Thursday, 01 March 2018 15:13

Sen. Conrad Appel talks about Louisiana Humpty Dumpty Legislative fiscal session Featured

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capitol humpWill the Louisiana Legislature Humpty Dumpty be able to be put back again?

The Legislative session, which has been up and running now for the past ten days, or so, has fallen off of the wall.  Some might believe the fiscal session never got off the ground onto the wall, at all.

 Today, I interviewed Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel to discuss what the heck is going on up there in Baton Rouge.  Are we going to be able to get the two or more sides to agree on how to generate money, whether it be an extension of sales tax, cuts and/or taxes?

Below are the Senator Appel's comments on this topic, how did Louisiana get into this mess and what has the Legislature done so far to fix a hole in the budget, anywhere from roughly 600-700 million, up to a billion dollars.

Here is the transcript and the video. The video segment ends at the 6:06 mark.

Tomorrow, Part 2

Will the Louisiana Legislature Humpty Dumpty be able to be put back again?
The Legislative session, which has been up and running now for the past ten days, or so, has fallen off of the wall.  Some might believe the fiscal session never got off the ground onto the wall, at all.
Today, I interviewed Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel to discuss what the heck is going on up there in Baton Rouge.  Are we going to be able to get the two or more sides to agree on how to generate money, whether it be an extension of sales tax, cuts and/or taxes?
Below are the Senator Appel's comments on this topic, how did Louisiana get into this mess and what has the Legislature done so far to fix a hole in the budget, anywhere from roughly 600-700 million, up to a billion dollars.
Here is the transcript and the video. The video segment ends at the 6:06 mark.
Tomorrow, Part 2


SEN. APPEL: it's been pretty wild on the Senate side, we've just been treading water waiting for some bills to come out of the house which as you know last night did not happen ,so from the Senate perspective we haven't done much at all, we just been waiting now on the house side it's a whole different animal as you well know.  So perhaps you want to go there
 
SABLUDOWSKY: Sure sure well yeah we definitely want to talk about what you know in terms of the the house what's going on--let me let me first start off and just say you know how did we get into this budget mess that we're in, from from your perspective
 
SEN. APPEL: Well I have to tell you, I it's not as bad as you might think, there have been fiscal cliffs throughout our history, it's only a fiscal cliff that's a figment of the media, truly what we're facing is the end of some taxes that were temporary and I'd like to talk about that for a moment, and then we're going to rebuild those tax, that tax structure in this session, or in another session--let me let me talk for a moment about those taxes--you've heard a lot about the promise, some kind of a promise, that was made by the legislature to fix the long-term permanent with our tax structure, reform, is a good word that's been kicked around a whole bunch.  What this is all based upon was a task force that was created by the legislature a couple years ago, it was charged with two things, number one to come up with strategic plans, critique changes for budget issues, that is spending--and number two, to look at the structure of our revenue raising measures which of the fiscal measures, taxes.
 
That task force very clearly did not look at the spending side.  Every time I watched it throughout the whole process.  Every time they would come up with an issue related to spending, they would say oh well we'll look at that later, or somebody else is looking at or something else--so they come out with a report, big fat report, basically filled with methods to raise revenue--taxes.  So when we hear as Republicans, we hear people saying that we made some kind of a promise, that's not true.  We  expected a balanced report that we could use to create legislation that would address both the spending side and the revenue side and what we got was an imbalance report heavily slanted toward revenues.  So let me, that debunks that issue from the Republican perspective.  Now what you saw in the house last night was a really interesting political charade.
 
You end up with several groups of folks that have different agendas.  The Republicans in the house thought they were dealing with the Democrats in a very constructive way, you might recall just a very few days ago, there was a Ways and Means Committee and the Republicans let income tax measures out, as well as a sales tax measure and passed some other issues.  Now the criteria for that was it was about four reform issues that the Republicans had said all along were mandatory to pass if we were going to pass revenue.  One of those, the that dealt with co-pays for Medicaid was completely gutted in the Health and Welfare Committee in the house, so that was number one, it's gone for all practical purposes.  And number two, yesterday on the floor, the House voted down one of the speaker's bills who's met--his main bil-- which dealt with caps on the growth of our spending limits.
 
So two of the four-- the other--the other was a one of the other ones "open checkbook" which did pass, but two of the four major points the Republicans had on their agenda were shot down before even got to the starting gate.
 
So suddenly then you had these groups in the legislature, the Republicans went to bat thinking that they had made a deal with the Democrats in the in the person of the governor and the Democratic delegation chairman.  But not knowing that the black caucus, apparently, was very, had their nose out of kilter, because they had not been involved in those discussions, and some said, I don't blame them for having a nose out of kilter, if that's the case.  So when the bills came on the floor, the black caucus voted in block--"no, we're not going to pass these tax measures and some very liberal,  excuse me, conservative Republicans voted no because they took it as a affront that the two of the four major reform bills were shot down by primarily the Democrat.  So that's what you had last night-- humpty-dumpty is in pieces all over the ground, there are technical manners in which the session could continue and some of those bills could be resurrected but we'll have to wait till I guess three o'clock this afternnon, to see what the House leadership is going to do. If they can find enough votes to put Humpty Dumpty back together or if we should go to the end of the session .

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