According to certain (conservative to right-wing) legislators and bloggers (and their loyal followers) who are always going to push an agenda, to make Democrats and Governor John Bel Edwards look like he is "a liar" and "a tax and spender", we just wasted this spring and summer raising a lot of taxes, we did not need to raise.
Who are some of the big winners and losers from the recent Louisiana legislative special session that ended Thursday night of last week?
This was one of the first questions I asked Greg Hilburn as he was driving in from Baton Rouge to New Orleans early Friday morning.
Seems that Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to launch an apology/blame tour now that he took some knocks in his first legislative sessions as governor. As we might expect, not much of what follows from it should we believe -- even if we pay for it.
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 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this morning that he's giving up on raising an additional $88 million for next year's budget by eliminating an outdated tax deduction that flows mainly to the wealthiest households.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.