by Dr. Ed Chervenak, Political Science Professor, University of New Orleans
I have been following JBE’s first days in office. What we are seeing is the distinction of the politics of getting into office and the politics of governing. Once a candidate gains power, they are transformed. Where Edwards was the challenger and critic, he is now the head of the state government, and is responsible for its conduct.
Almost three years ago he railed against a plan that would have given Louisiana in the aggregate the highest sales tax in the country. During his run for governor, he said he would not raise taxes and decried the use of “one-time” money to balance budgets. Yesterday, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, eight days into office, declared he wanted to do all of the above to address this fiscal year's predicted budget deficit.
Any time you discuss taxes, you can bet the discussion will turn emotional.
It did Tuesday night, hours after Jon Bel Edwards announced his plan to raise taxes, utilize funds from various sources and cut government spending—all to plug a short-term hole of roughly $750 million dollars for the existing year and $1.9 million for the following year, which fiscal period begins July 1, 2016.
Talk about beginner's luck.
Jon Bel Edwards takes over the Governor's mansion from former Presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal and is on the job for one day. Lo and behold, his name becomes associated with the worst state in the union--Louisiana.
Louisiana is a budget disaster with not too many options. In part two of our conversation with Dr. Pearson Cross of University of Louisiana, we discussed the severity of the budget gap between revenues and expenses. In this segment, we talked possible solutions, Medicaid expenses, the Jindal Administration using bait and switch practices, the possible losers and reducing the number of universities in the state, a position favored by many conservatives.
The issue of taxes, revenues and incoming Governor Jon Bel Edwards’ intentions considering a horrible budget deficit has been part of the continuing debate and dialogue since the elections in November. The speculation was fueled further when the incoming Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne, recently announced that all revenue sources needs to be considered because the budget gap is nearing a horrific $2.5 billion over the next year and a half and worse than initially anticipated.
Some political notes to runinate over some holiday egg-nog and rum:
As Governor Bobby Jindal prances across the State of Louisiana, promoting the good work he says he has done for the state of Louisiana, another statistic has been released as evidence that things are not all what the outgoing governor claims.
by Tom Aswell, Publisher of Louisiana Voice
LouisianaVoice has learned that The Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA) has funneled more than $45,000 in political campaign contributions through LSTA Executive Director David T. Young since 2003 without the knowledge of the organization’s rank and file membership.
The Louisiana legislature has determined that it is raining a major budget shortfall, thus, it has tapped into the "Rainy Day" Fund, as requested by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
The Rainy Day Fund, formally known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, is designed to help cover the state's budget shortfall.