be used for college admissions?
This fall, LSU instituted a “holistic admissions” process for incoming students which relies more on essays and recommendations than on College Board test scores and grade point averages. Proponents of the move say it’s a better way to identify strong students while opening up opportunities for families not financially able to afford prep classes for standardized exams. Opponents say the move will increase student attrition and could endanger LSU’s flagship status. Examine the new standards from several different perspectives.

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “An Eye on Admissions” Wednesday, November 21 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

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


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     12/18 - News About the News (Encore)

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

Recent Topics


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?
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