As anticipated, the Louisiana Republican Party leaders have taken credit for stopping the invading army of tax hogs descending upon the state. After the prior special session, despite a GOP-Democratic-Edwards coalition, they pinned the tax tale increase solely on John Bel Edwards and his band of donkeys. Today, via email, the party said:
After two special sessions and a regular session, Louisiana legislators adjourned leaving the state’s TOPS program decimated. The successful scholarship program will be targeted with a massive 30% cut for the next fiscal year.
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this morning that he's giving up on raising an additional $88 million for next year's budget by eliminating an outdated tax deduction that flows mainly to the wealthiest households.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:
A couple of announcements last week confirmed what my Advocate colleague Stephanie Grace argued as the coming of the “permanent campaign” to Louisiana gubernatorial politics, one of these proffering a surprise that perhaps demonstrates how far its tentacles have reached and what it means going forward.
After now, almost five months of debate and discussion and public relations by a variety of perspective, the budget crunch comes down to whether the Louisiana House committee and the House can raise more money or stay pat.
Needless to say, there is much depending upon the passage of HB38 today in the House of Representatives at the Louisiana State Capitol and the full court press is on by all involved.
Judging from the flurry of tweets, Louisiana’s Future is on the line and advocates for and against the legislation are leading the cheers.
Tax Day Decision Commeth
The Louisiana legislature thorough the House Ways and Means Committee are deciding on whether to fill the roughly $450M hole or cut TOPS, K-12, and other programs.
The emails floodeth over with various views, opinions, spins and promotions.
If that’s the best Louisiana Senate leaders and Gov. John Bel Edwards can do, then clearly the Louisiana House of Representatives leadership is winning the battle of wills over the size of government, irrespective of the hypocrisy involved.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Republican Party have taken to the e-airwaves today to promote their respective positions on the budget during the special session.
As prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Legislature, Honored Guests, My fellow Louisianans:
Good morning. Here we are again.