Currently, the Louisiana budget is $1.6B shy of being balanced.
Here is a statement from the Louisiana Republican House Caucus and a statement from the executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, Stephen Handwerk.
House Republicans Pass Plan to Save Higher Education and Health Care
Bills reform corporate income tax and various tax credits
Baton Rouge, La. – House Republicans passed multiple bills today as part of a plan to fund higher education and health care. This plan, devised and executed by the House Republican Caucus, will go to the Louisiana Senate for concurrence.
House Republican Delegation Chairman Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, applauded the delegation for taking a strong stance to help fund these essential services.
“As the majority party, we have to make the bold decisions that will ensure higher education and health care are funded,” said Harris. “The bills we passed today will not only help us this fiscal session, but will also make systemic changes that will help our state’s financial situation for many years to come.”
Representative Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, agreed that the long-term solutions the House Republicans sponsored today are in the state’s best interest.
“Today, we made the tough decisions our constituents asked us to make,” said Broadwater. “These decisions will ensure we have thriving higher education systems, effective health care institutions and a more secure financial situation in the future.”
According to Harris, the House Republican Delegation has been working to craft this plan since the beginning of session. The bills passed today reform corporate income taxes, the motion picture investor tax credits, income tax credits on taxes paid in other states and the solar energy systems tax credit.
“Every vote we made today was a vote for higher education and health care,” said Harris. “We did our job to ensure we have strong education opportunities and capable health care institutions. We did this without raising taxes on our state’s middle-class families and small businesses.”
FRENZY OF BILLS BUT NO PLAN, THIS IS NOT WHAT LEADERSHIP LOOKS LIKE
Facing a looming deadline to finally begin addressing the $1.6 billion GOP budget disaster, today Republican leadership in the state legislature lurched through a patchwork of bills and tax measures that fell far short of solving anything. Even at this late hour, with thirty-five days left in the session and Monday’s budget deadline bearing down, the top-ranking Republicans have offered no coherent plan to address this crisis. Their haphazard, last-minute Frankenstein of revenue measures amounted to barely $664 million, and is utterly inadequate to the scale of the need their failed policies have created.
The Louisiana state legislature continues to struggle beneath the weight of a crisis of leadership, a rudderless and directionless state GOP left floundering in the wake of ruinous, short-term financial decisions made in the service of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s vanity. From Jindal down to Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, the Republican lawmakers with an iron grip on the levers of power in the Capitol have failed the test of leadership and refused to offer any semblance of a plan to responsibly address the deficit nightmare created by their financial mismanagement.
“The failure in the House to pull together nearly one billion dollars in revenue in one frantic session is hardly a surprise,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Since the legislature gaveled into session, the GOP leadership has refused to lead and been unable to offer a roadmap out of the mess their policies created. Instead, they’ve chosen to waste their time and our money denying women equal pay for equal work and attacking our vital tourism industry.”