The war of words over how to deal with a budget deficit or otherwise in Louisiana annual parlance, the fiscal cliff, is mounting as the temporary sales tax comes to an end this week. The sales tax brings roughly one billion dollars into the state coffers.
Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has taken to the press pulpit to argue that Republican moderates want a plan presented by their members but the fiscal conservatives refuse to present one, thus, a budgetary showdown that will result in major reductions in government spending.
Hold on to your hernia belts, a potential court decision either could make Louisiana state budgeting more intractable or become a catalyst for badly needed change.
While he didn’t exactly treat Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards as if Louisiana’s chief executive didn’t exist, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras did make clear who called the shots over the state’s fiscal year 2019 picture and beyond.
Hours after the United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress celebrated a humongous legislative victory with passing its tax reform package in record time without any Democratic support, back home in Louisiana, there's a different tune being sung.
First, up in DC: The US tax reform plan passed without any hearings and sworn testimony. Very few, if anyone in Congress read the legislation since none of them even saw it until an hour or so before the vote. That legislation, which passed and signed into law today, put the finishing touches upon the Trump-led US Congressional congressional agenda in which all respect for the ordinary congressional process was ignored. Earlier this year, Republicans unsuccessfully yet similarly attempted to repeal Obamacare without any hearings, or participation by the minority Democrats and yes, without legislation being available for lawmakers to debate.
On Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke in general terms about his plans for the upcoming fiscal cliff which is anticipated to be around $1 billion for the year beginning July 1, 2018. At a luncheon today Edwards delivered remarks at an event hosted by Committee of 100, Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and the Louisiana Budget Project.
Though the conversation depicted in this cartoon likely didn’t go down exactly this way, it is, nonetheless, typical of the mindset of not only Republicans, but Democrats as well. The merits of a given piece of legislation are immaterial; if it’s being proposed by the opposition party, we’re against it.
Today, Lousiana House GOP members of the Joint Budget Committee stopped the State’s Medicaid contracts with a vote of 17 against, 7 for.
Shortly after, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on today’s Joint Budget Committee vote:
Edwards calls GOP ‘obstructionists’
Gov. John Bel Edwards did not mince words over the actions of some GOP House members who are members of the Joint Budget Committee.
The Committee last week blocked lucrative contract extensions sought by Edwards for the managed-care companies that coordinate services for 1.5 million Medicaid patients in Louisiana.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a Louisiana Treasurer’s election coming up to replace John Kennedy, now the US Senator.
Louisiana is in the middle of a "hot" election season. On the local level, there are number of seats available, particularly in New Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Statewide, there is only one major election, that for Louisiana Treasurer due to a vacancy.
Year after year, Louisiana sits at the top of the list for the most expensive state in the nation for auto insurance. Insure.com just released a new study showing the Bayou State in a neck and neck race with Michigan to maintain it’s honor for average costs that tops $2000 a year.