Welcome to the annual Louisiana budget crises.
At least that is what Southern Media & Opinion Research pollster Bernie Pinsonat implied yesterday when we discussed this year's special session to help plug a cavity in this year's budget, ending June 30, 2017.
Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards is from Mars, legislative Republicans are from Venus. I chose the ordering since Edwards once served as a professional warrior and some GOP legislators are women. I chose the metaphor to illustrate the completely incompatible mindset of the two that threatens to launch fireworks during the state’s whirlwind special session.
The Louisiana legislative special session is not yet a full two days old and the gubernatorial gloves are coming off and quickly.
The issue? How to plug another budgetary hole to pay for anticipated services due through the end of the fiscal year, ending June 30.
Wih the Louisiana legislature about to face another special session, UNO has released a new survey and the numbers do not look good.
Governor John Bel Edwards enjoys less than a majority approval, the legislature has a 2-1 disapproval but the public believes a special session is needed.
Below is the report from UNO:
According to reporting from Tyler Bridges of the Advocate, the conservative republicans might release a plan in the next couple of days as the Louisiana legislature readies for another budget-scraping special session.
by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net
Let the games begin
Here we go again. Another special session to address the $304 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year.
It will convene on Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p;m. and conclude by midnight on Wednesday, February 22 – a nine-day session.
Not everyone is happy with the call. Some Republican legislators feel the cuts could have been made by the governor without the need for a special session.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development announced today that Marvel has begun production on a new television series – Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger – in Louisiana for the Freeform network.
Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios, both part of the Walt Disney Company, will produce the project that features a teen superhero couple from Marvel Comics. Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger began filming in the New Orleans area this week.
A recent non-story shed some light onto the growing bunker mentality of the Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration.
My colleagues at The Advocate took the bait when they witnessed exchanges between Richard Carbo, the Democrat governor’s spokesman, and the state’s Republican Party, over a rumor floated by a tabloid web site that attempts to cover Louisiana politics. The original “story” they referenced alleged that Edwards had put out feelers to switch to the GOP.
by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net
John Bel wants Special Session
The state of Louisiana is facing a $304 million budget shortfall, and Gov. John Bel Edwards told a legislative committee last week the cuts will be “deep and painful.”
Edwards says he will call a 10-day Special Session beginning February 13, although some legislators contend a Special Session is not necessary.
The Democratic governor is butting heads with some Republican legislators on another issue. Edwards wants to tap the Rainy Day Fund to the tune of $119.4 million to address the deficit.
Edwards said that any plan that does not make use of the Rainy Day Fund would be catastrophic to the vast majority of people in Louisiana.
House GOP Chairman Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, is opposed to the Special Session and presented his own plan that would not use the Rainy Day Fund and would spare higher education, while cutting nearly $30 million from the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) that allocates state dollars to public classrooms.
Edwards said he draws the line at cuts to the MFP, noting it has never been done before. The Administration officials responded by saying Harris’ cuts would close all the safety net hospitals and put almost 5,000 prisoners on the street, among other doomsday scenarios.
The Governor’s plan does not include tax increases or cuts to K-12 education, the Department of Corrections, or the Department of Children and Family Services.
The cuts would include a wide range of areas including the Department of Health, the Legislature, the Judiciary, and statewide elected officials.
Ban on becoming a lobbyist
President Donald Trump is imposing a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying for foreign governments and a five-year ban for other lobbying.
Trump used his executive authority this past Saturday to put the bans in place, but it’s not clear how they’d be enforced. He said it was part of his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington.
Trump said that those who work for him should focus on the job they’ll be doing for the American people and not on future income earned by peddling their influence after serving in government.
The ban just affects persons in Trump’s administration and has no affect on members of Congress.
There are more than 12,500 lobbyists registered in Washington, D.C.. In 1974, just 3% of retiring or defeated members became lobbyists. Today, 50% of retiring or defeated senators become lobbyists and 42% of House members.
House members are barred from lobbying Congress for a year after they leave office. Senators face a two-year ban. Ex-lawmakers still can lobby the executive branch and provide behind-the-scenes advice to companies and other organizations trying to influence federal legislation. They can also lobby state and local officials.
Get ready for another legislative special session. After all, this is Louisiana.
Ever since the closing years of Governor Bobby Jindal who left the state in a budget hole, the worst in state history, Louisiana has bounced from one special session to regular session to special session after another.