Ahead of a potential showdown with both the Lafayette City and Parish councils, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory told both bodies that he would be withdrawing his line-item veto of the Lafayette Consolidated budget both councils overwhelmingly passed.

At issue was more than $250,000 in pay raises for certain staff at LCG. The raises were included in Guillory's budget. Both councils were skeptical of the raises and amended the budget proposition and passed a budget without the raises included. Guillory vetoed their amended budget, adding the raises back in.

Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory quietly defied the unanimous will of Lafayette’s city and parish councils Monday to add $259,000 in raises back into Lafayette Consolidated Government’s budget for next year.

Guillory used his line-item veto power to restore funding for 15 raises totaling $259,000 a year, including 11 pay increases amounting to $211,000 for his hand-picked department directors, several of which amounted to more than $20,000 each.

In a break from prior practice, Guillory’s administration did not announce his veto and instead sent notice of the decision solely to the city and parish councils in an email at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

In response, the councils prepared for a joint council meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 4, where they planned to override his veto.

attachment-Agenda Item No. S01 - JC Special Agendas for Council Meeting of 10_4_2022

In a message delivered to the councils on Friday, September 30, Guillory announced he was withdrawing his veto "based on recent, productive conversations with Council Members."

attachment-guillory veto withdraw

Based on recent, productive conversations with Council Members, I am withdrawing my line item veto. We will continue to have these important discussions about the future of our City and Parish which are vital to our recruiting and retention efforts of public servants. This will ensure the high-quality level of service that our people demand and deserve. I look forward to working with the Councils to further accomplish great things for the City and Parish of Lafayette and the Citizens that we are blessed to serve.

The Guillory administration maintained that the line-item veto to restore spending was legal, but the decision to withdraw the veto signals that the administration wishes to avoid a showdown with the city and parish councils.

Fighting Fentanyl: Huge Arrests Made Across Acadiana in 2022

The fight against fentanyl is a daunting one as the highly potent drug continues to take lives every day across the country. From Lafayette to the surrounding areas, law enforcement agencies have their hands full as they fight to get fentanly off their respective streets.

The awareness for the fatal causes of fentanyl are there as people across the Acadiana area (and the state) are not only mourning the death of loved ones lost to the substance but are holding memorials and recently worked with legislators to pass "Millie's Law," which increases criminal penalties for those who sale and distribute fentanyl.

Fentanyl has become a leading drug in an epidemic that takes over 100,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. The drug is often added to heroin without it being disclosed to the person buying the drug. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency outlines how dangerous fentanyl has become:

"Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico."

Let's take a look back at headline-catching cases involving fentanyl in 2022.

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