On the Louisiana House side, republican Valerie Hodges and independent Jerome Richard are the only state representatives who did not receive an X which designates voting against the wishes of AFP.
Actually, both Republicans and Democrats fared poorly in the AFP scorecard, however, the Louisiana Republican Party appears to only fault the Democrats.
In an article by Tyler Bridges, GOP lawmakers voted for $1 billion in taxes during special session, but state party blames Gov. Edwards in fundraising appeal, the Republican Party appears to be ignoring the votes of their own party members.
The state Republican Party is outraged that “they” passed $1 billion in taxes during the final eight minutes of the just-completed special session.
The party — blaming Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat — is asking party members to “join the fight” and make a $5 donation to the party.
Sent Monday, the fundraising email is brief — perhaps too brief to mention that one of the two major tax bills raising the $1 billion was sponsored by a Republican and that a majority of Republicans in both the House and the Senate voted for both measures.
One bill is raising the state sales tax by 1 cent for 27 months as of April 1, while the other is ending several dozen exemptions on sales taxes, also for 27 months.
“The state party opposes tax increases,” Jason Doré, the party’s executive director, said Wednesday when asked about the email. “That’s part of our national platform.”
The Republican-led Legislature approved both tax bills, and Edwards signed them into law.
So what about the role of the Republicans in passing the bills?
“It’s all on John Bel Edwards,” Doré said.
The AFP, however did not play party favorites as it relates to its own report card. Below is the press release from the AFP:
Today, Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana announced the release of their 2016 state legislative scorecard, grading lawmakers on their voting record on key economic issues. The scorecard comes shortly after the Louisiana legislature’s decision to pass the single largest tax increase in the state’s history. Americans for Prosperity stated throughout the special session they intended to hold lawmakers accountable for their votes on the tax increases proposed by Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration.
View the scorecard here: http://louisianascorecard.com
“We are following through on our promise to hold lawmakers accountable for their votes during the special session,” said John Kay, state director for Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana. “Louisianans deserve to know what their lawmakers are up to in Baton Rouge. I think many people are going to be disappointed when they visit our site and realize their elected officials have been voting in favor of tax increases to cover up for years of reckless spending. In addition, lawmakers who stood by the taxpayers in our state should be recognized for doing the right thing.
Throughout the special legislative session, Americans for Prosperity voiced their opposition to tax increases:
“Raising the state sales tax is only a short-term fix to a long-term problem.” The Advocate, How Louisiana Special Session Ended Disgusts Some, Pleases Others; Here’s What’s Next, 3/9/16.
“We will not sit idly by while the citizens of the state continue to burden ever-growing tax increases. AFP Louisiana will hold legislators accountable for raising taxes on Louisianans.” Americans for Prosperity Press Release, 3/7/16.
“If this bill becomes law, Louisiana will have the highest combined state and local sales tax rate in the nation. Sales tax increases typically hit low income families the hardest because they are forced to spend more of their available resources on purchasing items.” The Advocate, Louisiana House Passes Penny Sales Tax Hike; Gov. John Bel Edwards Appears To Be $200M Short To Close Budget Shortfall, 2/25/16.