Another budget shortfall for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2016 and another likely heated battle over stabilizing the Louisiana budget. Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement:
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the budget shortfall for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2016 (FY 16). The Revenue Estimating Conference announced that the FY 16 shortfall was approximately $313 million. According to state law, any deficit for the previous fiscal year must be addressed prior to the end of the next fiscal year. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne will outline the specifics of the budget stabilization proposals at a Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget hearing on Friday, Nov. 18.
Increasingly clearly, a special state panel convened to study recommendations changing Louisiana’s tax code serves little more than an excuse to lock in overgrown government, specifically paying for Medicaid expansion, by making a temporary tax hike permanent.
The Louisiana legislative session is history. It ended Thursday night, at midnight and now the question is-- what happened?
Well, we raised taxes, again although some say, there was no need to do so. The Republicans have taken credit for successfully plugging the tax dike. Some say Governor Johnn Bel Edwards was the loser. Others claim, no, it is the House of Representatives conservative republicans. And still, others say it is the taxpayers who actually lost.
As the Louisiana Budget Project stated in its newsletter today, the "Budget down to the wire"
Budget down to the wire
Senate President John Alario announced this morning that he's giving up on raising an additional $88 million for next year's budget by eliminating an outdated tax deduction that flows mainly to the wealthiest households. That means the main task for legislators on the final day of the special session is dividing up an estimated $258 million that's been raised to date. The Advocate's Elizabeth Crisp and Tyler Bridges have more:
Even as he goes down to defeat, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards could not help but extend his hand up and parallel to him, with palm facing him, lowering his pinky, and telling a number of Louisiana families to read between the lines.
The Louisiana budget beat batters on.
The question is--who and what will take the biggest hit.
According to The Advocate, the ball just left the Senate Finance Committee side of the court:
In a John Bel Edwards press release, the Louisiana governor defended his budget proposal which he presented to the House committee today. Also, one Koch-supported organization, Americans for Prosperity has slammed the governor for claiming that taxes would be needed.
by Jim Brown
Since the time of Charles Dickens, the plight of children in state custody has been the source of great public anxiety. In the almost 200 years since Oliver Twist was published, many of us think of starving children immortalized by young Oliver who received a beating for asking, “Please sir, may I have some more?”
During the last precious hours of the Louisiana legislative special session--called earlier this year, by Governor John Bel Edwards--to address an historical budget crises, it appeared that the governing process would close to a crashing halt of failure.
On this Louisiana budgetary D-Day, does this legislative special session nightmare sound like accounting gobblygook to you?
If so, join the crowd.
Which is why I turned to Gannett’s reporter, Greg Hilburn, to explain to me (and to us) just what’s going on as the legislature and Governor John Bel Edwards, the lobbyists and everybody else watching from near or afar, can make sense of the intricacies and nuances of the last day of arguably, the worst budgetary crises session in Louisiana history.