Boasso makes stop in area

Published 1:12 am Friday, August 31, 2007

FERRIDAY — Gubernatorial candidate Walter Boasso, pledging to try to fix the education system and healthcare in Louisiana, made a stop in the area Thursday.

Boasso was the featured speaker at the Ferriday Rotary Club’s weekly meeting.

The state is currently at a crossroads, Boasso said.

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“(Hurricane) Katrina has changed my life forever,” he said. “It let me look at the ineptness of government at all levels.”

The state is currently living in a false economy of recovery money, Boasso said.

“Are we one or two hurricanes away from bankruptcy in Louisiana?” he said.

Boasso said he wants to change the direction of the state by working with the educational system.

“We have talked about education for a long time,” he said. “How come we never do anything about it?”

“We need to give people a chance to be productive, and to give them a chance to learn a work ethic,” he said.

One way Boasso wants to go about getting that accomplished is to bundle high school and technical college education, giving students the chance to earn a diploma and learn a trade, he said.

Boasso also said he wants to simplify testing.

“We’ll test at the beginning of the year, then give the same test at the middle of the year to see if the kids are learning or if the teacher needs help,” he said. “Then we’ll give the same test at the end of the year.”

He also wants to level the playing field with insurance companies, Boasso said.

“We have bent over backward for them, and we have pushed a lot of buttons for them and they have not done anything for us,” he said.

Healthcare and the charity hospital system is another big concern for Boasso, he said.

One idea he is considering is a limited insurance program for people who need it, he said.

In the end, what will bring about change is political courage, Boasso said.

“The only way we’re going to change things is to hold people accountable, make the hard decision and not worry about the (political) consequences,” he said.

Boasso is a resident of St. Bernard Parish and serves in the state senate.